Jul 19, 2017
Interview with RAFA Solutions: Helping Customers Learn, Create, and Grow
RAFA Solutions is a systems integration company that specializes in Smart Machines and data acquisition/control systems. Established in 2012, the company is a National Instruments Silver Alliance Partner. To find out more, we talked to Rafayel Ghasabyan, CEO and Founder of RAFA Solutions.
Why Armenia: What is the history behind your company and how is it growing today?
Rafayel Ghasabyan: I used to work as a systems engineer for the Armenian branch of National Instruments and I used to travel to various customers to deliver proof of concepts. National Instruments is a technology company and my responsibilities focused on building solutions based on that technology, proving that a solution worked and to find partners for particular projects.
In 2011, I came to understand that there were projects for which it was difficult to find partners. I got an idea that maybe I could do that myself, so I started my own company and received the first project through National Instruments’ network.
In 2014, we took a strategic approach to expand our clientele by redefining ourselves as a machinery company. We build the electronics and software for material testing machines, our clients are the actual machine builders who rely on our technology.
WA: What services do you provide?
RG: We do systems integration. System integration companies combine different technologies, add their own knowledge, IT software or hardware, and deliver the whole system as one solution. We provide robust and flexible advanced solutions for machinery control and automation. In
2014, we launched our educational labs product line. Our educational products are available for purchase through our distribution network and have been delivered to dozens of universities all over the world.
We help our customers to learn, create, and grow through machinery and advanced engineering. There are three major directions in the industrial field that we are pursuing:
1. Material testing, which involves the implementation of automated solutions for machines that test the properties of various materials, such as plastics, metals, etc.,
2. Non-destructive testing solutions, which are mostly designed for tests that avoid disturbing the structure of the material.
3. The automotive component test and hardware in loop testing.
To prove to our customers that we are the best partner for hardware integration and for software development, we have created two other disciplines or specialties. One of them is Learn, and the other is Grow.
With Learn, we help our customers to study or to learn something.
With Grow, we help our customers to grow, as we understand that we cannot grow quickly alone, if we do not share whatever we know and all the technology that we create.
WA: What are your recent or most important achievements?
RG: In 2014, National Instruments created a platform for engineering, the LabVIEW tools network, where anyone can sell their own products. We started promoting our products there and now we are the #1 company in terms of the quantity of products on this platform. LabVIEW tools network tremendously increased our global visibility.
Recently, we received a CSIA certificate (Control Systems Integrators Association) for our complete business process to conduct systems integration. Based in the US, CSIA unites high-quality system integrators all over the world, as well as provides a platform for sharing best practices. While there are approximately 500 companies in the association, only 90 companies are certified. It is a company level business-process certification. We were the first company in Armenia to receive this certificate.
Other valuable certifications for our company are the ISO 9001:2015 and Quality Certification, which we achieved recently, as well.
WA: Where is your company headed to?
RG: In terms of size, we are expecting to grow fast: We will increase the number of employees and open branches. From the perspective of market or industry, we will most probably concentrate on one or two verticals. Focus helps us to grow faster.
WA: What are the three most important pieces of advice you would give to a young mind in IT?
RG: 1. Risk-Taking: Do not be afraid, you can do it.
2. Collaborate: Do not think you can do it alone.
3. Learn: We all need to learn.
Together, these values will help accelerate growth.