Digitisation Without Borders – Grzegorz Wójcik on the Future of E-Signatures and the Need to Dematerialise Business at Every Scale

Digitisation Without Borders – Grzegorz Wójcik on the Future of E-Signatures and the Need to Dematerialise Business at Every Scale

Why did you choose this particular industry? Has your venture in this area been a resounding success?

Investing in the electronic signatures sector seemed a natural progression for me, fueled by my passion for implementing IT innovations which began during my academic studies. This passion naturally evolved into engagement and experiences in technology projects both in Poland and internationally. The decision to start a business focused on business digitisation stemmed from a widely recognized market need to streamline document workflow, which in its paper form significantly hinders business development and incurs considerable costs. This issue is particularly acute in sectors such as finance, real estate, IT, HR, and healthcare. It was indeed a direct hit as it allowed Autenti to meet the digitisation needs of both large corporations and smaller firms, crucial for their efficiency and security.

Every company, regardless of size, strives to optimize its operations. Thanks to our solutions, companies can focus on their core activities, confident that their documentation is secure and signed in accordance with regulations. Our platform is the answer to these needs, as evidenced by our growing number of clients and partners. For several years now, not only in Poland but also internationally, the Autenti platform has been translated into 11 languages, and document signing is possible in 24 languages. Our client base includes over 9,000 companies, mainly from Europe, featuring leading brands in their categories such as Bayer, BNP Paribas, Decathlon, Rossmann, Raiffeisen Bank International, organizations like WWF, PZPN, Wisła Kraków club, as well as hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises where e-signatures are applicable.

Who are your company’s clients? Is the modern consumer difficult to satisfy? What is your vision for further company development? What goals remain unachieved?

Our clients span various market segments, all in need of digital signatures to boost their operational efficiency. The modern consumer demands speed and convenience in handling their affairs, thus companies must meet these expectations with digital solutions like Autenti. The benefits of integrating our platform into the document flow are vast, ranging from streamlining recruitment processes to speeding up contract signings with clients and regaining control over supplier collaboration.

Large clients expect solutions that cater to these diverse applications and tools that function internationally, irrespective of the country their partners are from and whether they influence the solutions used. They also require tools that seamlessly integrate into their existing tech stack. Therefore, we offer universal API integrations that allow Autenti to be independently plugged into existing systems while also designing tailor-made solutions. We cater to business process automation (BPA), particularly in the financial sector, but not exclusively. Autenti is integrated with various ERP, HRM, CRM, and BPA systems. For instance, our integrations with global platforms like Microsoft (MS Teams App, SharePoint/OneDrive App, PowerAutomate Connector), Salesforce, Zapier, and industry-specific ones such as WEBCON. In 2023, we also formally announced a Partner Program, providing API integration possibilities for external providers. This presents a promising business model for SaaS platforms, hence we see great potential in it.

In terms of expansion, we focus on further developing the Polish market, expanding our corporate client portfolio, and international growth, particularly in the DACH and CEE regions. Since we are building an ecosystem based on collaboration with local market leaders, expanding our ecosystem of qualified signature providers, digital identification services, and e-Delivery services is also key for us. The Autenti platform and products we offer continually evolve. These constant product innovations are necessary to meet growing needs, ensuring that every large organisation can significantly benefit from our services.

In 2024, Autenti was recognized by the Financial Times and Statista as one of the 1000 fastest-growing European companies, solidifying our position as a leader in the fields of e-signatures and e-identification across the continent. With a 228th place in the overall FT 1000 ranking and 23rd in the FinTech sector, we have confirmed our unique position in Europe.

If you could turn back time, is there a business decision you would change from today’s perspective?

There isn’t one particular decision. Every decision, good or bad, brought valuable lessons. However, one key area we could have focused on more in the early days is the faster understanding of the differences in technology and legal perceptions on international markets. A quicker and better adaptation of our services to the expectations of international clients might have allowed us to enter foreign markets sooner. As mentioned in one of the podcasts, focusing on the Polish market was both a strength and a limitation for us.

In the case of building so-called marketplaces, international expansion means integrating with local providers, which is a significant challenge. Currently, in Europe, there are over 170 qualified signature providers, not to mention other services like trust services or electronic identification methods. That’s why on one hand, over the past two years, we focused on collaborating with market leaders—enabling direct integrations and signing through the Autenti platform using over 20 solutions from across Europe. The pace at which we’ve introduced these integrations is remarkable, and I am proud of our team. On the other hand, we decided to enable the use of smaller, local or regional suppliers. This vision has led to functionality that allows a document to be signed with any qualified signature, which is innovative on an international scale and has helped us acquire clients such as RBI (Raiffeisen Bank International).

What is your approach to failures in business? Have there been many? What have they taught you?

The approach to failures is what ultimately defines success. In Autenti, we’ve faced numerous challenges, each treated as a learning opportunity. Failures have taught me humility and reinforced my determination to achieve our goals. It is important that every decision, even those initially perceived as mistakes, provide lessons for the future.

Tomasz Plata, co-founder of Autenti, emphasises in our ‘Biznes Bez Lukru’ podcast (English: ‘No Sugarcoating Business’) that it’s vital not only to learn from our own mistakes but also to share these experiences.  That’s why we often talk about our company’s history and act as mentors for entrepreneurs, especially in the tech startup environment, as we have walked this path ourselves.

Albert Einstein once said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” What values guide you in life and business?

My personal values, such as openness to change, allow me to adapt business strategies to current market conditions and encourage continuous personal development and learning, as we live in a dynamically changing world. Respect enables the building of long-lasting, trust-based personal and business relationships. Commitment is essential for achieving both personal and corporate goals—it motivates complete dedication and striving towards objectives in every venture. These are the foundations upon which we build the DNA of our company. At Autenti, we strive to create a culture open to mistakes and learning from them.

We partner with our clients and work with change leaders in their organisations, which obligates us. Trust, quality, and security are the bases of our operation. Therefore, it is important for me that these values are supported by concrete facts and benefits for the clients: reliable infrastructure, compliance with information security management standards such as ISO 27001, validated by audits, or regular monitoring and building solutions based on legislative and sector-specific norms, such as the requirements of regulators for the financial or medical industry.

Can business be responsible, people-friendly, and ecological? Does running a business have to involve compromises in terms of your values?

Definitely yes, and Autenti is proof of that. Founded with the mission of reducing paper usage (paperless), our operation complies with ESG standards, bringing real savings to the environment and demonstrating that business can be both profitable and sustainable, without compromising on fundamental values.

Being paperless is not just part of our CSR strategy; we are an example of a company that proves social and ecological responsibility can go hand-in-hand with commercial success. The ‘paperless’ mission we are pursuing is proof that it is possible to conduct business in line with values that support environmental protection and contribute to building a better tomorrow.

Are you a happy person? What, besides business successes, brings you happiness?

I find happiness from many sources, both from professional successes and from personal life. The balance between work and time spent with family, as well as hobbies like travelling and exploring new cultures, are as important to me as achievements at work.

If your life had taken a different path and not pushed you into the business world, what other career might have been yours?

Had I not gone into business, my career path would likely have been tied to information technology. I have always been fascinated by technology and the ways in which innovations can solve real-world problems.

Grzegorz Wójcik, co-founder and CEO of Autenti, is a pioneer in the digitisation of business processes in Poland and Europe. Educated in computer science, and a passionate entrepreneur, he has gained experience both in Poland and the United States. Over the years, Grzegorz has led the development of Autenti, transforming the company into a market leader in digital signatures and documents, setting new directions in the so-called trust services industry in Europe. Through the activities of companies he has developed, such as RMF FM, Grupa Onet, Allegro Group, and Autenti, he has contributed to the transition of Polish business to the online sphere and the proverbial “cloud.” His career is an example of combining a scientific approach to computer science with the practical application of technology in business. Grzegorz’s actions extend beyond Autenti, including collaboration with academic institutions and industry organisations, which allows for the promotion of modern solutions on a global scale.

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Anastazja Lach