Scaling to 2,000 global employees with OSF's Gerry Szatvanyi

By Garrett Marsilio

Creating a website and digitizing singular processes may have seemed cutting edge at one time, but technologies rapidly advance. Today, retailers must undergo complete digital transformation to survive and thrive.

For twenty years, global brands have turned to OSF Digital to innovate their methods for digital interactions with customers. OSF’s expertise is valued globally, and the business now has over 2,200 employees and 50 offices worldwide. Its customers include some of the world’s biggest brands: L’Oréal, Burton Snowboards, Urban Barn, Marks and Spencer, Wharton University of Pennsylvania, among others.  

Delta-v led both OSF’s Series A and Series B rounds in 2019 and 2021. The following year, we participated alongside Salesforce Ventures in the Series C financing, which was led by Sunstone Partners.

OSF continues on an impressive growth trajectory; using the capital raised in its most recent financing to accelerate service capability expansion, sales and marketing, industry-focused solutions, mergers and acquisitions, and AI-enabled productivity tools.

As the company approaches the 20th anniversary of its founding, Gerard Szatvanyi, co-founder and CEO of OSF, sat down with us to discusses entrepreneurship, his experience in working with investors, expanding as a global business, and the launch of his new book: The Great Digital Transformation.

Q&A with Gerard Szatvanyi (co-founder and CEO)

Q: How have you evolved as a leader and an entrepreneur over the past two decades with OSF?

OSF went through many changes since its funding and this required me and my management team to evolve and reinvent ourselves every year as we continued to build structures and grow the organization. This made me grow from an engineer into a CEO capable of driving a bold, world-class vision. Accessing like-minded individuals through our investor’s networks has also meaningfully shaped my transformation.

Q: The company has grown from hundreds of employees from the Series A in 2019 to thousands of employees speaking over twenty languages. What is the secret to recruiting, developing, and retaining a talented team at that size?

Creating a great culture for talent development as well as giving all of our colleagues a strong sense of purpose and vision. 

Q: One of the unique elements of OSF is its success in partnering with other founders. OSF has made over a dozen acquisitions. What is your approach to M&A and what advice would you give other entrepreneurs considering M&A?

When evaluating an acquisition, the most important thing to understand is if there is alignment with the culture of the acquired organization. Equally as important is the alignment in professional goals for the individuals at the acquired organization. It is critical to understand how eager they are to adopt our culture and systems to collectively make that 1+1 = 3 happen.

Q: OSF has invested in research and development to build proprietary AI-enabled productivity tools. What is your vision for using AI to transform software delivery?

The way we work in our industry is going to change significantly with the advent of AI. I strongly believe that AI will dramatically shift the way we train our people and the way we support our people in their day-to-day operations. In turn, this will improve the quality and consistency of the projects we deliver.

Q: What have you learned about working with investors which you would share with other entrepreneurs?

It is extremely important to like the people sitting on the other side of the table from you. They need to deeply understand the sector that you are in and have deep, trusted networks relevant to your industry. The investor’s networks and past experience is just as important as the capital they bring; what you want is smart, well-connected capital. This is what will propel you into the future.

Q: Why did you write The Great Digital Transformation?

I believe it is important to share lessons learned; to inspire people to dream bigger and to dare more. Hopefully my book will serve as an inspiration for others to embark on their own transformative and exciting journeys.