Wojciech Ptak is a Polish IT specialist who is the head of technology at Revolut, responsible for business banking, serving 20,000 companies worldwide.
He manages a team of 120 people; although he is 40 years old, he has no previous experience with banking. His fresh outlook, however, was a conscious choice for Revolut and for him – a space for change.
The company sought the right person for this position for 1.5 years. The recruitment process itself lasted a month, but the first employment contract was signed with him for only three months; only later, it was extended for an indefinite period. Although he had previously achieved many successes in business, it was then that he was looking for a job in big tech. He talked to Facebook, Netflix, and Google, but in the end, he bet on Revolut because he decided he would have to deal with the most significant challenges here.
He learned to program at the age of only eight because his parents were computer scientists. At the Technical School of Communication, he got into one of the largest computer companies in Poland, Computerland, and spent several years there. Eventually, he graduated from computer science at the Cracow University of Technology, where he quickly became a leader of programmers. The work commissioned for Computerland guaranteed good income. Still, before the end of his studies, he went to Norway during the holidays, where he was employed at a construction site as a contractor. When he realized how much the development company was paying the contractor for data visualization tools, he offered to do the same for a fraction of that amount. It was still a lot of money for him, and more orders from Norwegian companies followed. When, in a short time, he became an expert in advanced visualization of all data in live mode, he never had to work on a construction site again.
He then took a job at Making Waves (now Noa Ignite Norway), attracting other programmers from Krakow, almost all of whom today hold high positions worldwide. After a year, he became a team leader and set up a LinkedIn account, although most of his colleagues used GoldenLine at the time. It was through LinkedIn that he was contacted by two British corporate sales coaches who specialized in connecting IT professionals with global corporations in exchange for a commission.
The first order was to make data visualization tools for Disney. During this project, he met programmers from Great Britain and founded the Ministry of Ideas with them. Their customers soon became such well-known global brands as UPS, Bols, TUI, Ferrero Rocher, Adidas, Porsche, and Ermenegildo Zegna. For British Telecom, they built a tool for counting votes for a popular reality show, and for Magic Mirrors, they designed a mirror that puts clothes on. Cooperation with the London branch of the Coca-Cola company, for which they made interactive data visualizations, turned out to be a breakthrough. The headquarters in Atlanta found out about it, and the cooperation extended to 7 years.
However, the door to the American market was opened to the company only by one of the Ministry of Ideas’ customers and then by an investor – Jason Trigg. Thanks to his contacts, the company developed sales analysis tools for fashion company Saks Fifth Avenue. For Macy’s, it built a truck path tracking system, which translated into savings of hundreds of millions of dollars. For the NBA, she wrote a program to analyze the playing strategy on the pitch. For the FBI, she developed a system aggregating data on bank robberies, convoys, and ATMs. In Great Britain, it carried out the digital transformation of the entire Home Base chain, which sold home and garden equipment with 400 stores. And all this with a team of 35 people, 20 in Poland, 10 in Great Britain and 5 in the USA. Unfortunately, in 2016, it turned out that the investor who took over the controlling stake in the company stopped all investments due to problems in other businesses and then closed it. At that time, Ptak took a job at the British company FreshMail, for which he designed an anti-spam tool, and then at the Polish company Talent Alpha, a platform that, using AI tools, connects IT specialists looking for jobs with employers quickly. The company was developing dynamically. Even one of the big tech companies wanted to buy it, but ultimately nothing came of it. And that’s when Wojtek got a job offer at Revolut.