Here’s how my multinational business remained strong post-October 7


Each spring, Jewish families worldwide sit down for their Passover Seders. A highlight of the event is reading the Four Questions. Against the backdrop of recent challenges, including the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas massacre and economic uncertainties marked by rising inflation and interest rates, there are signs of optimism in the Israeli high-tech sector. We reached out to leaders in this industry, asking them our own four questions, allowing them to reflect on their challenges, decisions, successes and dreams. Here are their responses:


In the aftermath of October 7 and the Gaza War, what recent challenge have you faced in your industry, and how did you overcome it?

We are a multinational company—half the company is in the US, we have Europeans, and our Tel Aviv office. Up until October 7, we always made sure to be consistent in our messages to each part of the company worldwide.After October 7, we understood it had to be different; it wasn’t the same experience for the Israelis who went through it and people from the outside. Our message to clients, investors, and employees abroad was this: No matter what, we will keep delivering. We won’t miss a meeting with a client or use October 7 as an “excuse” for anything. We sent an unambiguous message: This is a global company, and you won’t see any slowdown or drop in quality or service from our end; we projected a lot of resilience. And we even said we’re going to be better. We’re not just going to be as good as we were; we’re going to be even better.

We said to our employees in Israel: We are here for anything you need. Some traveled abroad, some stopped working completely, some worked part-time or stopped coming to the office. We made it clear that everyone could take the time and space they needed—for our reservists, too, whether it was equipment, help for the families, extra vacation days—anything they needed.

This made it possible afterward to gather everyone back together—not through pressure or force, but because people knew they were valued and that they had an important role to play. We’re one of the leading companies in the industry, so we have to deliver, no matter what—even now. It’s our responsibility to Israel and to the economy.

That message—that we have a role to play and a national mission—resonated with our employees, and it proved itself. Against all odds, we had an overwhelmingly successful second half of last year, and we ended 2023 in a very healthy position as a company.


Looking back, what decision do you feel was the best for your career or business, and why?

I worked in a corporate environment for many years and reached some very senior positions. You could say I was at the pinnacle in terms of compensation, work-life balance, and professional achievements. 

I used to ride my bike a lot in those days, ride and ride. You pedal and pedal for ages, reaching an almost meditative state. One day, as I pedaled away, I felt I was missing something. It’s not that I was missing out on money or career achievements, per se. But I thought that I was capable of more.


I needed to put myself in a place where I could fail. That’s one of the big reasons I became an entrepreneur and a founder. I wanted to create something that would put myself to the test. Everywhere I had gone, I knew it would be challenging and take time, but I ultimately knew I’d succeed. And here was a test; here was a project that could be hugely successful – because we understood there was a real gap in the market – and could be a colossal failure. 

You could look at it from the outside and say, you have a family, you have a successful career; what do you need this headache for? You have a lot to lose. You’re not 30 years old anymore. But for me, that inner voice was evident. Listening to that inner voice and starting Datarails was the best thing I could have done for my career. Because I’ve never been interested in staying in just one place or being comfortable. I needed to put myself to a real test.

Company growth (illustrative) (credit: INGIMAGE)


What achievement or success are you most proud of, and what lessons did you learn?

My kids! Maybe it’s a cliche, but it’s true. 

But if I’m speaking professionally, then it’s unequivocally Datarails and our progress with the company. 

You know, a few years ago, there was an atmosphere in tech where growth was the most important thing for a company at all costs. All that mattered was that you grow and fast. There was money on the floor. As long as you could show you were growing – it almost didn’t matter how or how successful you were as a business – you could raise a lot of money fairly quickly. And then, suddenly, for a lot of reasons at the same time, the whole climate flipped.

It forced us—as a rapidly growing company—to completely rethink our course. The challenges were completely different: not just to attract more clients but to attract them efficiently. We had to build a business and an organization that would be much more sophisticated, much more focused, and much more financially scalable.

So, we had to go through a profound change as a company. This included layoffs, but it was also more than that. We changed our organizational structure in almost every department – marketing channels, sales models, everything. I mentioned earlier taking on a role where there was a chance for failure, and this brought that possibility home. We felt it. Not every company made it through that tech crisis without getting into the judicial reform and the impact of war. But we made the changes and are stronger and more resilient. To be honest, we’re a smarter business today than we were before. So I’m pretty proud of that.


What are your aspirations or goals for yourself or your organization in the coming year?

We will be a multi-billion dollar company with a significant impact on the global market and, no less critical, with a substantial effect on the Israeli economy. We want to be a name that every financial professional knows and change the way finance teams around the globe work. That’s my dream for Datarails, and I think we’re well on our way to achieving it.

Didi Gurfinkel is co-founder and CEO at Datarails.