How Ukrainian IT companies are running their businesses under the circumstances of war
How are companies running their businesses under the circumstances of war? How crucial is the international support, contracting and launching new projects with Ukrainian developers for bolstering the Ukrainian economy? What is the Ukrainian government doing to support the industry?
Please read the interview of Volodymyr Semenyshyn, President EMEA of Ukraine IT company SoftServe, who was interviewed for bne IntellliNews by Dominic Culverwell in March 17, 2023.
“Thanks to effective crisis management, diversified teams and the global character of the business, the war’s impact on the company hasn’t been significant,” explained Volodymyr Semenyshyn, SoftServe’s president EMEA, in an exclusive interview with bne IntelliNews.
The war has forced the company to postpone some important decisions and decrease investment in new innovative developments within the company. Instead, the company has looked towards expanding and growing beyond Ukraine with offices in Poland, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, and a new development centre in Romania.
“This is definitely a way for us to stabilise the business in Ukraine as well. We provide new projects for Ukrainian associates thanks to diversified teams and other development centres,” Semenyshyn said.
Part of the success of the IT industry is the ability to work remotely, allowing employees to retain their positions after moving to safer regions. Nevertheless, during the autumn and winter blackouts caused by Russia’s attacks on energy facilities, offices became crucial for workers, and attendance skyrocketed to 50-60%.
“At that time, our offices became “points of unbreakability” for our employees, allowing them to work uninterruptedly,” Semenyshyn stated.
Last year, the vast majority of SoftServe employees relocated to our offices in the West part of Ukraine (Lviv, Ivano-Frankisvk, Chernivtsi, Rivne, Ternopil). Kyiv and Dnipro also hosted a significant part of our employees.
However, SoftServe’s office in Kharkiv, which has suffered heavily from Russian strikes, saw a significant decrease. Prior to the war, 1,300 IT specialists were located there, but this has dropped to 100. Although this has not had an impact on SoftServe’s operations, the city was one of Ukraine’s IT hubs and will need to attract specialists back once the war is over to ensure future investment.
With significant growth last year, Ukraine’s IT sector has contributed immensely to the state budget and IT services made up nearly half of export structure last year. Between January and September 2022, IT enterprises paid UAH48bn ($1.3bn) in taxes. In addition, companies like SoftServe continue to lease offices across Ukraine, whilst employees continue to spend money in the country, strengthening the local economy
“We preserve our systematic investments in education and training of the future talent pool for the Ukrainian IT industry by co-operating with dozens of universities, investing in local social and educational projects, etc.,” Semenyshyn added.
As such, the Ministry of Economy included the industry in its four key sectors for Ukraine’s recovery, alongside agriculture, metallurgy and military tech. Semenyshyn believes the IT sector will be “helpful at all stages” of reconstruction, as the industry has enough expertise, resources and desire to join the process.
The Ukrainian government is implementing strategies to facilitate “comfortable conditions” for IT professionals, which Semenyshyn believes will help retain tech specialists after the war. SoftServe is supporting the government on this front and is participating in initiatives such as the Diia City tax regime.
“Ukraine’s victory will drive the development and growth of the IT industry, the inflow of projects, and investments in this sector,” Semenyshyn stated.
Would you like to connect with SoftServe? Please contact Mariia Fedor, Business Unit Coordinator, EMEA, firstname.lastname@example.org