October 21, 2019

NUCC Annual IT Business Trip to Ukraine

Three weeks ago 10 Norwegian companies visited Ukraine to learn about the Ukrainian IT-industry,  meet Ukrainians IT-companies and participate in the Lviv IT Arena, one of Eastern Europe’s largest IT-conferences. 

The Norwegian companies were in general Norwegian startups who need IT-services. This was the 5th IT-trip NUCC has organized. NUCC experience that there is increasing interest for Ukrainian IT-services. An important reason is Norwegian companies in Ukraine can find skilled IT-specialists to a reasonable price. For many companies it is hard to find the right IT-competence in Norway.  

«Hjemme er det vanskelig. De som kunne hjulpet oss får godt betalte jobber i store selskaper før de er ferdig utdannet. Små aktører har ikke en sjanse til å konkurrere», uttaler Øystein Barhaughøgda grunnlegger av edtech-plattformen Vignita til Shifter. Les også denne artikkelen i Shifter om selskapenes erfaringer fra turen til Ukraina.

During their stay in Lviv, the Norwegian companies had a workshop led by our member Karin Elis about cultural differences, including work culture, between Norwegians and Ukrainians. One of the lessons is that Norwegians can be a bit unclear in their communications, which can lead to misunderstandings. Be more direct in the communication with your Ukrainian partner, was one of the advice Karin Ellis gave the participants. Her advice to the Ukrainian participants was to flag eventual mistakes immediately and be honest about what you can do and not do. Norwegians highly appreciate honesty and transparency.

Oleg Kyrievskyi and Yurii Repeta from our member company, First Chair Legal, gave a general overview of Ukrainian IT business structuring, as well as practical legal tips on how to find a partner and structure the relationship. Their main advice to the participants is to do a background check of potential partners and  have a proper contractual framework. The NUCC is helping companies to do a basic background chech. The contract should have a proper description of the services and delivery process, as well as obligations of the parties and quality standards.

The Norwegian group also got a chance to meet Olga Syvak from UkraineInvest, who gave them some insights into the Ukrainian economy and the opportunities in the Ukrainian IT-industry. Olga Syvak, told that despite challenges remaining, the Ukrainian government have done substantial efforts in improving business climate for the last few years. 

After two intensive days in Lviv, the companies went to Kyiv where they participated at NUCC’s breakfast seminar about the future of Ukrainian IT. With a new Ministry of Digital Transformation, the new government has put IT high up on the political agenda. We were delighted to have the Deputy Minister in the newly established Ministry of Digital Transformation, Alex Bornyakov, Ihor Samokhodsky, IT expert at BRDO, Jan Keil, VP Marketing Infopulse Ukraine, and Kateryna Oliinyk, partner in Arzinger law firm, to share their thoughts on how to facilitate growth in IT and enhance Norwegian-Ukrainian business. The NUCC is delighted to hear that the new government is open to inputs from businesses.

Jørund Thommassen Gjesvik, CMO in FundingPartner, shared their experience with using a Ukrainian IT-provider. The Norwegian company must consider if outsourcing is a good solution for them. Jørund Thomassen Gjesvik tells Shifter that for him a central question is whether the task is a part of the core business or not. You can read more about FundingPartners experience here

In Kyiv the Norwegian companies had more B2B meetings with Ukrainian IT companies. The day in Kyiv ended with a reception at the Norwegian Embassy in Kyiv, where the participants can meet representatives from the Ukrainian IT-companies and other in a social setting.

The trip ended with a trip to Chernobyl for those who wanted. Given the dramatic accident in 1986, the place now seems quiet, and nature has taken over after the place has been abandoned by humans in our 20 years.

NUCC would like to thank you all speakers, the Norwegian Embassy in Ukraine, iHUB and Lviv Business School for their cooperation in organizing the IT-business trip. 

We are already looking forward to a new trip next year.


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