Ukrainian IT Industry Still Operating Against All Odds
By Pradeep Chakraborty
DIGITALEUROPE, EU, organized a webinar on how the Ukrainian IT industry is still standing against all odds!
Ms. Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General, DIGITALEUROPE, welcomed the audience.
Giving an overview of the current state of the IT sector in Ukraine, Konstantin Vasyuk, Executive Director, IT Ukraine, said we may be one expert industry in Ukraine that is still working. We also have some Starlink equipment that can ensure work at an uninterrupted process. There are also companies that have development offices in Ukraine. Companies can be provided with necessary information, if needed. About 2 percent of people have been sent to work in the army.
The banking system is currently working, and there are transactions that are going on. 26 percent of the Ukrainian workforce comprises women. They can be relocated to Europe. Men are working remotely, and at places where they are safe.
We should be basing our forecast carefully. The global demand is for the global market. If the country can be saved, it can help Ukraine to grow in the future. We are trying to keep normal behavior for the past 20 days. People thought that Ukraine will fall inside three days. What’s next depends on many things. If the war stops, we can continue to work in the global market.
We also have our team operating. We have established priority for projects due to the current situation. We are bravely continuing our work. We were used to working remotely for the last two years. We are also growing the industry association, and increasing the number of members.
We have been absolutely transparent so far. In Ukraine, we have information from different sources. You can also go to Facebook and Telegram Groups to get information. Various bombings are going on right now. We will see how this goes.
Ms. Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl added that Digital Europe has donated to Ukraine, and also taken in refugees.
People main priority!
This was followed by a panel discussion with Ms. Marta Romaniak, MD, Avenga Ukraine, and Igor Tkach, Senior Director, Grid Dynamics.
Ms. Marta Romaniak, MD, Avenga Ukraine, said the company has offices across eight locations. We work in different areas such as pharma, automotive, banks, etc.
Igor Tkach, Senior Director, Grid Dynamics, added they are a public American company located in the USA. It has 1,200 workers in Ukraine across different locations. We provide IT and digital transformation consulting. People are our main priority. We have moved them to safe locations.
Ms. Marta Romaniak said the war did not catch Ukraine unprepared. We have two goals: take care of our people, and continuing fulfilling commitments. We are a global company and have relocated employees to places like Poland and Germany. There are also IT specialists. We want them to feel safe and secure. We are continuing to do that. Every day, the HR department calls the IT specialists to ensure their well being. We also did not lose any clients. We are trying to create the most safe conditions for specialists to work. We have 95 specialists on board, and it is not possible to work without people.
Igor Tkach said about 80 percent of our people are working at safe locations. The situation has now escalated to full-scale war. We had ordered transportation, and it was expensive. We can evacuate more people later to Western Europe. We have so far done a good job, given that there are dangerous areas and transportation issues. We are also replacing people, who are currently unproductive, with some other people. We have become united to overcome all challenges. The equipment and IT assets are being delivered to other secure areas and to the cloud. Business continuity plans were executed very fast. The clients are continuing to have contracts with us. European governments will also give some push to help us be faster.
Ms. Marta Romaniak noted that we need to be prepared in the future. Women are also needed in the IT market. Right now, there are 30 percent women in the IT market. Ukraine has been in the IT market for over 20 years. We want to move forward. We are creating lot of workplaces. We also need to have more help from European governments, and need total support of the world.
Ms. Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl added that telecom networks in Ukraine are still running. There is movement from Europe to bring in more equipment.
Ms. Marina Bzovîi, Executive Director, Moldovan Association of ICT Companies, said we are here to help Ukraine and all the IT companies. If they need offices, we are ready to host companies, from short- to long-term. We also have teams that can help you deliver projects. She requested Ukraine to let them know regarding any help.