Ukraine · Outsourcing

Why Ukraine is considered to be the unfavourable niche to do business with?

Olga Akhramenko IT Recruiter.

June 4th, 2014

Hi there, does anyone faces the fact that nowadays everyone thinks Ukraine to be the unfavourable niche to do business with? To be more exact, our big, fast-growing IT outsourcing company needs the person in the Marketing sphere who would lead the company strategically to the USA and EU markets,  but the aforementioned stereotype messes up us to find the appriopriate person. Actually the conditions are more, than attractive: the person will be able to work remotely, manage a budget, participate in exhibitions, in short, will do whatever he wants to achieve the goal. How can we solve this problem? Will appreciate any suggestions

Lawrence Lerner Digitalization and Transformation Coach

June 4th, 2014

There are typically three things I look at when building or working with an offshore center:

  1. Availability of talent - Does the region/country have the skills in meaningful quantities? Is there a strong education system and are there plentiful colleges and universities within a day’s drive?
  2. Infrastructure- Is there easy access to the country via multiple flights per day? Do the local resources have good access to road and/or public transportation? Reliable power supplies and network infrastructure for the region (not just the center)
  3. Geo-political stability - If the region is unstable, constantly changing political parties or a poor partner to other nations, it’s a challenge
I’ve built centers all over Europe, India and five in Northern Asia. This has been a very good gauge of the likelihood of success. You need to present three three areas in a strong light.  I hope this helps

Eric Rogness Technical Product Manager

June 5th, 2014

For some reason, my response was deleted... Olga, You should talk to my cofounder, Ihor Pidruchny. or 'mogilers' on Skype..


June 4th, 2014

Hi Olga,
I think there's conflation of two independent questions.

a) is Ukraine a good place from which to source tech talent?
b) is working in sales/marketing for offshore tech company a good career move?

The answer to a is yes and, accordingly, Ukraine has (perhaps an even inflated??) reputation as a source of well-educated, talented, and reliable software programmers. $700 million per annum of (above-board) tech work offshored to Ukraine is not too shoddy for a country with a population of 45 million. 

The answer to b depends on the person and the market and the company being represented. Offshore tech falls into many categories and many industry specializations -- it's massively competitive, price driven, low-margin and heavily dependent on client relationships. So if you want the big contracts, you need someone who can either get the sub-contracts from Accenture, IBM -- i.e. from the folks who own the strategic relationships with the f-1000 cio's -- or better still, win deals directly with big tech outsourcers. There are hoards of folks from low-cost markets so how does a Ukranian shop distinguish itself? Perhaps you go deep in a vertical like fin-tech or healthcare that are more specialized but you'll need to hire expensive BD talent from those categories who expect to be compensated a lot for their relationships (independent of results) and your tech team will need to be familiar with those industries and your platform. And your tech team will need to be portable....

The alternative is to work (the slightly less competitive??) space of startup's -- budget constraints, payment risks, small clients and lots of them, limited repeat business.... those attributes make it a less-than-ideal business to be in from a sales/marketing perspective.

Brandon White CEO of Zeuss, Inc.

June 4th, 2014

You got some really good answers already. I will tell you from my experience that in general I like programmers from the Ukraine, they are generally very smart and deliver on time and under budget. A generalization of course, but my experience.

The key for you is just to find that right Marketing person who can articulate to potential customers your value. You will face, as already pointed out, some perceptions and issues as it relates to the region, however the person you hire should be able to proactively address those concerns up front and demonstrate how your company can solve the challenges the perspective client is having.

Steve Dietrich CEO at QTree Systems

June 4th, 2014

It seems like there is a little confusion about your question. I am making the assumption your company is in the Ukraine and want help marketing your services in the US and EU.

You are correct about the stereotype making the services harder to market. Also, the fact that the market is foreign not only geography but culturally.  I would need to understand more about the actual situation, but a strategic partnership with a local based company or entity would in essence "mask" your company from the stereotype.  I would also look for a separate relationship for USA and EU. the chances of finding a company that covers both USA and EU that would be "willing" to represent or market your services limits your search to a small number.


Steve Dietrich

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

June 4th, 2014

Unless I'm missing something, I assume your issue is the current political state of the country and the challenges in attracting solid biz dev people when they perceive an uphill battle in every sales effort. I think it's pretty clear that Ukraine has proven itself as a great place to build software, but how do you address client concerns that developers are going to be productive vs. burning tires and ducking bullets? Best case, everyone is simply distracted. That's the perception. Why would a sales person or a poptential customer willingly take on that political risk when they can find developers in more stable areas?

Seems like addressing that question directly and up-front is something you need to do.

Olga Akhramenko IT Recruiter.

June 5th, 2014

Dear Steve!
Thank you for your kind opinion (on the founderdating). Yes, we are from Ukraine and did not hide this fact in my post. Asking this question, I wanted to see the situation on the part of those who are not in the country, i.e. we faced the problem of finding staff. We would like know, whether we are 'so lucky', or the problem of the market really exists, that even in spite of interesting role and authority, there is a certain fear to start. We do not promote ourselves, actually we have a good flow of incoming requests, we are just wondering what the experts think. Olga