Today in the development of the world’s economy, Information Technologies have a unique role. Technological innovations have entered almost all aspects of modern economy, making it easy to solve many problems and add innovative approaches to business. Taking this account, the government of Artsakh proclaimed the advancement of the IT sector as one of its major priorities for economic development as far back as 2001. The government is involved in the coordination and regulation of activities.
Otecsys LLC is a start-up company in Artsakh that develops websites and business applications for mobile phones. The company also offers free training courses for specialists in the IT industry. With 43 current applicants, the company is looking to engage young people interested in the IT field and provide necessary training for web developers in the (Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic.
At present, the company employs four web developers and two mobile app developers.
Otecsys has agreements with the leading IT companies from Armenia to organize joint training courses with the participation of their best specialists. In order to continue its expansion, the company is seeking investors and IT professionals from the Diaspora to help promote the company or to engage in developing and bolstering the IT industry in Artsakh.
“We have created all the conditions for training specialists and providing them with job ourselves, with some support from the government,” the company leaders say. “As we are a new company, we are facing some difficulties in finding orders. The local market is very small, and we don’t yet have foreign partners. This factor hinders the company’s development and forces young specialists to search for work outside the country. Thus, we are losing human and specialist resources, which are the most valuable for Artsakh today. Therefore, we are offering mutually beneficial cooperation opportunities to our compatriots [in the Diaspora] who can find effective options for new investments and, at the same time, contribute to the opening of new workplaces.”
“As a rule, when we speak about Artsakh-Diaspora cooperation, we associate it with getting financial support from Diaspora to solve some problems in Artsakh. I want to clarify, we are not asking for money, we don`t want to start a business with that capital. We offer you products. So we are ready to cooperate with you. It’s a principle for us,” said Nver Dadamyan, Director of Otecsys.
Sarine Hayriyan sat down with the Dadamyan for this exclusive interview for Asbarez.
Sarine Hayiryan: Nver, how do you prioritize IT development in Artsakh and what future will it have here?
Nver Dadamyan: I think the development of Artsakh’s economy is based on three main branches today: Agriculture, tourism and Information Technologies. I highlight the development of IT in Artsakh in some aspects. It is evident that the people of Artsakh have natural abilities to master sciences and especially mathematics and this has a great impact on specialization. In other words, if there is high-quality raw material, there is also a good product. And as has been the case during the past years there is a growing number of applicants in the fields of science and applied mathematics. IT companies are the best places where they can use their skills and advance professionally. Our local market is too small in terms of demand for IT services so our specialists generally are working with foreign customers. Thus, we receive money in our country from abroad which brings new jobs for us. These are the two main reasons which I prioritize IT development in Artsakh.
There is no difference where the IT specialist is based. The computer and internet are enough to work, and if you are a good specialist you can work, for example, you can be sitting in Stepanakert and work with an American and provide quality standards adopted worldwide.
SH: What prompted you to start Otecsys and are there opportunities for growth and improvement?
ND: Two years ago, the Union of Artsakh Young Businessmen began organizing programs in order to train specialists. We were one of the first who took part in those trainings, and continue to cooperate with the Union today. As a result of that program, a group of specialists came together and they currently work in Otecsys. We have training specialists who work with applicants.
I must say that for the past five years, there is fast-growing interest in IT in Artsakh, both in the spheres of youth and government. Some years ago, people didn’t even know what IT was and thought of it as of something very foreign, but today it has changed a lot. So our aim is to create a system which will give opportunities for free training and job placement in different IT companies after graduating from the university. We can fill vacancies, of course, if we have regular orders. It is our main problem now. That’s why we are searching for cooperation options that would be beneficial.
SH: What services does Otecsys offer?
ND: Our company specializes in website development and creation of economic mobile web applications. We also specialize in SEO and SEO optimization, as well as undertake various aspects for the building of robots. The latter is aimed at solving various problems in different areas of automation. We also offer long-term services for website maintenance and upkeep.
The main objective of our company is to create software systems to make people’s lives easier. Such software solutions have the most requirements in the world of business. Everyone knows that today the world has become smaller due to IT innovations and the use of tablets and mobile devices. For example, if a farm has a mobile application, it becomes more accessible to its clients. Our company’s programmers have been working on such a business platform for the last several months. It provides easier access to networks and serves clients more optimally. It will also be cheaper.
Unlike already existing mobile applications, our platform gives the user the opportunity to see the changes made in Android and IOS systems immediately.
SH: IT companies derive their revenues from clients. It no secret that Artsakh’s market is very small in this field. How are you going address this issue? Do you have agreements in place with other companies?
ND: Yes, you are right, the local market is small. Because of that we are thinking of bringing more orders from abroad. At this time we have agreements with two companies and are working to fulfill their orders. We are going to create a stable network of representatives in different countries and acquire orders with their support. I think we must broaden our scope a little.
Otecsys offers mutually beneficial cooperation to our compatriots living in different countries of the world—Diaspora-Armenian organizations and businessmen.
By cooperating with us and finding offers for us, our compatriots have the opportunity to generate revenue and get 20 percent of the sum from the project which they found for us. Thus, in different parts of the world we can have our representatives who will earn money by offering our services and finding orders for us. Armenian Diaspora structures can play a great role here. If an entity promotes our company and through that promotion we sign on clients, that entity will receive a 20 percent finder’s’ fee. I think this can be beneficial for both sides. First our compatriots in the Diaspora will be investing in Artsakh by providing jobs for the youth, while also becoming a source of revenue for them. So my appeal is to use our company’s services.
This is very important to consider since as a rule, when we speak about Artsakh-Diaspora cooperation, we associate it with getting financial support from Diaspora for specific projects in Armenia and Artsakh. I would like to clarify that we are not asking for donations–we don’t want to start a business with that capital. We are offering you products and services. We are ready to cooperate with you. It’s a matter of principle for us.
SH: Artsakh has entered the IT sector fairly recently, while the rest of the world has been ahead in this field. Are you concerned?
ND: Otecsys is a new startup company, it’s true, but I am sure that any big company started the same way–a small staff, little opportunities, but great vision and aspirations. To tell you the truth, we are not going to compete with industry leaders. We have our own ideas, our own solutions and offer products in the market (in this field) which will make the people`s lives easier and help save time, which, as we know, is the most expensive commodity in the world.
SH: So, you are essentially telling our compatriots in the Diaspora to order services and products from you instead of relying on mainstream or local companies. Can you ensure that the quality of the service will be on par?
ND: Yes. I definitely can guarantee that our software solutions are competitive in terms of quality. We have a sufficiently specialized and creative team, which is ready to ensure compliance with international quality standards. The company’s staff works not only with local customers, but also with companies from abroad. I would say we work more with foreign companies. We have had some successful projects. For example, we developed plug-ins and themes for WordPress which are sold in different international markets. People buy and use them and are quite satisfied with them.
SH: Any business’ first concern is profit. But a smart businessperson is constantly seeking new opportunities and invests in specialized services and new innovation and experience. What are your thoughts?
ND: It’s obvious that we are looking to make a profit. But the most important thing isn’t earning money. It is to try to add something new, to develop and grow. At present, our task is to train highly qualified professionals,–a team that will work under the standard conditions unique to this field, earn a decent salary and have the opportunity to improve the experience and innovate. And this is the area where innovation is limitless and there is always something to new to learn. If we get stable orders we’ll use 20 percent of that revenue on specialization. At the moment we have 70 applicants to train.
SH: So, your model of cooperation will, in the end, contribute to the development of IT industry in Artsakh and create new jobs.
ND: Yes. In general, the IT industry is the most promising in the world and everybody understands that in Artsakh. Interest in this industry is growing day by day. Therefore, young people need to be interested in it. We must create desirable conditions in order for the youth not to emigrate. Today, human and professional potential are the most valuable for Artsakh. So, we must use everything to bring this potential for the benefit of our country.