With its sandy coastline along the Black Sea and the magnificent Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe. After its separation from the Soviet Union and turning independent in 1991, the country quickly rose above the initial hiccups and is one of the fast-growing economies of Eastern Europe today. But behind those gorgeous cathedrals and breathtaking scenery, Ukraine hides something exceptional…
… its ‘tech talent’ and the world is just finding that out.
What makes Ukraine a hotbed of tech talent in Europe?
With a high literacy rate of 99.8%, top standard of higher education, and the inbuilt ‘’engineering DNA in their blood’’ as they say, Ukraine churns out 20,000 techies every year. No wonder that more than 100 of Fortune 500 listed companies reached out to the Ukrainian IT firms with their projects. With a massive IT talent pool of more than 200,000 and over 1600 IT service providers, Ukraine’s IT sector is growing at 26% annually.
Science, engineering, and research have always been Ukraine’s strong forte, with solid technical knowledge and long engineering traditions. Innovative models and patenting have always been a substantial part of Ukraine’s technological advancement, helped greatly by simpler patenting laws and regulations. This has started attracting the big boys of the tech industry like Boeing, Microsoft, IBM, eBay, Oracle, Samsung, to name a few, to open their R&D offices in Ukraine, attracting significant foreign direct investment(FDI) in the tech sector.
One of the significant factors for any growing ecosystem is the support from their government and favorable economic policies. And Ukraine had done exactly that.
The ambitious project called ‘’Innovation District IT Park’’, a massive state-of-the-art, modern infrastructure complex, is underway in Lviv, with proximity to the railway station, airport, and city center. The IT park aims to become the center for the development of Lviv IT industry, complete with more than 10,000 workspaces, innovative computer labs, automated support systems, cutting-edge technology, high-speed fiber-optic communication channels, and a school to promote technical knowledge and programs.
And all this is already bearing fruit. Ukraine’s IT exports have grown in leaps and bounds and has reached 16% of total service exports for 2019. Ukrainian IT industry shows great potential to top the list in the coming years.
Research firms like Gartner and Forrester have consistently ranked Ukraine as one of the top places to set up offshore development centers, a clear appreciation for the quality of service that Ukrainian developers deliver.
The geographic advantage…
What gives Ukraine a unique advantage over others is its geographical proximity to major European cities and business hubs. A short two-hour flight will get you to many capitals in Western Europe and London. The similarity in time zone enables ease of scheduling meetings. The visa-free entry provided to EU and US citizens, with the recent addition of visa-free travel for Ukrainians, to other European countries, has made it super easy for business travel. The cultural proximity to the rest of Europe also makes the integration of the remote teams amazingly easy.
What has changed due to COVID-19?
With the COVID-19 scenario looming extensive, onsite visits and business travel have been put on hold. ‘’Remote working’’ or ‘’working from anywhere’’ being the norm currently, more and more organizations are beginning to set up virtual teams and leveraging possibilities for remote development. The benefits are two-fold: it fills the void for tech talent in the local markets, at an attractive cost, too. Ukraine has also significantly benefited by catering to this specific need of European companies, starved of local talent and fumbling to keep their development timelines from lagging, despite the cost-cutting measures.
The bouquet of benefits also include :
– Favorable taxation for including VAT exemption for software supplies
– Strong IP and Data protection in tune with the Data Protection Directives in EU
– Specialty in AI, SaaS-Platform, VR/AR, e-commerce, finance, and data analytics solutions.
How to leverage Ukraine’s talent to your benefit?
Ok! Now, how do I take advantage of the talent pool and reap benefits ? Of course, not all companies can compete with the tech giants flaunting deep pockets to set up their own dedicated development center. That is when they take companies like SKIY31 into confidence. Located in Germany, with a German management team, SKIY31 helps organizations set up their remote IT team in Ukraine to support their software development needs.
Especially active in the German startup ecosystem, SKIY31 handholds many startups at early stages, beefs up the quality and cost benefits, provides out-staffing services and remote team building capabilities. One key aspect of building remote teams is not only their skill but also the cultural and communication fit. SKIY31 has a specialized process that ensures that the remote team fits your company’s cultural needs very well.
As times change, people change. Perceptions change. Technologies change. Business models change. Change is inevitable. And those who embrace it grow successful.