Many Ukrainian businesses that have reached a certain level of development sooner or later begin to think about expanding the geography of doing business, about entering foreign markets. The war in Ukraine prompted even those who had not previously looked for new platforms for scaling outside their native country. Natalya Ulyanova, business scaling expert and founder of Una//Partners, told how to prepare for entering new markets and who has a better chance of succeeding abroad.

1) What legal services are currently most in demand among businesses that are preparing to enter new markets?

Today, Ukrainian business is very much concerned about the question: What to do next? How to save and survive? How to improve your activity? And although many of the entrepreneurs I work with are absolutely confident in the victory of Ukraine and that in the near future our country will become better than Singapore, in the current conditions it is impossible to focus only on the local market. After all, it takes some time to recover. And the preservation of the current business is an important brick in rebuilding our country.

Entrepreneurs mainly consider 2 scenarios:
— some of them want to expand the geography of their business, which will allow them to have a spare market for developing their business;
– the other half is thinking about how to modernize and adapt what they are already doing to the needs of the market in a war and after it.

If we talk about those who want to scale their business and enter new markets, at the moment they are primarily interested in not suffering from a possible devaluation and in general being able to make settlements with foreign suppliers and partners. They understand that having an airbag in the form of an office or a bank account abroad is still worth it. This, among other things, will help rebuild the country.

Considering other countries as an opportunity to open a similar business that was in Ukraine, entrepreneurs are interested in all legal processes from scratch: how to register a company, how to build the correct tax burden and ownership, how to close all processes, given that you are a citizen / resident another country.

In addition, if doing business is planned with a local partner, all of the above are supplemented by the issues of building and structuring relationships with this partner, how to protect yourself, corporate governance issues, share ownership, and so on.

For a business owner, entering new markets is a serious process, so they study not only legal aspects. They consider other countries as opportunities and do a basic research of how much a product or service can be in demand in a particular country, analyze competitors and their strengths.

2) Is it advisable to look for a legal partner in the country where you plan to enter the market?
To begin with, determine whether you should even look for a partner who knows the market? Not only legal, but in general to enter into partnership with one of the local businessmen, or people who live in the country and know the specifics of the market. In my opinion, yes, it's worth it. At least because in the time that you spend on mastering the market and stuffing cones, you could already start many processes. The disadvantage of this is that you have to share the profits.

Speaking of a legal partner, the business owner also has a choice. As a rule, the majority of Ukrainian law firms and consulting companies very rarely have international expertise and specialists of the appropriate level. But they are. It is beneficial to work with such specialists – these are unique guys who can give advice on working with different countries. If a law firm does not have a specialist with the necessary expertise, he is outsourced. In this matter, you also need to know the specifics of the local market. Ukrainian specialists are client-oriented, they have spoiled the market by working very quickly and with very high quality. European specialists, on the other hand, value personal boundaries and their own time, and almost never overwork. They come from the opposite: the specialist is right, not the client, there are few good specialists and clients are hunting for them. If you managed to find a good local specialist at the best price and establish communication with him, consider yourself very lucky.

3) What legal features of the activities of companies in different countries can you highlight?

The next step in a business going abroad, after analyzing the market, is the process of organizing it. And this is where a lot of questions come in.

The first is the tax burden. Be that as it may, in Ukraine 18% is a very good tax rate among European countries, it is practically the lowest. A number of countries have below, but with their own characteristics. A lot of IT business at one time went to Estonia, where the income tax rate is 0%. A lot of countries have registered companies there and started doing business. But the Estonian model is a very high tax rate on withdrawn capital (if you make a profit and distribute dividends to shareholders). At the same time, the rule that you can not distribute capital does not work today. If this is not done for more than one or two periods, the authorities may make a conditional distribution of dividends and notify of the need to pay tax on the amount that they have determined. There are countries in which the tax rate is not 0, but lower than the Ukrainian one. For example, in Hungary, in total, all taxes amount to a little more than 10%, in Madeira, until 2027, the income tax is only 5%. In addition, in some countries there are benefits for certain businesses. For example, Cyprus is known as the most important offshore. But few people know that there is 0% for the purchase and sale of shares of corporate rights and securities, therefore, a lot of financial and holding companies are registered. There are also special regimes with 2.5% income tax for IT companies if their employees live in Cyprus.

In addition to the tax rate, there are a number of equally important points that a business owner should pay attention to when choosing a country:

– the possibility of tax incentives for your field of activity,

— localization of company partners. After all, if you are organizing a business, for example, in the field of food tech, then it is advantageous to place both the company and storage facilities in one country,

– the possibility of organizing: how much it will cost to register a company, whether it is necessary to pay the authorized capital in the company, what is the cost of an audit, whether licenses are needed to organize such a business.

In sum, this will provide an opportunity to see the full picture of the ease of doing business in a particular country and more likely to make the right decision to scale the company.

4) Which country has a more comfortable environment for doing business?

It may seem that under the conditions of the war in Ukraine, business cannot exist, because at every step the work is being tightened, opportunities are being blocked. But at the same time, I observe how many businesses are scaling up, for example, investing in real estate in the western region of Ukraine, or relocating their capacities there, thus changing and reconfiguring the business.

Today, Ukraine is heard by the whole world. And foreign partners are ready to cooperate on slightly different conditions than before. Prior to this, for example, foreign partners conducted an analysis of what they invest in the partnership. It was not always liquid, so contracts were signed very selectively. Now they are ready to go for partnerships much more, realizing that this step is a kind of social responsibility, because Ukrainian entrepreneurs cannot meet certain standards. The number of partnerships that are now beginning to be concluded is quite large.

Comparing America and Europe, I recommend starting from the business itself. Often IT or near IT businesses are registered in America. Subsequently, it is easier to enter the American market and get money from venture funds. The main thing that you as an entrepreneur should do in America is to keep accounts and not to forget about the three-tier system of taxes (taxes at the local, territorial and state levels). If you do this regularly and on time, in general, there are no difficulties.

If it is more comfortable for you to have a business in Europe, choose a location based on the ease of doing it. From the point of view of bureaucracy in European countries it is more difficult. In addition, in Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Germany, a high tax rate and a rather complicated business.
But often in these countries it is easier for companies to make larger partnerships. After all, if you do localization in a country with such a complex system, you are perceived in the market as a larger player. This is an investment in the future. For everything else, if you do not have such a need, you can easily register a Hungarian company, a company in Slovakia or a company in one of the Baltic countries. In Estonia, for example, this does not require a personal presence and a local lawyer – everything can be done online.

5) How can a business owner prepare his company to enter new markets?

I recommend doing this in several steps:

1. Select the country in which your product or service will be in demand,
2. Determine the way exactly how you will enter this market,
3. Choose a business model that will be as comfortable as possible – local, local-foreign or hybrid.

Choosing the right country is the most crucial step. It is important to consider the size of the market here. Let me tell you about the case of our team. One of our clients wanted to enter the Georgian market and supply ice cream there. Previous partners did a research for him, which showed that the country is in the top 3 for ice cream consumption.

We do our internal analysis and understand that in Georgia ice cream is indeed consumed in huge quantities, but it is consumed in a specific way. Firstly, individual packaging is often not branded, and secondly, it is mixed with local wines. This information was not included in the first market analysis. Today our client 's product is successfully presented in all tourist cities of Georgia .

6) What are the most common mistakes business owners make when entering new markets?

I can highlight a few things:

— Owners do not always analyze local business rules sufficiently, but are guided by their desires and emotions.

They don't think about protecting their business. Especially in cases of relations with local partners. Be sure to sign the shareholder agreement, indicate your functions and area of ​​responsibility, and how you will resolve disputes. This also applies to registering a trademark in a new country.

They don't weigh their decisions. I always recommend not to rush. You can voice your intention to expand the business quickly, but in other matters you should not rush.

If you take into account these mistakes, 95% of entrepreneurs enter new markets and become winners in them.

7) What unexpected challenges do business owners in other countries face or might face?

Again, most often it is taxes. In our country, everything is quite simple: income tax, VAT, personal income tax, real estate tax, land tax. In many countries there are taxes that are not in Ukraine and which you may not be aware of. It is necessary to carefully study whether it is supposed to be taxed on a certain amount of turnover, capital gains tax, European VAT. I always recommend talking about taxes not only with a local lawyer, but also with an accountant, together making a virtual model based on the results of a virtual year with potential turnover, partners, and possible taxes. It is important – everything is before the start of doing business, and not during. It is because of taxes that a business can become not so attractively profitable.

Now everyone is in a period of organic fading. And it is important not to be afraid to get out of this state. Entering new markets always means new perspectives, an opportunity to cut off the unnecessary old and acquire something healthy new for your business. And unequivocally, this is the kind of assistance to our country that you can do right now.

The material created by BBC News Ukraine

"First we have to win the war, and then we will plan," says Nikita. He is an experienced programmer who works for a successful American IT company. And he is a reserve officer. After two months in western Ukraine, Nikita decided to return to his native Kharkiv.

"When the third wave is mobilized, I have to receive a summons, so I would like to be closer so that I don't have to go that far," he explains.

"I live on the west side of Kharkiv, in the suburbs. By car about 10 minutes to the nearest metro station. So there are explosions, vibrations, but during the war I flew there a couple of times. Internet, water, electricity, gas – everything is there. And there were no interruptions in our area. So I think I will work. Of course, if the shelling does not intensify. "

For now, says Nikita, "we continue to work, as before the war."

Before the war, the Ukrainian IT industry was the fastest growing industry in the entire economy. In 2021, it received almost $ 7 billion in revenues from exports of services (compared to $ 5 billion in 2020), which "hampered" by almost 3% of GDP and brought in UAH 23 billion in direct taxes.


During the war, when industry, especially in war-torn areas, virtually stopped and the agricultural sector lost access to foreign markets due to the blockade of Black Sea ports, the IT sector could be a lifeline for the Ukrainian economy. Especially when you consider its mobility, ability to work remotely and flexibility.

To some extent, this is the case – the current performance of the IT industry is much better than in other industries. However, there are also negative signals that some business leaders say could jeopardize the survival of many companies before the war is over.

How do Ukrainian IT workers work during the war?

"We go to the pre-war rails"

"In the first days of the war, there were a few pauses with releases" because most of the team, which was in Kyiv, had to move to the West of Ukraine, to a safer place, – says Nikita.

But now most people are safe, so we are back on track before and working on it. "

He says he has heard from friends who work for other companies that in the first weeks of the war they had a drop in orders and some uncertainty from customers. But these problems, he says, are mostly in so-called "service" companies. And even there, according to him, the situation with orders is beginning to improve. At the same time, he admits that the stability of his company's work is explained by the fact that it produces its own software product and sells it outside Ukraine.

"I work for an American food company. Most of our clients are in the United States or Europe," says Nikita.

Ilya, an employee of another IT company, on the other hand, took advantage of the management's offer to move to Poland in January this year. He now lives in Gdańsk, in a new building where his company also bought small studios for employees in January.

"We and the locals call this house an aitary," says Ilya.

Elijah is not ready to talk about plans for the future, but notes that moving to Poland, and even with the preservation of work, income and place to live, has its problems – both quite expected and those that open "on move ".

So how many Ukrainian IT people kept their jobs, how many left Ukraine, how many clients and incomes did they keep, how efficiently do they work and pay taxes?

Everything works, but …

According to Konstantin Vasyuk, executive director of the IT Association of Ukraine, which includes 112 IT companies with a total of about 77,000 employees, up to 20% have reported any problems or changes in their work so far.

But it's not just denials of new contracts, it's a simple revision of the terms, he said, noting that the situation is better now than it was at the beginning of the war.

When the war started, customers were skeptical and pessimistic – they were also influenced by the information that 2-3 days, and everything will end, and not in favor of Ukraine. And here, when they saw that "delivery" works, that quality "Security has not decreased, they were very surprised at first. And then, when another month passed, they made sure that everything worked. So now those who tried to radically reconsider their business relations with Ukraine are not taking drastic steps."

The situation is not "rainbow", but if it "does not change for the worse with the availability of staff, the infrastructure will work, we can very seriously save volumes, even unexpected for some," predicts Konstantin Vasyuk.

So far, according to IT Ukraine surveys, companies have managed to maintain efficiency at 95-96% of pre-war levels.

At the same time, the "slump" in taxes, according to Konstantin Vasyuk, will be no more than 20-25% in the industry – and this is an order of magnitude less than in other – "real" – sectors of the Ukrainian economy.

"IT is the only industry that continues to work for export in almost the same volumes as before the war," – said the head of IT Ukraine and emphasizes:

"There were 7 billion dollars in exports. Now let it be 4-5 billion dollars. But it's 5 billion in the economy, it's not just donations or some Marshall plans. This family receives, say, a thousand dollars of income that will be spent in Ukraine, which And Serhiy Marchenko (Minister of Finance – Ed.) knows that these 5 billion are different from the 5 billion from the Marshall Plan. "

At the same time, the share of IT specialists who were relocated outside Ukraine does not exceed 17%.

"Large companies paid more attention to this because customers began to put pressure on them when information about a possible intrusion appeared in October. Customers demanded that companies raise crisis plans, relocate key employees, and offer companies on a voluntary basis." – explains Konstantin Vasyuk, adding that most large IT companies operating in Ukraine also have offices in Europe.

Super risky or safe zone?

The European Software Engineering Association (EASE), which includes 50 companies, has more pessimistic assessments of the situation. The president of the association Vladislav Savchenko draws attention to the dangerous trends in the industry that have emerged since the beginning of the war. For example, the number of vacancies has fallen sharply.

"If before the war the number of vacancies exceeded the number of job seekers by 2-3 times, now, for example, one service has 20,000 vacancies, and those who posted their resumes, about 45,000. That is, in fact, the work becomes less than vacancies, "This is a very bad trend when it comes to the 3-6 month perspective."

In general, according to Vladislav Savchenko, about 12% of companies have had to reduce their staff so far. These are mostly small companies. But "if this percentage reaches 25%, even large companies will start firing people," he said.

In the most difficult situation were service companies that operated exclusively on the Ukrainian market. When the Russian invasion brought the economy to a standstill, such companies lost many orders and customers.

"They have 20 to 30% of the money left, that is, customers who pay. There is a very sad situation, there are mass layoffs and companies are even closing," – says the head of EASE.

If we talk about service companies operating in foreign markets, there are "triggers" that already say that in three months the industry will be very bad, he added.

At the same time, service companies that served customers abroad and kept existing contracts faced the problem of refusing future orders.

So far, the decline in revenues for the IT industry as a whole does not exceed 15%, says the head of EASE.

Old orders survived by 80-85%. But there is a big problem with the new ones. And, if we take into account that the IT industry in Ukraine has grown on "service" (70-75% of the market, according to the association), and not on "products", then "if this situation lasts a year, the Ukrainian IT may not there is nothing left, "Vladislav Savchenko said.

"If we talk about the most capacious market – large corporate customers, then Ukraine is in a super-risk zone for them, and they cancel potential contracts coming from Ukraine. That is, if you show that the location of developers in Ukraine, they ask to show other locations in Europe." , – he explains, adding that sometimes Ukrainian specialists are even included in the same risk category of sanctions as Russians and Belarusians.

Currently, Ukrainian service companies are best able to work with foreign small and medium-sized businesses, as well as startups, because it is easier to convince them that the efficiency of Ukrainian IT companies has not suffered from the war. But for large companies, Ukraine is a continuous risk zone, with which the internal security protocols of such companies prohibit cooperation.

"If we talk about small and medium-sized customers, we can tell them that there are safe zones in Ukraine, and each company does it differently. They mark areas where there is no active hostilities, and say: these are safe zones. We are currently creating an IT cluster in the Transcarpathian region for this purpose. These are already business initiatives that understand the need to communicate with customers, "said Vladislav Savchenko, adding that it would be desirable for the same signal to come from the state.

At the same time, he admits that the government's priority now is to protect Ukraine from the Russian army and get help from partners, so talks about Ukraine having some "safe zones" are out of time.

To convince foreign clients who fear that Ukrainian IT specialists will be drafted into the army or that the Internet will disappear and lose their money in Ukraine, that their orders will be fulfilled, the association has created a special platform where it acts as a guarantor of orders. Options for risk insurance or public-private partnerships are also being considered to ensure a steady flow of new orders.

"Because you sell them safe zones, and they ask: what if there is an escalation, and if there are rockets? The danger is that this snowball of problems could cost billions. The industry has been growing for a long time, and you can lose it in a year, and it's sad, "explains Vladislav Savchenko.

At the same time, he acknowledges that there are companies in the IT industry that have not been affected by the war at all, "but these are food companies that have operated in foreign markets," he said.

"After the war, I think everything will be very good with the Ukrainian brand, but right now there are questions. And we still have to live until after the war."


What they say about working during the war in IT companies

(according to the EASE European Association of Software Engineering survey)

Vasily Ivanov, founder of KeepSolid

During the war we did not lose a single employee, more than that, we opened about 10 vacancies. Everyone works, most stayed in Ukraine. Even those who fought in the city are working. Naturally, with a break for bomb shelters.

We have not lost profits, our users are located all over the world. We launched a campaign in which 30% of the profits from the most expensive tariffs are transferred to the army. In two months we are growing by about 8%.

Maxim Prokhorov, owner and founder of PM Partners

There were 140 employees, there were 58. Turnover fell 2.5 times. The salary fund was UAH 1.8 million, now it is UAH 800,000. There was 20% of revenue from abroad, now 90%.

We make forecasts only for 2 months, we try to keep the team while we live in losses, we try not to increase them during these two months.

In the first weeks of the war, all foreign clients wanted a relocate of all teams, but I said for a long time that this was not possible. We further confirmed the whereabouts of each employee and that they are safe. We also have starlings that provide dozens of times better internet than in the EU or the US.

Despite the fact that we moved teams, efficiency fell by 30-40% due to many factors: volunteering, IT troops, deaths, and so on.

Nikita Popov, CEO and founder of PM Group

2020-2021 were our years of constant growth. As a company, we grew by 5-10% every month, and the amount of taxes grew accordingly.

We started 2022 (January, February) just as actively, recruiting another 10-12 people.

War. For the first 2-4 days we lose 3 employees (agreed that they will take a break, but in the end they never returned from the break).

Day 4-6 (first working week) – freezing or stopping payments of 70% of customers, another 30% said they would continue to work with us and pay for services.

The end of March-beginning of April is exactly a month, as the sum of receipts on our accounts is zero.

We had no income during the war from the word at all.

What happens next? The market has changed a lot, and 20-30% do not want to work with a Ukrainian IT company openly, and another 30-40% want, "but come in 2-3 months or when everything will be calm." The rest do not mind working.

World companies saw such a "drawdown" of the market and came to take it away. Recruiters have been released from the chain and they are now harassing everything and in all available ways.

The market continues to fall, and I have been saying since day one that the first three months will be the hardest and we must hold out exactly this time. So wait for the news in late April and May.

My personal forecast for the company – everything will be fine, we will definitely get out and continue to grow.

Polina Polyakova, CMO AllSTARSIT

The war did not affect the number of employees in the company. The Ukrainian team continues to work in wartime, some took the opportunity to relocate to Warsaw at our headquarters. Since the beginning of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine, 4 workers have gone to the front. In March, two workers who had planned to resign early before the war left the company.

None of the clients stopped working with AllSTARSIT during the war. Moreover, the number of clients has increased – now we have 40 cool projects. Due to the war, the company moved its headquarters from Kyiv to Warsaw.

We understand that after the removal of restrictions on crossing the border for men, some people will go abroad, and some, on the contrary, will return to their families in Ukraine and will restore the state. All this is quite difficult to predict, we calculate different options so that our employees can live and work comfortably in Ukraine (Kyiv, Lviv, remout), and can also go on vacation or relocate to other European countries, Israel, Emirates, after our victory.

Vladislav Podolyako, founder and CEO of Belkins

No client left us. We managed to save everyone, except the Russians, with whom we said goodbye for obvious reasons. Due to the fact that we did not lose our operational efficiency, we were able to maintain the growth trend. Not only did we not fall in numbers, but we also grew slightly due to cost optimization and the flow of new customers.

Our clients are confident that even in this situation, the Belkins team will know how to continue working on projects without interruption. We proved it on the first day of the war. By the end of the first week of the war, we had reached 95% of our efficiency, leaving customers in no doubt.

Of course, there was a short forced pause when we evacuated the team to the West of Ukraine, but even then our team continued to juggle dozens of its tasks, working in different conditions. Part of the team went to defend the country on the front line, some needed more time to evacuate from critical areas, but the boys and girls took on the work of their colleagues, even cross-functionally, without any questions. Thanks to this cohesion, the risks of losing customers have been reduced to zero.


What will happen after the war

The IT industry is one of the few industries that is already a reliable basis for the rear, and after the war may become one of the locomotives of the recovery of the Ukrainian economy, according to IT Ukraine.

In the decades before the war, Ukrainian IT people used to work in a very competitive market, says Konstantin Vasyuk:

"When you're in a market where everyone's pushing so hard all the time, you're hardening. So we're hardening."

"In the last 5 years, Ukraine has become a real IT hub where you can do complex projects," explains Vladislav Savchenko.

When everything was born, we competed with India, he says. But since it is impossible for Ukrainians to compete with tens of millions of Indians "in human potential", Ukrainians gradually began to take on the complexity of projects and tasks that can be solved.

"We have a historically strong engineering school, a strong mathematical school, so everyone wants to hire Ukrainian IT specialists, everyone knows their quality," he said.

This is both an advantage and a danger, because, for example, if you look at ads on European sites that offer jobs to Ukrainians during the war, the lion's share falls on vacancies related to the IT industry.

Due to the ban on travel abroad for men of military age – namely the vast majority of employees of Ukrainian IT companies – so far there is no significant "brain drain". But what will happen when the bans are lifted and the borders are opened?

Fears that then Ukrainian IT people may go abroad are well-founded, says Vladislav Savchenko. But he notes that currently the income of programmers in Ukraine is higher than in Spain and approximately equal to Poland, but the level of taxation is very different.


If in Ukraine it is 5% when registering as a sole proprietor and 7% for residents of Action City, in Poland you have to pay more than 20% income tax. And this has already been faced by some companies that have relocated their employees to Poland, because within six months of staying in the country they have to switch to paying taxes under local laws.

"America can easily compete with us – the United States, Canada, and Britain. The Germans are also competitive in terms of wages, but they probably won't be in line to hire Ukrainians, because hiring an employee is very difficult to fire." Therefore, Ukrainian IT will be able to withstand this blow, "said the head of the European Association of Software Engineering" EASE.

"So far, our polls do not show that everyone is trying to get up and leave," said Kostiantyn Vasyuk, executive director of IT Ukraine.

He reminds that during the years of the coveted pandemic, almost everyone in the IT business has refocused on remote work.

Therefore, according to him, "today we are talking not so much about physical relocation to the country, but about trying to get some better security, social, infrastructural opportunities than a person has here." And today these conditions "in Ukraine for many people have objectively deteriorated due to the war."

"I believe that it is a normal human right to look at opportunities for the family, for children, for their career growth," says Konstantin Vasyuk, and explains the logic of the actions of most IT people:

When he conditionally creates this exel-plate, there will be many criteria. For example, there is security, but there is not enough infrastructure, then there will be one option, – he lists various opportunities. ok, well, unless the military registration and enlistment office is a little worried, if the war is over and there is no security, or there is a threat of renewed conflict, or there will be some repression or strange bills about 10 years in prison for not returning. to select a different location on this plate ".

Therefore, today, according to Konstantin Vasyuk, it is difficult to predict whether there will be a brain drain or not. It will depend on how long the war lasts, what the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine will be like and the situation in European countries.

If you count everything, says the head of the IT Association, Ukraine is "one of the best locations where you can work, realize. But the war has made its adjustments."

Russia's war against Ukraine has not escaped any industry. The Ukrainian IT sector, no matter how powerful, has also suffered: project closures, cancellations or no orders, loss of customers and funding. However, those who are still afloat are trying hard to keep working, look for foreign clients and help Ukraine's economy grow. Vladislav Savchenko , President of the European Association of Software Engineering EASE, told Mind what difficulties IT companies are facing now, how companies can survive in wartime, which will help keep the team and how to restore work processes.

The situation in the IT industry now

Now the IT industry, like other areas, has suffered losses. The victims were mainly sectors that operated only in Ukraine – providing services to Ukrainian companies or whose products were sent to the Ukrainian market. The war especially affected small and medium-sized businesses.

Outsourcing, outstaffing, and products in the global market have suffered less. The latter raise issues only with new orders. Now there are instructions to European and American companies not to sign new contracts with representatives of the Ukrainian IT sector, not to hire developers from Ukraine. And we receive a lot of emails from foreign partners about the fear of giving Ukraine new contracts, because this is a high risk area.

From the business point of view, I understand them, but as a Ukrainian I would like to see more loyalty. Representatives of these companies fear that their projects will be threatened and will not be completed.

Ongoing contracts are ongoing, but new ones are not being signed. If this trend continues, the industry will suffer greatly. And it is important to talk about it now.

Reaction of foreign partners and customers to the war

In general, Ukrainian IT turned out to be very stress-resistant. If you have worked with the Western market before, you have a good reputation and you know how to communicate with partners and explain that the war does not affect your efficiency at work, then you have no problems. If so.

Foreign partners fear an unstable geopolitical situation. According to them, it has a large-scale impact on efficiency, but, fortunately, this is not the case. Ukrainian companies are trying to protect their employees as much as possible, organize a relocation, provide an opportunity to be in a stable relationship.

Under such a schedule, even a war that affects all areas without exaggeration does not prevent IT companies from continuing to provide quality services. The main thing, as I said, is constant communication with foreign clients.

How the war in the country affected the number of vacancies, salaries, competition for personnel

Ukrainian IT is quite dependent on the world market. And in the latter, the demand for IT professionals is not decreasing, but only increasing. 500,000 to 800,000 vacancies that are not closed in the United States are distributed around the world, most of which go to Ukraine.

After the war, of course, we will be able to recover fairly quickly. But now the question is, will Ukrainian IT remain? We are now receiving many requests for invitations from Ukrainian specialists. Foreign companies are actively recruiting Ukrainian companies. It may happen that in half a year 80% of the market will be international companies and only 20% – Ukrainian.

The number of vacancies has decreased, and those wishing to fill them have increased many times over. But there are technologies that have even risen in price, because there are very few relevant specialists. The war has changed the IT market and now there are cases where some companies have entire teams left without projects. And such a story is deadly, because companies can not pay for such benches. Orders have shrunk, projects are either on pause or closed.

At the same time, Ukraine is now in the forefront of all media. Our country is now being learned from various quarters, not just the military. They talk and write about companies that work in one way or another during the war.

Many people are amazed at how stable Ukraine is and offer us their help. Moreover, they try to help us even during the negotiation process with foreign customers. When asked what to help us with, we offer to take our teams to work.

Lack of projects and change of work during the war

In addition to the obvious problems, such as the lack of new orders and the loss of old ones, there are pros – more and more requests for entire teams, sometimes up to 15 people. After all, many people are now giving up subcontracting in Belarus and are looking for replacements in Ukraine. This is what stabilizes the situation on the Ukrainian IT market a bit.

For those who have lost their jobs or are ready to offer them to Ukrainian specialists, the European Software Engineering Association has launched a platform to search for EASE Work.

EASE has many international partners, and Ukraine has a free IT resource that needs stable work instead of donations. This is the main message of our platform. We carefully check every resume that comes to our service, and therefore we guarantee the specialists and the quality of their work. In general, for those who really want to work and benefit from their work – the door to search is always open.

Prospects for professionals who remain within the country

Ukraine's strong IT sector is now at a crossroads: Ukrainian customers are shutting down projects because they have nothing to pay for, and foreigners are afraid to hire Ukrainian teams because of the unstable geopolitical situation.

If there is nothing we can do in the situation with the Ukrainian market, we understand what economic losses the war will lead to, then we need to communicate with Western customers.

Our association now consists of 50 international IT companies, most of which are from Ukraine. Due to lack of funding, several resident companies closed. At EASE, we were actively looking for work formats that would be relevant now: finding housing, relocating assistance in Ukraine and abroad, financial transactions and currency exchange, psychological assistance to teams, exchange of resources and vacancies within the community, attracting new customers. We constantly communicated with our partners, and they supported our aspirations, were not afraid, but on the contrary, took the Ukrainian side. And now we continue to work.

Changing the scope of activities and whether to go into IT

Now is the best time to change your field of activity and profession. There is not as much work as it turned out, even in Europe. If we talk about the IT profession, then the demand is high. Now professionals who do not have much practical experience have a chance to get a good job regardless of location – Ukraine, Poland, Portugal or another country.

So now you can study, today a large number of courses of Ukrainian origin, some of them with free access.

There are also a large number of initiatives from companies that support the desire to learn new professions. IT is not just about programming, it is also about project management, testing and design. Even watching videos on YouTube allows you to understand what you like and in what direction to deepen your knowledge to get a new profession.

IT business recommendations for stable operation

  • Optimize costs. This applies to costs in terms of both marketing and project effectiveness.
  • Use different methods to find and attract customers, pause or reduce the number of all internal and investment projects. It is important to earn and maintain a financial cushion. It is not known how long the war will last.
  • Increase the number of meetings with the team. They are your second family, for whom it is also important to receive support, feel valued and have information about change. Communicate, share thoughts and ideas and stay positive.
  • Stay in touch. This applies to both customers and vendors. They need to understand that the projects are being implemented and everything is going according to plan.

Meet Ukraine’s first new car subscription service. Drivovo’s subscription is a new way to use cars instead of ownership. We leave all the advantages of owning, remove the disadvantages and add WOW service:
• Hour test drive in the style of FUNK,
• Subscription in 30 minutes,
• Drivovo Pride is a community of like-minded people who enjoy Drivovo’s SMART service without restrictions!

The subscription includes all expenses except fuel:
• Registration and taxes,
• Insurance – corporate «umbrella» from any events,
• Winter Rubber Set/ Storage/ Tire Fitting,
• Planned TO and driver TO
• Free replacement car during warranty repair or accident.

Drivovo customers have only three obligations:
• Have fun with car and service every day.
• You should pay your subscription once a month.
• Recommend our service to friends and get bonuses for it.

What’s not in Drivovo?
• Indifference
• Bureaucracies
• Finmonitoring
• Fines
• Hidden commissions

Drive IT easy!



UNIT.City and the Ukrainian Startup Fund announce the open call for startups to participate in the competition and have the opportunity to present themselves and the Ukrainian startup ecosystem at one of the biggest technology events in Europe – Viva Technology in Paris.

More than 500 speakers, over 25,000 attendees, and more than 500 innovative projects from 149 countries. Speakers include Wikipedia CEO Jimmy Wales, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, BlaBlaCar CEO Frederic Mazzella, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy CEO Bernard Arnault, and other well-known individuals and brands.

For more information on the event itself, please, visit.

Winners of the competition will be able to participate in Viva Technology in Paris on June 15-18, 2022, free of charge.


►The startup must position itself as Ukrainian (the website and all publicly available resources such as Crunchbase should mention this;

► The startup must declare that it is ready to continue working on the startup after the martial law period is over or if the team is already actively working on it;

► The startup must have an MVP or at least a working prototype.

► The startup must have an English-speaking leader (or an English-speaking representative).


  • A free stand and tickets to the event;
  • An advertising campaign to promote the winners of the competition who take part in the Viva Technology exhibition;
  • Support from partners and promotion of the startup;

You can also support the Ukrainian startup ecosystem and Ukrainian startups here:

For more information, send your questions to [email protected].
Apply now and get the chance to go to Paris and present your product in the international arena.
The language for the application, presentation is English.

To participate in the competition, you have to submit your application by April 22, 2022.


Our residents have opened registration for Binary Studio Academy 2022!

Learning is always about development and opportunity. If you feel safe and have the strength to discover something new – sign up for a free online course with JS, .Net, Mobile or QA! Together we will replenish the ranks of the cyber-troop and raise the Ukrainian economy!

What is waiting for you?

In June-July, you will master modern frameworks and tools, get all the necessary theoretical base and fix it with homework.

In August, together with the team, you will develop a web or mobile application for your portfolio, which you are not ashamed to show to your friends or future employer. And the Binary Studio Academy team will provide conditions as close as possible to commercial development. Roadmaps, daily meetings, code-reviews and SCRUM methodology will become an integral part of the learning process!

In September, the best students will have a chance to join Binary Studio.

The team will help you upgrade to the level of a confident Junior developer during the summer of 2022 and get a job in IT. Let’s invest in the future of Ukraine together!

Register now, access prep materials and get ready for the most action-packed summer ever!

Glory to Ukraine!

The article was being prepared before Russia started a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. The service of Phonet discussed herein is relevant for the companies that continue to work or plan to restore their activities in the near future, as well as for volunteer organizations to which this service will be  provided by us free of charge.

A lot of the companies have long been contacting their customers, partners and clients using the phone. And today in times of war not only business needs to stay in touch. Logisticians, volunteers, drivers, psychological support lines and public organizations also need a well-established mobile call processing system.

Hryhorii Osadchyi, co-founder & CEO of PHONET, LLC, is here to tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of IP-telephony, its operation and options to choose.

1) Which companies need IP-telephony?

IP-telephony is needed for those companies that communicate by phone with customers, suppliers or partners.

For example, among the clients of Phonet there are companies of various sizes and business areas, starting from the  enterprises with one employee to the projects with hundreds of operators.

Today, IP-telephony is a must for every company that wants to have an efficient and competitive sales department.

The most popular IP-telephony is with e-commerce, of course, for example, telephony for online stores. And even if the sale is carried out entirely on the site, you still have to contact the client by phone to:

  • confirm order details and make some changes to the order;
  • Cross-sell — upselling goods of related categories;
  • accept complaints, returns, etc.

Also without telephony it is impossible to achieve rapid communication with suppliers, contractors and employees.
2) Why has IP telephony become so popular? What are its advantages?

Among the key advantages of IP-telephony, I can highlight:

  • Lots of useful features: telephone conversations recording , integration of the telephony  with the CRM systems, detailed statistics and analytics, voice menu and others.
  • Continued relevance: IP-telephony is the transfer of calls under the control of the program, which makes it possible to constantly add to it new functions and capabilities necessary for the business..

3) How to choose and to organize IP-telephony in the company? 

The easiest way is following the recommendation. If your immediate environment does not have experience in a successful telephony organization, you should consider the largest market players, talk to their managers and make a decision based on professional advice.

Be sure to pay attention to the following issues:

  • Whether it is possible to connect numbers of the operators you need (mobile and landline numbers).
  • Availability of the integration with the CRM-system, whether the integration is included in the recommended tariff package? Often after connecting telephony it becomes necessary to pay separately for integration and configuration.
  • Whether it is possible to customize fields in the contact card.
  • Changing call scenarios, access rights in your personal account, and not only through technical support.
  • Is it possible to make calls from a mobile phone with its fixation in the CRM system?
  • Is it possible to use your mobile phones to receive and make calls with their fixation in the telephony (and CRM) of the company?

Telephony setup is best left to professionals. Attempts  to install it by yourself often incur significantly higher costs than using ready-made solutions.

4) How to make and receive calls using IP-telephony?

To make and receive calls using IP-telephony you can use:

  • SIP-softphone (IP-phone) is a special telephone set that is connected directly by cable to the Internet through a router or switch. It already has “built-in” echo and noise cancellation, special audio codecs to improve sound, and you can always hear an incoming call. It is not tied to the operation of the main device, as, for example, a softphone depends on the performance of the computer.
  • Softphone – a computer program installed on a computer, or a program in the form of an application on a smartphone.
  • Regular phone connected to the Internet through a special adapter VoIP-gateway (IP-gateway).
  • Mobile phone. An important and trendy opportunity of IP-telephony is to work using FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) mobile phones. It should be noted here that in this case IP telephony as such works “behind the screen”, since the company employee and the client can use mobile phones with a regular GSM connection, and via the Internet the call goes from the mobile operator to the virtual PBX and back. At the same time, the advantages remain: fixing all calls in the general call log, transferring them to the CRM, call analytics, etc.

5) Are there any disadvantages of IP-telephony?

As a rule, all the disadvantages  of IP-telephony are related to the operation of the Internet through which calls are transmitted to it , and respectively they are associated with ensuring the stability of its work.

  • Unstable internet connection. Short-term interruptions of the Internet connection look like loss of syllables and words during the telephone conversation.
  • Old and weak “home” router. Good routers have a prioritization of the voice data stream. Weak routers may not be able to handle the fast, timely transmission of the large amount of data passing through them. For example, when an office of 10 people works on a home router.
  • Overloaded Internet channels. When using one common Internet for telephony and other tasks, when the Internet speed is low, and the Internet is used to watch high-resolution videos, download large files, etc.
  • Cheap headset up to $35 with no echo and noise cancellation.
  • Weak overloaded computer with many programs running at the same time, with hundreds of tabs open  in the browser, and/or with lots of viruses, may affect the work of the Soft Phone.

6) What features of IP-telephony make it so useful for business? 

Apart from the fact that thanks to IP-telephony you can set up a workplace in a matter of minutes in any place where there is Internet (including work from home), the most demanded feature for businesses is the ability to record company calls to work on improving sales and service levels.

Audio recording of calls

It is convenient for monitoring and understanding of the real communication of managers with clients, as well as of compliance with scripts.

When recording calls, there is always the opportunity to figure out contentious situations when it is not clear which side is right. Audio recording makes it possible to recover information. Also a manager working with the client, or another employee who has picked up further work with the client is able to listen to the call recording. In addition, audio recording is effective for studying as  you can listen to your own conversations, analyze mistakes or, on the contrary, successful conversations with clients.

Integration of the telephony with the CRM-system of the company

Another popular feature is the integration of the telephony with the CRM-system of the company. With an incoming call, you can immediately see in the CRM-system the main information about the client in the pop-up client card. Leads, deals, orders are automatically created when clients call, so that it is impossible to forget about them. It also enables you to direct an incoming call directly to the responsible manager specified  in the client card, to listen to the history of the telephone conversations with the client, as well as to make a call by clicking the contact in the CRM-system without dialing the number.

Besides, various CRM-systems  provide additional features for telephony integration, such as providing information concerning the advertisement the client clicked on,  making end-to-end analytics, and other features that help to attract more customers and work with them, increasing company sales.

Statistics, analytics and convenient call search

Virtual PBX  provides an opportunity to see the company call log,  calls that are active right now, missed calls that have not been called back from any place where there is Internet access. In addition, it is convenient to find and filter calls in the log according to various criteria.

These features greatly improve work efficiency.

It is important for every company to see statistics and analytics. IP-telephony keeps records  of all calls and displays all indicators in the form of convenient reports ensuring the possibility  to compare and predict the work of employees and departments.

IVR Voice Menu

Among the popular features, the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Voice Menu should be noted:

  • When calling the company, the customer will hear an automatic, professionally recorded greeting with the name of the company. This will create a positive impression of the company even before talking to the manager;
  • Voice menu working 24/7 and providing answers to the most frequent questions of the customers;
  • With the help of IVR you can immediately distribute customers to the departments or specific employees they need.

The Callback order on the site

An opportunity that really affects sales, customer loyalty and site conversion is an instant call automatically generated by the  telephony to a client who has previously ordered a call on the site (CallCatcher).

Reasons why customers prefer ordering a callback on the site to a call to a number:

  • it is obvious that the call ordered on the site will be free;
  • people prefer to get calls and not to make calls;
  • it’s faster than wandering through the voice menu and talking to the call distributor;
  • it’s a kind of gambling whether the manager will be able to call you during the waiting time of the countdown of the built-in stopwatch.

All of the above is not a complete list of features. If you are not using IP-telephony in your business yet or you are not using all of its features, be sure to fix it. Your investment in IP-telephony will pay off quickly, as in most cases the cost for the companies with 10 employees does not exceed the cost of one cup of coffee per day.

The company not only operates under martial law, but also launched a new service – Support for Diia City – a line of work related to transaction support for companies included in a special legal regime.

Gig contracts are a new form of relationship between legal entities and IT specialists. Businesses that become resident of Diia City have to deal with their peculiarities. In difficult conditions, there is little time left for this. Therefore, the demand for services for servicing activities has increased, which is not related to the main one.

Support for IT aims to free companies from all non-essential business operations. Thanks to this, the business gets the opportunity to concentrate on creating a product without wasting time studying the peculiarities of the legislation, which confirms the relevance of the agency’s services.

Marina Chikalovets, Head of outsourcing service for IT Smart Solutions: “We have been developing the Support for IT business for over four years. Despite wartime, we continue to help our clients run their business. In order to be able to serve the residents of Diia City, our entire department has received individual training from the Ministry of Digital Transformation. We figured out the specifics of supporting gig contractors, paying salaries, establishing and running a business in the new conditions. Now the agency is ready to accompany and support all companies included in Diia City, to assume obligations for the specialized management of gig performers, payroll, support for sole proprietors, and preparation of personnel documentation.

We would like to remind you that the company has extensive experience in supporting personnel and payroll for more than 12 years, and supporting sole proprietors for more than 5 years.
Smart Solutions keeps working so you can do business with peace of mind. Let’s restore the economy of Ukraine together!

Emerging Europe Launch Initiative to Support Ukraine’s Technological Potential

Ukraine’s technology sector has set many new records in 2021. The IT industry grew by 36 percent compared to the same period last year. Among the 100 IAOP 2022 Global Outsourcing 100 are nine IT companies headquartered in Ukraine and many others with delivery centers in the country.

As Tech Emerging Europe Advocates (TEEA) Ambassador to Ukraine and Tech Ukraine Director General Natalia Veremeeva told Euronews: “The technical community, as an active part of society consisting of thousands of educated people with a global perspective, is one of the pillars of Ukraine’s resistance.”

Emerging Europe aims to keep the achievements and potential of the Ukrainian technological ecosystem in the spotlight of international investors, opinion leaders and influencers, the media and buyers of technical services. Our partners want to show why Ukraine is a true digital nation, supporting its technological ecosystem while staying afloat.

The Support Digital Ukraine project has 3 key objectives:

⁃ Strengthen the image of Ukraine as a country with great technical capabilities, offering quality services and consistently fulfilling its obligations to customers even in times of war.
⁃ Restore the trust of international IT customers, investors and influencers through a communication program.
⁃ Implement a media relations program to build a coalition between the technology media and the IT community by providing content that highlights the sustainability of the technology industry in Ukraine.

More about the initiative on the partners’ website.