For two years now we have had our team in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The country, making not the most positive headlines in the press, is known in the Western world more for its political instability than for its start-up scene. Many still have an outdated image of Ukraine as a poor corrupt country. But did you know that there is another side? Ukraine — a 40 million population country with a dynamic, adaptable, flexible, and multi-skilled labor market and a large share of IT professionals. A promising market with very short time to hire, easy-to-find talents, newest skills, and ever-growing potential. How did it come about that we have opened our third location in Kyiv and are also building it intensively? The answer lies in the macroeconomic data that we analyzed for a client project.
Imagine your company wants to expand, so you open a new office/plant/shared service center / whatever in, let’s say, Portugal. How did your company come to this decision? Surprisingly, we found out that often such global strategic decisions do not have a data-based or even strategically well-thought-out argumentation. Instead, they are often left to such factors as a) we know that many other competitors go there and set up their offices b) the people seem to be hard-working there and have few public holidays c) the managing director was there on vacation and he liked it.
These decisions can be costly and counterproductive, if not fatal since they have lost sight of important factors in the early beginning. For example, it is often not taken into account that the city is already overcrowded with other competitors, or there is not enough labor force with the required skills, or that employers in this country usually offer fat bonuses in addition to salary, or that the city has no good infrastructure, which makes access to the potential labor force more difficult. This list can (and should) be quite long. Depending on the country in focus, the size of a new location, the skills the new employees should bring with them and the business area, companies should ask themselves various questions in advance. The best and only answer is the data.