At least 12 IT companies in Belarus are in the process of full relocation, 59 – in partial. Another 112 companies are looking for the relocation opportunities. These are the preliminary results of a survey by Nikolay Murzenkov, co-founder and CEO of Iomico, dev.by reports.
After the presidential election in Belarus, protest rallies that have gathered tens of thousands of people do not subside for several weeks. Many in the IT sphere came forward in support of the peaceful protesters. In a video on the “The Russians are ok!” YouTube channel, the founders of PandaDoc, EPAM Systems and Rozum Robotics spoke about the sentiments of the HTP residents and their own plans to relocate their employees to other countries. This is what the said.
Mikita Mikado, co-founder of PandaDoc
If the regime wins, Belarus will turn into North Korea, which is located in Europe. Or it will become another subsidy center, a region for Russia. It is clear that after everything that has happened, the number of the EU and U.S. sanctions will only grow.
Belarus is already a loss-making country, which will become even more unprofitable, no one will give us loans. People will emigrate en masse. We conducted a survey of our employees, 80% are in favour of moving. I can’t imagine how anything will be possible in principle in Belarus, first of all, in IT sphere. After all, IT people are mobile.
We will definitely relocate our business. The mood at the HTP is the same. We are an average company, and huge companies think that if he [Alexander Lukashenko – BelarusFeed notes] stays, then that’s it – there is nothing else to do here.
Arkady Dobkin, founder of EPAM Systems
Of course, the company is considering various options. First, people in IT are quite mobile. These are people who, as a rule, speak good English. They are people who travel the world, communicate with the world in their daily life.
How will these people react? Perhaps this will be the largest exodus of this category of people from the country in the last 30 years, more than 20 years ago. One of the reasons for the creation of the HTP was to make sure that talents did not leave.
Many companies today are relocating their employees. We have been working in Belarus for 27 years, we have no plans to leave Belarus so far. There are certainly plans for how to transform ourselves or how we will have to transform ourselves. We’ll play it by ear.
Mikhail Chuprinsky, co-owner of Rozum Robotics
When asked whether many IT specialists will leave if Alexander Lukashenko remains in power, Mikhail answered:
Yes, absolutely, yes. Of course, those who can sell their skills will leave. Those who have some money supplies will leave. There are million of chats where people discuss which country is better, which is easier to move to. The most popular question in interviews is about your relocation, where the company can take me out.
We are working on different scenarios, starting with ordinary evacuation. That is, we pack up, turn around and walk in the woods somewhere. Now, objectively, the easiest way is to go through Smolensk region, but it is unclear how safe it is. In Ukraine, it is a little easier with security, but it is a little more difficult to go there.
What are you waiting for?
Inauguration [Alexander Lukashenko – BelarusFeed notes]. If it takes place, personally for me, it will be a point of no return and a reason to look for thoughtful and consistent places to relocate the company, employees and myself. With minimal losses, if possible.
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