Although Silicon Valley has always been an unprecedented leader on the list of most innovative tech regions, Eastern Europe, with Belarus on the forefront, is touted to doubt this superiority in the near future.
In this feature, we’ll shed light on what makes Belarus so digitally exceptional and give four key reasons why you should probably consider this small country in the center of Europe as your next outsourcing provider or tech partner.
The Land Of Startups
Ranked 55th globally in the newest Blink’s list of startup ecosystem strength, Belarus is a great startup manufacturer, with Flo App, Teslasuit, and StringersHub being just a few examples of its high productivity. Besides, Minsk and other large Belarusian cities host a great number of startup competitions like EMERGE CHALLENGE, which also fuels the growth of the startup infrastructure in the country.
However, it’s not the number but the quality that matters. Belarusian startups frequently win grants from Starta and other renowned accelerators as well as become nominees and winners of prestigious tech awards, including CES, Future Unicorn, and Red Dot.
If that’s not enough reason to invest in Belarusian tech companies, think the following success stories. Founded a small gaming company, Wargaming has turned into an international game developer with branches all over the world. Viber, another erstwhile newcomer, is now internationally known as a popular instant messaging and VoIP app. And MSQRD, born during a series of Garage48 Hackathons in 2015, was acquired by Facebook within just four months.
There’s a slew of other Belarusian companies that started their existence as prospering startups and then went the extra mile to become mature software companies, nominees of Inc. 500, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, and more.
Friendly Legislation For Tech
Hi-Tech Parks (HTP) functioning in Minsk and Grodno constitute another reason for Belarus being the optimal IT destination. These vibrant hubs of tech activities do not only foster innovation but also represent a favorable physical and legislation infrastructure for both fast-growing startups and software companies that deliver enterprise-grade solutions.
To wit, HTP resident companies are exempt from “all corporate taxes, including VAT and profit tax, as well as customs duties”. And individual income tax for HTP employees is 9% as compared to 12% for the rest of working Belarusians.
Hi-Tech Parks also significantly contribute to the country’s tech infrastructure by providing startups with grants for free offices and financial support for kick-starting their ideas.
It’s no new that Belarus is a hub of outstanding tech talent, including experienced DevOps specialists, scrum masters, software engineers, UI/UX designers, QA experts, etc. And contracting them is a double-win deal.
First, you harness the power of experts in an array of cutting-edge industries and business domains, like healthcare, banking, artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT, digital advertising, and more.
Second, this partnership doesn’t break the proverbial bank. And here’s a case in point.
Let’s say you need to engage a scrum team for your next project. The question is whether to hire local experts (for instance, from the USA) or outsource Belarusian developers. According to Oxagile, a software provider from Belarus, the difference in the overall project cost will be huge. Namely, you’ll pay 3.5 times more if you decide to partner with local professionals — due to huge hidden costs this endeavor presupposes.
Of course, Belarus is not the only choice for IT outsourcing. Russia, Ukraine, and other East European countries offer similar developer rates but read on to find out why Belarus will probably tip the scale.
Comfortable Physical Infrastructure
Belarusian software companies have always been proudly taking their place on the list of Top 100 Best Global Outsources (IAOP). And with good reason. Apart from extensive expertise, there are also some non-technical reasons for Belarus being the go-to country for tech journeys.
It’s situated at the very kernel of Europe, and such an advantageous geographical position not only makes a trip to Belarus a couple-hour pleasure, but also helps Belarusians think and work “à la Western”, i.e. share the same cultural and business principles as customers from Western Europe, USA, and Canada.
Вesides, Belarus offers astonishingly favorable travel conditions. According to a new presidential decree issued in 2018, you can stay in Belarus without a visa up to 30 days. And a relatively close time zone with the rest of Europe (GMT+2) makes it easier for tech partners to distantly communicate.
One Final Note
Great tech talent, favorable technical and physical infrastructures, a high level of cultural compatibility, reasonable developer rates — you can expect this and even more from your Belarusian tech endeavor.
Willing to have a try at it and start getting to know some Belarusian startups as well as mature IT companies? Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the EMERGE conference that brings together forward-looking geeks and ecosystem players from the New East region. The event will take place in Minsk on 4-5 June 2019.