Solomon Amar: «Ukraine is a Potential Leading IT-Nation»

Solomon Amar

Destinations asked Solomon Amar, CEO of AllStars-IT Ukraine, a subsidiary of the Israeli AllStars-IT Group, about the opportunities of Ukrainian IT in the global market

How do you think Ukrainian IT business is different from Israeli?

I would firstly point that there are larger investments in Israeli IT sector, both from private funds or investors and government. There are government science departments working in R&D area with governmental financing in every government office. Apart of this, there are many possibilities to attract private investments, venture and angel investors’ capital for IT startups and innovations in Israel. Investments are the global driving force for IT industry development and they do not exist in Ukraine or exist in minor stage. It depends mainly on state authorities. Ukrainian government should promote and devote its energy and budget focusing on the subject. In case the government do this lots of private investors will follow. Usually private investors are reaching up when they see that the state is on their side.

Another point making a difference is about education. Education in Israel is highly influenced by the market itself, thus the market needs are involved in the teaching programs universities apply. This synergy leads in academy, which develops students’ thinking and not just makes some kind of robotic executors of them. In Israel we are teaching people to become developers rather than programmers if we are talking about software industry. When the graduator in Israel is reaching the market, his abilities to start working are quite immediate because he gains the real practice in university. I do not see this happening in Ukraine. I think that Ukrainian educational system is a little bit disconnected from the real IT sector needs of nowadays. If you check you will find that the teaching materials are not aligned with the modern technologies on the market, they are few steps behind. I think that the academy should engage companies like us.

What experience of Israeli IT sector development would be useful for Ukraine?

As Israel is a country which had to defend itself along the years because of enormous military conflicts lots of investments have been done in high technologies development. Ukraine is also facing military conflict now. And IT subject and technology is a main issue in a military conflicts. I think this is the experiences that Israel passed through which should be learned by Ukrainian nation first of all.

The government claims that the IT sector is one of the priorities for the development of the country economy. What should be the state policy to ensure the successful development of IT innovations and startups?

IT sector develops rapidly in Ukraine and what the government has to do to support it is to push some state regulations and to adjust them to regulations and the standards around the world. I have some global giant customers from U.S. that want us to give them services but we cannot do it because Ukraine does not have export license to the United States. I talked to several officials and tried to lobby the issue. There is an open door, there is a willingness to hear but there is still a long way to go for the result.

Apart of this the government has to do everything in order to keep the taxes of the IT sector as low as they are now, to build more Hi-Тech hubs and to promote IT-specialties among youngsters. I must say that the youngsters in Ukraine are amazing. Ukrainian IT sector has a high motivation, great opportunities and huge potential, so the future looks quite bright.

Who is a typical customer of AllStars-IT Ukraine and which projects do you choose to work with?

AllStars-IT Ukraine is an international offshore staffing company that provides software developers and engineers having a wide practical experience and top-tier academic education. Our typical customers are multinational enterprises. We are usually not working with the startups or with the companies on the initial investing stages.

How do you assess the capabilities of Ukrainian developers in the global IT labour market?

There is a huge interest to Ukrainian developers on global IT-market, but we have to continue promoting the changes in legislation and regulatory policy to help Ukrainian IT-sector totally integrate to the global market.

How do you see the Ukraine’s future in the high-tech world?

I believe Ukraine is a potential leading IT-nation and may become a startup nation, like Israel did, very soon. There is lack of entrepreneurship here. People are still afraid to start own business because of the different risks. In Israel entrepreneurs may have social support to overcome fails which are common in business. Guess it might be useful for Ukrainian entrepreneurs as well.

Was it easy to you to become the part of your team here?

When I just came here, it was not easy due to lack of trust. Trust is not easy to establish in Ukraine. But slowly-slowly my team started to understand that my experience can contribute not only to the business but to their wellbeing as well and today our relationship are the family relationship.

Do you find Ukrainians enough open-minded to foreigners?

Ukraine is amazing country with amazing people. I think Kyiv is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with unique atmosphere. And, believe me, I have what to compare it with because I’ve been all over the world. The Ukrainians are very warm and welcoming eager to learn and open for new approaches and work technics. So, yes, I find Ukrainians open-minded to foreigners and I see a true bright and promising future for the IT sector.

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