14:47 | 21.01.20 | Interviews | exclusive 316263

Optym CEO: Armenia is a special place for us

On January 17 Vic Keller, Optym CEO, visionary leader, public speaker and investor delivered a speech on the topic of “Live and Lead with Intention: Designing Sustained Success in Business” for the Armenian audience in the framework of his visit to Armenia.

Vic Keller, who has more than two decades of experience in establishing, leading, and growing successful companies, shared his unique experience in building successful companies from the ground and making them attractive for investors and customers. His speech also included information on Optym’s experience in the field and Optym Armenia’s future plans.

The current portfolio of the Optym CEO is comprised of 11 companies ranging from biotech to industrial manufacturing.

Itel.am presents the interview with Optym CEO Vic Keller and Optym Armenia Executive Director Arthur Ghulyan.

Optym specializes in intelligent solutions that help companies to reduce their operational costs, increase profitability and improve service quality. The company already has 4 global offices, one of them in Armenia, which was opened 12 years ago. What was the reason for selecting Armenia as the place for the new office?

Arthur: The office here started as an Armenian company cooperating with our headquarters. It provided outsource work, but as our business grew and the goal changed from having an outsource center to developing staff and bringing our experience to Armenia, the Armenian company became a branch of Optym.

Vic Keller, Arthur Ghulyan and Narine Daneghyan Vic Keller, Arthur Ghulyan and Narine Daneghyan

Could you share with us your thoughts and vision on Optym’s presence in Armenia?

Vic: The company was founded in the U.S. In the beginning, the reason why we expanded our business specifically into India and Armenia was because we wanted to take advantage of the technical ability which existed in each respective country and community. Our growth in Australia was more based on having clients there.

We see ourselves as a global business. Our intentions for Armenia specifically are to expand our activities and generate new business from Armenia into the European countries and beyond.

In the nearest future, the Armenian office will not just serve as a development resource for us but also will become a very important part of our company and help us expand to other areas of the world. We have extraordinary leadership and team in Armenia, which is doing high-quality work every day.

Armenia is not exactly in the center of Europe, but we are fortunate to have business here and it’s a special place for us, with amazing high-tech community. Over the last few days I had the privilege of meeting several tech community players here and it’s obvious that there is more in Armenia than just what we saw.

Arthur: Optym Armenia now operates as a development and research center. We want to expand in several areas. First, we want to create a business center in Armenia, which can attract clients in European and Eurasian markets. We are well-positioned and we have good connections in both regions. That is why Armenia can work productively with these markets.

We have ongoing projects with airline companies, mining and transportation enterprises. The services we provide them are very important, because many large companies need similar solutions.

Mr. Keller, apart from meeting Armenian tech ecosystem players, you also delivered a talk on “Designing Sustained Success in Business” during your visit. Tell us more about it.

Vic: I am getting to know Armenia and Armenia is getting to know me as well. During the talk I introduced my previous business experience and I think my intentions were to give everyone a little bit of perspective on my background.

There are very intelligent people in Armenia and I hope that I will find some great new friends and colleagues, which will help us leverage not only Optym’s experience but also my experience to be able to grow and expand our business.

What qualifications and values are mandatory for the specialists who want to work for Optym?

Arthur: For us, the perfect candidate has two key qualifications. First, it’s the personal qualities. In the modern world the strong people are the ones who can communicate, analyze and understand issues together with the team. It is important to have the ability to be integrated with the team. Second, the perfect candidate has good technical knowledge and the ability to comprehend the business side of the task which they are trying to fulfill.

As for enlarging the team, we don’t want to just have a resource center. We want to focus on developing our experts’ skills and knowledge so that they rise up to the international level.

Mr. Keller, you have founded more than 10 companies so far. Can you share with us your experience in building a company from scratch and making it a successful global business?

Vic: My success was largely and exclusively because I have learnt from mentors and people helped me. My businesses were completely dependent on brilliant people working in those companies. My passion is really in people. From my very first business I hired a lot of friends, who were very brave to follow me and we were successful.

My advice to anyone who is starting a business is that they need to think about the “art of the possible” and collecting a great team. As you are building a business and a team, concentrate on making sure you have the right people in the right seats. Focusing on great people who are talented, capable and have the energy and passion can be crucial.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Vic Keller and Arthur Ghulyan