17:59 | 12.05.22 | Interviews | exclusive 55145

Vadim Kozyrkov: We want make Armenia home for Grid Dynamics

Grid Dynamics opens a new engineering office in Yerevan - over a hundred engineers are being onboarded.

Itel.am spoke with Senior Vice President of Engineering in Grid Dynamics Vadim Kozyrkov about the company's plans and vision in Armenia.

Vadim Kozyrkov joined Grid Dynamics in 2014. He has over 20 years of technology and program management expertise. His experience spans a wide range of projects - from custom-built applications to large ERP implementations for automotive and aerospace customers in the USA and South Africa.

Grid Dynamics (Nasdaq: GDYN) is a digital-native technology services provider that accelerates growth and bolsters competitive advantage for Fortune 1000 companies. It provides digital transformation consulting and implementation services in omnichannel customer experience, big data analytics, search, artificial intelligence, cloud migration, and application modernization. Founded in 2006, the company is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices across the US, Mexico, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Central and Eastern Europe.

When and how did you first become acquainted with the tech ecosystem in Armenia? Why Armenia?  

At the end of the year 2021 we started penetration into Armenia. We are constantly expanding and working in new markets to acquire the best talents.

We don’t go to countries that have cheap labor, we go to countries that have good labor. In Armenia even though it is a small country you have dozens of good universities. I think even the number of universities like 25-27 is very large for a country that has a population of 2,5 million. if you have that many good universities you have to have good specialists.

You have a very alife and extensive sort of technology life: meetups, conferences, webinars happening. You are very active in this area and I believe your government pays right attention to the technology industry to develop.

photo © Grid Dynamics

It is not just coming here because of war. We noticed Armenia before it started. We decided to come and invest in Armenia before that. Tragedy happens, but we came here already in January, met people, made plans, found office space, and registered in Armenia.

What trends do you see here?

As a rather small country, I don’t think you will bet on heavy industry, you will bet on intellectuals, something that will rely less on physical capital, more on a human capital. The combination of a good history and strong Armenian diaspora in all over the world, universities, conferences, and a lot of IT. Also what is interesting for us is that you are equally fine with both Russian and English. In our company we have quite a lot of East European engineers and that means Russian is a language that a lot of guys use, but we are an American company, so English is our first language of communication. You have friendly people, you have a good climate, easy communication, you can fly to Russia, to Europe, to everywhere.

What plans does Grid Dynamics have in Armenia? Tell us about your vision in this country.

Armenia is an interesting place, we really want to come and invest and make it home for us. We have presentations in many countries from the United States to India, Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, all over the world. We want to show the market what advantages Grid Dynamics has, we are not just staffing agency.

photo © Grid Dynamics

Our business model is actually to find a team to work with clients, deliver the projects. I’m in charge of delivery, so I want to talk about deliveries. We have excellent sales, CTO office, and we have strong R&D. It means we actually want to bring here our processes, to hire not only engineers, but also management. We'll train tech managers the way we operate, so they can run projects for our top clients, such as Apple, Google, Nike and all these clients will be presented here. So there will be teams working for them.    

Representatives of IT companies admit that the most important problem of the industry is the lack of qualified personnel. Can Grid Dynamics participate in solving this problem?

Yes it is hard. We will have internship programs, we will work with the universities and bring their students here and train them, give them specialization training. We have a six months program where we select young, ambitious people and work with them. We will send them to the production team so they can start to work with our real clients. By graduating they will have theoretical and practical experience. And they basically will be ready to become part of a team. We are very successful doing this globally and we will succeed here also by investing in the future.

photo © Grid Dynamics

Also will accept just a person, an engineer that has an engineering background and wants to join us. In Poland we have a person, who worked for NASA, he did something that still flies in International Station, but he decided to go to IT and came to us, went through a program and now he is our engineer and he is actually a very good engineer.

How many people from your team came here?

I can’t tell the exact number, but more than a hundred and I will be very surprised if we will not have a few hundred people in the next few months.

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

First they have to be good at what they do, but the second part is culture. We are looking for the people that want to come and make a career. There are two types of people. Some can go from one employee to another getting 200 dollars more.

photo © Grid Dynamics

And there are people that want to make a career, they want to really become a part of the team. We want those people that will stay for years. Also very important are bright eyes, that the person wants to change something.

Your advice to beginners, young guys to succeed?

I am an old person. My advice will be as a grandfather. They should not think overnight, they should build their plans 5 years ahead. A lot of them jump from one place to another, because somebody will give them 200 dollars more. It is a mistake, they need to become a professional before they can afford to jump. They need to get experience and understanding what really is to be in the profession. Select a company where they can do a career.

Nune Grogoryan talked to Vadim Kozyrkov