17:50 | 24.03.23 | Articles | exclusive 15415

Tania Sahakian: I am bridging the gap between Armenia and the outside world

Bridge IT helps companies to expand into or within Armenia, it supports business from A to Z. Bridge IT incorporates financial, legal, operational services as well as recruiting, PR and team management.

Tania Sahakian is the founder and advisor of Bridge IT. She acted as the Regional Director of one of INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies - DISQO - leading the Yerevan office foundation, talent and brand growth, and operations including financial, legal, logistics and government relations.

iTel.am spoke with her about Bridge IT’s idea, first steps and its development perspective.

The idea of Bridge IT and the first steps

Building, scaling companies & communities to create impact is my passion. Growing up all over the world has given me the blessing to be a bridge between cultures, societies and people. I have moved through various industries in my professional life in both public and private sectors and my one constant has been community building, connecting people and resources to make big things happen.

Since I moved to Armenia in 2011, my role has been bridging the gap between Armenia and the outside world. While I was at TUMO I received constant requests to connect people and businesses with talent in Armenia. The secret was out that you can find quality engineering and design talent in Armenia. I had become a de facto recruiter. Then as we launched and grew the DISQO offices in Armenia were we building our main products here, the requests grew to not just talent but building companies in Armenia.

Armenia as a silicon mountain was starting to have more of a brand awareness. The war and conflict did not deter this. First, Armenians in the diaspora understood that the tech industry was something you could invest in and get a return on your investment. Then, international companies noticed. Ultimately, companies are looking for talent and they will go where the talent is. And our talent proved that living in a conflict area does not interrupt the quality production coming out of Armenia. Israel has done this for years and become the country with the highest number of tech companies in the world living in a conflict zone.

As I was receiving more and more requests to consult companies expanding into Armenia, and vice versa, Armenian companies expanding into the Northern American market, it was a natural move to launch a consulting firm to help make the process smooth for this transition.

Problems faced by international companies wishing to expand in Armenia

International companies are looking for opportunities to expand their teams with highly qualified professionals. Those companies that consider Armenia as a direction of expansion also lack knowledge, experience and connections. We help companies launch and expand in Armenia and Armenian companies expand to the USA, Canada.

60% of companies that failed when moving to Armenia, failed because they didn't treat Armenia with the same business standard and practices that are locally accepted. The main gaps are:

•    not having an established local network,
•    understanding of the local culture,
•    underestimated effectiveness of brand visibility & PR,
•    lack of cross-functional management,
•    underestimated recruitment costs,
•    lack of an experienced team to guide them.

So we basically cover the gaps by developing and executing strategies and help businesses focus on their long term goals.

The feature of Bridge IT and functions the company perform

Our advantage is in-depth knowledge of the business environment in Armenia, the USA and Canada, extensive experience and connections that make the expansion process smooth and fast. We connect international companies to Armenia  and Armenian companies with the US and Canadian market for now, acting as a bridge to solve seemingly difficult problems quickly and smoothly.

The team

For now, the team is new, and soon we will start to fill it with specialists from Armenia, the US and Canada. Now we collaborate in a project format with the best professionals who have years of experience in business development, legal affairs, financial management, marketing, PR, logistics and human talent management.

Bridge IT’s upcoming projects and development perspective

We already have clients were serving both in Armenia and the US. The next steps are to make sure we establish ourselves, deliver and keep our reputation to attract more companies through our work. Long term we need to be part of the branding story of ‘Come work from Armenia’ and ‘Invest in Armenian companies’.

Nune Grigoryan talked to Tania Sahakian