10:37 | 27.04.10 | Interviews | exclusive 4147

“We live to love and serve our identity”

Interview of “VivaCell-MTS” General Manager Ralph Yirikian to Mediamax and Itel.am

- The main goal of your visit to the USA was to attract the youth to visit Armenia. What do you think, have you managed to do that?

- I think we did. The sparkle in the youth’s eyes evidenced that. After each event they approached us and said: “You inspired us, awakened the faith in our homeland”. They had no idea of the condition their homeland is in. They did not know that there is a company like ours functioning in Armenia.

We took our brand beyond the borders of the homeland and took it to the Armenian world, that is to say, to places, where there are Armenians. And we presented those people with the achievements and success story of our company. We told them how a company can start from scratch and make achievements by choosing a particular culture of work. And this is because we believe that we are a part of the people and we work for the people. We simply wanted to project the image of our Nation through the eyes of our successful Company.

When we were leaving for the USA, we did not imagine the result we would get there. When we started to live there, see, understand, realize how encouraging our role was for the way our compatriots were thinking, it charged us with more positive emotions. We used this campaign to proudly  announce that we love our identity and we translate our love by serving it. We clearly told them that they cannot form an objective opinion about their homeland by listening  to what others say or by just reading  articles. They  should visit the Hayrenik, breathe its  air, taste its bread, drink its water and only then form an opinion on whether they should return to the homeland or stay there.

Our main message was that there is no “US in the Diaspora and THEM in Armenia” why is it us and them, we are ONE Nation, ONE blood runs in our veins, ONE and only ONE Nation is our land and it is the Hayrenik. Without it we will all be lost and dispersed in the vast world.  

We tried to explain that there can be no homeland without the Armenian world, and there can be no Armenian world without the homeland. We should get united around the following idea: The Hayrenik should be above everything. Our homeland is our identity, we all originate from here. This is the land of our ancestors, and there should be no personal profit here.

We told the Armenian youth that, when they visit their homeland, they should not say that they know more than the ones living here do. Living abroad, they have certain knowledge, and this is intellectual property. And their compatriots possess different knowledge. They live a different cultural life the ones living abroad are unaware of and do not have. We should think about being united and having one rich mix, and this will bring more benefit to our identity and national belonging.

I repeatedly asked the youth: “Are you Armenians?” They said, yes we are Armenians. I said, then we should not think about what the homeland can give to us, but about what each of us can do and give to the homelandland. Being Armenia’s Leading Operator, a big responsibility lies upon the shoulders of VivaCell-MTS: endorsing and supporting  the preservation of the National identity. We need to tell every Armenian in the whole world how great our Hyrenik is and how responsible we are to grow it and prosper it.

From the very first day, “VivaCell-MTS” started working basing on this idea and managed to make achievements both due to work and due to being guided by this idea, which it also uses for teaching. This is a more correct way of serving our identity, development, strengthening and well-being. The Armenian world here is of no less importance. 

If we don’t start thinking, working and getting united around the mentioned ideas now, we will lose this homeland too, and it will be too late to speak of our identity and national belonging. I advise to follow the example of “VivaCell-MTS”. Each person should help the homeland within his/her abilities, putting it above everything.

- You said that this initiative would be continued. Can we assume that the visits to Lebanon and the USA will be followed by new ones?

- We plan to visit other countries, where there are our compatriots, this autumn. We have Armenians in Europe, Northern and Southern America, in other places. We should make an in-detail selection of the place and the time to tell about our company and this should become encouragement for everyone, who wants to come here, make investments in the homeland, choose the path that “VivaCell-MTS” chose. And they will undoubtedly succeed.  

- Can those people, coming to Armenia, expect assistance from the part of “VivaCell-MTS”? You invite students of certain Armenian higher educational institutions to your company for training. Is this possible in case of students from the Diaspora?

- We created such an opportunity for Lebanon youth. This summer, students of “Haigazan” University should pass one month’s training in our company. This will allow them seeing how the company functions. We also created bridges for students of various schools to have the chance to visit Armenia in summer.

There are various laboratory assistance at USA schools, who test certain technologies. We have decided to include students, who have work experience there, in our program, but this will happen next year.

However, our goal is to awaken a healthy way of thinking. If there was no “VivaCell-MTS”, would that mean that they should not visit their homeland, should not think about it? On the contrary, one should be encouraged, should have the courage to make a decision and visit. Here I brought by own example, how my family made a decision 9 years ago and came to the homeland. 

- Is there a chance that in the course of time there will be an attempt made to elaborate a more stable mechanism? For instance, set up a Summer school for Diaspora children?

- Desires have no limits. We always try to create tools in order to serve certain goals. We should understand what results the students’ and pupils’ visits to Armenia will bring. If we see that the results are encouraging, we will be ready to expand our programs in the directions you mentioned. We do not want to take up different steps at once, since we want to be more confident, reach guaranteed results.