Newly appointed Head of Regional Office of Microsoft in CIS Ronald Binkofski paid a familiarization visit to Yerevan.

He worked as Director-General of Microsoft Romania for 2,5 years before holding the same position at Microsoft Poland in 2013-2017. Ronald Binkofski is specialized in business management, sales and marketing. talked to Ronald Binkofski.

-Is this your first visit to Armenia? In which extent are you informed about IT developments in Armenia?

-Frankly speaking, I know only some basic points. First, Armenia has a vividly developed IT community with prevailing “thirst” for innovation. A high number of Armenians live outside of the country, which contributes to the effective exchange of knowledge and experience.

A number of great initiatives are implemented in Armenia. I can estimate them from the point of Microsoft, which is aimed at giving technology to a community of young people ready to set up new companies. Government introduced a good model, which motivates young companies to go ahead.

Microsoft Armenia is currently focused on supporting the development of IT ecosystem. We support companies, which develop user-friendly solutions with Microsoft technologies.

-A lot of Armenian programmers dream of working for Microsoft. What tips would you give them?

- I think the best way to get involved is communicating with us. First of all, they need to be aware of our technologies, show interest in our company. We usually run some internship programs, looking for young graduates, talented people.

I also recommend starting out with our partners, and then sooner or later an opportunity may appear.

Young specialists of modern world should take into consideration 2 most important circumstances. You need to be very educated, as technology is already a part of our lives. Secondly, you should be open to the world and different cultures.  I think young people should leapfrog some steps in their development, still trying to learn from others and build their own brand without being afraid.
Modern world gives you a lot of opportunities to go far faster and broader in the world.

- You set up your own startup years ago, consulting other entrepreneurs at the same time. What would be your advice for the Armenian startups?

-First of all, never try to invent everything yourself, you just need to watch what has already been done and adopt it to your demands for further development.  Of course, you have got to bring your innovation, but there is no reason to invent the wheel from scratch.

Go quickly to customers and fail, as this will help you enhance your technology faster. Again watch what others do, take their ideas and make them better. There is no need to try to be the most innovative person.

Try to check out your ideas in the local market. A relevant economic environment is necessary for creating strong startup ecosystem, which will allow startups to test and implement their ideas. Thus, the development of the startup ecosystem has to go hand in hand with the economic growth of the country.

My discussions with the government representatives have already shown that it is a very important part of their agenda. So I am happy that Microsoft can contribute to that.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Ronald Binkofski