Теги: exports
Building trust is the most important thing in cooperation with Canadian partners

Vitalina Darnopykh, Director, Lviv branch of Taurus Quadra, spoke about the major challenges for the Ukrainian IT-businesses in the Canadian market

The Canadian market is rather conservative, until recently, not so many companies have been seeking partners for outsourcing services. However, the situation is changing now. Canadian businesses develop rapidly and the need for qualified professionals and quality services is growing faster than the domestic market potential. Therefore, a growing number of companies are now ready to strengthen their business by engaging an outside pool of talented and experienced people through outsourcing. Canada and Ukraine have good relations in the political sphere, besides Canada has a large Ukrainian diaspora. This may play into the hands of Ukrainian hi-tech industry opening good opportunities for it.

Meanwhile, operating in the Canadian market also holds a number of challenges.

Ukrainian companies often have to overcome a stereotypical view of Ukraine as a third world country. Businesses have to prove that, despite the corruption of the government machine, they can become reliable partners.

Also, we have to prove that tomorrow we will not disappear as a company due to a hostile business environment, including external aggression, legislative novelties or changing political course.

Building trust is the most important thing in cooperation with Canadian partners. And this cannot be accomplished at one meeting. The main thing is to identify your role and place in the Canadian market and understand the needs and expectations of Canadian companies. It is also of utmost importance to rationally evaluate your own capabilities and offer potential partners what is important to them and what they need.

Don’t be afraid to offer your services if you are confident in their quality and market demand for them. It would be helpful to demonstrate that your company not only wants to take something from the Canadian market, but is ready to strengthen the Canadian partner with its own experience and professional level of its specialists, and contribute to developing customer portfolio.

Experience in the US market would also be a significant advantage. At the same time, you shouldn’t forget that the Canadian market is not the American market. If your product has been designed for the American market, it will not necessarily be in demand in the more conservative Canadian market.

This year, our company, Taurus Quadra, has become a member of the ICT mission to Canada organized by the CUTIS project. We received invaluable support and a wealth of new information: from specific tips on developing a marketing strategy and articulating your competitive advantages to actual advice on how to behave and communicate with potential partners.

During the mission, we learnt that much more attention needs to be paid to the formal signs of success, i.e. certifying experts, describing and publishing completed projects, etc.

We need to build a system of relationships with partners, who will be able to trust us because we gained other people’s trust.

Huge assistance on the part of consultants was the arrangement of B2B meetings with companies that could potentially become our partners in Canada. It would be extremely difficult to do it on our own, without a project supported by the Government of Canada.

It is important that we’ve acquired a set of new tools for carrying out market research, developing an export plan, and searching for potential customers and a target segment. Consultants’ tips for providing content for our corporate website and formulating key messages targeted at potential customers were particularly useful.

Such a systematic approach helped us focus on the most important issues and develop a future action plan within a short span of time.

Canada is shaping up to become the “Silicon Valley North” – Ukrainian IT-company MindK

12 leading Ukrainian IT companies visited Canada as a part of the ICT business mission organized by the CUTIS project. The five-day event includes a series of B2B meetings with Canadian business, seminars and panel discussions.

Oleg Nesterov, founder and CEO of Ukrainian IT company MindK, and Sergiy Kyrylyuk, head of business development and sales MindK, explained the specifics of the Canadian IT market and shared impressions from the ICT mission to Toronto

For five days we immersed ourselves in the country’s booming tech sector. After attending a number of B2B meetings, workshops, and panel discussions, we traveled deep into Canada’s industrial heartland. In Hamilton, we’ve met representatives from local authorities, research organizations, and businesses, to discuss Canada’s innovation sector.

With a decline in oil prices, the country is rapidly transitioning to an innovation-driven economy.

Canada has the highest number of AI researchers per capita and the third largest AI talent pool in the world. Supported by government initiatives, incubators and advanced R&D centres, the ICT sector produces a great number of innovative startups. Shopify, HootSuite, and Kik Messenger are just a few examples of successful tech companies born in Canada.

Low bureaucracy along with favorable economic conditions and tax policies drive massive investments into the country’s innovation sector.

Multiple US companies including IBM, Amazon, AMD, DELL, CityBank, and OpenText are moving into Canada. In 2016, Google opened a new headquarters in Kitchener, Waterloo. Two years later, Microsoft intends to build a new headquarters in downtown Toronto and invest $570+ million over the next three years.

Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is shaping up to become the “Silicon Valley North” along with other tech hubs that sprout around major cities. Since 2016, the region’s tech sector grows faster than that of New York City and San Francisco combined. In two years, Toronto is predicted to overtake Silicon Valley as the place with the highest number of tech jobs in North America.

This rapid expansion of the ICT sector and a radical business digitalization has increased the need for highly skilled tech workers.

According to a recent report by Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Canada will need to fill 216,000 new positions in the tech sector by 2021.

Even as the government welcomes talented immigrants, some experts fear that Canada will only be able to satisfy 30% of its need for tech personnel.

This shortage is made worse by the continuing brain drain to the USA. Each year, hundreds of talented graduates leave Canada to seek fame in Silicon Valley. Another problem comes from the aging workforce with only 4.4% represented by people between 15-24 years old vs 12.7% for the pre-retirement group (55-65 y.o.).

One of the ways Canadian business can deal with this shortage is by looking for skilled tech professionals in other countries, e.g. Ukraine.

Global Sourcing Association (GSA) named Ukraine the “Offshoring Destination of the Year” in 2017. With more than 38 thousand people graduating annually from Ukrainian tech universities, the country is expected to have 200,000+ ICT workers by next year.

Relatively cheap labour is often cited as the top reason for working with Ukrainian companies. After all, a software developer in Ukraine earns about $20,000-30,000 per year vs. $77,600 in Canada.

Yet, Ukraine’s biggest advantage is expertise and the sheer number of skilled tech personnel.

2018 Global Innovation Index ranks Ukraine as the world’s 27th country by knowledge and technology outputs. It also holds 8th position in SkillValue developer ranking.

Angel.co lists over 1900 Ukrainian tech startups with an average value of $2.5 million. Numerous world-famous companies like Grammarly, People.ai, CleanMyMac, GitLab, DepositPhotos, Petcube, and Looksery (acquired by Snapchat for $150 million) originate from Ukraine.

The country houses 110+ R&D offices of large tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Samsung Electronics, Boeing, Skype, Siemens, Magento, and Ring (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion).

Despite Ukraine being relatively unknown in Canada as an outsourcing destination, projects like CUTIS can move mountains and create thousands of win-win relationships.