IT outsourcing to Belarus
Sorry for being another genius to paraphrase immortal Shakespeare’s words and use them in my low mercenary aims, but I couldn’t stand a temptation to put it here. In the end, “himself” is the only person the famous English poet is to blame for his greatness. What is more, Belarus is really an essence of being for me: here I was born, here I married, and here the major operations office of our company is located.
In this post full of badly hidden self-promotion, but sincere and with maximum possible level of objectivity, I’ll try to slightly unveil Belarus for you. Especially for those of you, who’s looking at Eastern Europe as a destination of outsourcing the next project to.
The biggest problem about Belarus is its image. Or, to be more precise, its absence. You know, judging by my own experience of contacting to people from different parts of the globe, I’d classify the majority of humankind the following way:
– Those, who know nothing about Belarus. The best, what we can expect –“somewhere in Russia, ha?”-kind of suppositions.
– Those who know about Lukashenko as the “last dictator of Europe”
– Those who heard about Belarus and Minsk, its capital, in the way I knew all African states at school – to pickup girls on geography classes.
Absence of brand does influence our competitiveness. Imagine, you need to spend rather a sum of your household’s money to buy a car, and you have a choice between Nissan, BMW and Belgee. What will you choose? The one, you’ve heard about most, Nissan or BMW. That doesn’t mean that Belgee is bad, you’ve just got too little info about it. The same for Belarus, surrounded by Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries which you’ve certainly know more about. Try to learn a bit more about it, and the choice might become not so obvious.
So, what is Belarus?
Belarus is one of the countries which is sure to have the very centre of Europe, now in the city of Polotsk. According to the recent census, our population is about 9.5 mln. citizens with around 1.9 mln. living in the capital named Minsk. We’re a developing economy, presidential republic and multicultural and multinational society.
But what is good about this country?
Besides the facts as fantastic untouched nature, kind and hospitable people and other things you could read in a guide, I’d mention the following:
- It is a post-soviet country.
Which, besides the other factors, involves the fact that once Belarus was a “production workshop of the USSR” meaning that every second father or mother in 60’s-90’s country was an engineer or close to it. I’ve got one in my family, in fact.
That means that tech professions are in the blood of Belarusians and our Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics (BSUIR) is the most prestigious high school establishment in the country. And most of Belarusian programmers graduate from it. Most of our company’s developers were successful students in it and, what is more, our CEO left some of his years there too.
Proof, that my compatriots can deliver quality? Look at EPAM systems, with $1,2 bln capitalization in 2013, gained on outsourcing. Or Wargaming.net, who drive more than 1mln. people crazy, returning them to the childhood games with tanks and planes. Or Stone Labs. Nice guys, really.
Of course our London-is-the-capital-of-Great-Britain school English lessons leave some space for self-perfection, but here it seems obvious: want to achieve something in life – learn how to express it in as much languages as possible. And they will tell you, at least in English.
I’d not say, that Belarusian developers are cheap. Not at all, especially taking Belarusian average wages. They do ask enough to feel comfortable in life. What’s good about it is that they need less here. Doesn’t quality suffer? Look at Viber, a mixture of Israeli capital and Belarusian brains that already makes Skype quiver nervously.
Imagine every single BSUIR alumnus employing into an IT company or starting it. The competition is among the toughest in the region, and they’d do anything to get the client satisfied and have him back. Right now, if you read these lines, I’m being hated by hundreds of my colleagues who I’ve managed to nick your attention from.
The purpose of this post?
Looking at the political map of the world and thinking about the faith of another project to outsource or just a place to spend some time on, no matter for what, pay some attention to an irregularly shaped maple leaf above Ukraine and a bit below the Baltic sea. You’ll certainly find some interest in it. Hope I’ve managed to achieve it.