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The 4th CEO Roundtable 'International Human Capital in Uncertain Times' was held in London
The 4h International Directors’ Roundtable 'International Human Capital in Uncertain Times' organised by 3CN took place in London on 11th March 2015. The Kiev based investment group, Pro Capital, acted as one of the sponsors of this event.
The Roundtable speakers were Gill Gordon, HR Director UK, Schlumberger Limited; Nadia Vasilyeva, GM, Microsoft Ukraine; Tim Holt, Director, SCR/Alert; and Adriana Mejia Cuartas, DirectorEurope, Colombian Coffee Growers Federation. The participants considered the management of risks in international recruitment, discussed the work ethic in different countries and examined the problem of international IT outsourcing.
Nadia Vasilyeva, GD of Microsoft Ukraine in her speech emphasised that, despite current economic crisis in Ukraine, the IT industry in Ukraine remains one of the most fast-evolving sectors of the economy. She noted that many of Microsoft’s software developments were originated by Ukrainian IT specialists and she expressed a strong belief that Ukraine would become a world leader in the sphere of IT technologies.
Many participants were interested how Microsoft Ukraine manages to retain the best IT professionals and maintain positive attitude at work while the country experiences a deep economic downturn. According to Ms Vasilyeva, the main secrets of the company’s growing success are the total prohibition of any political discussion within office premises, special training for employees to help them deal with difficult life situations as well as a motivational bonus system.
Jonathan Elwes, Director of Pro Capital UK, emphasised that despite the very difficult state of its economy, Ukraine has the human skills and a remarkable commitment to build a successful future.
Mr Elwes noted that mainstream foreign investment remains all but frozen, quite simply because “war trumps business”. Eventually, however, a workable geo-political status quo should emerge. If at the same time the Ukrainian Government succeeds in demonstrating real changes towards strengthening the Rule of Law and curbing the worst excesses of the old system, not only will it galvanize the country by showing at last some positive changes, but it should ignite widespread interest of foreign investors. That interest is latent and waiting – but for ignition it needs both the emerging status quo and definitive moves by the Government.
Nevertheless, in the interim while mainstream investment is ‘on hold’, there are growing opportunities for smaller investments in the $50-500k range which offer high returns and short pay back periods. Today the IT industry in Ukraine is, in fact, among the most attractive for the ‘early stage’ foreign investors. The presence in the market of a large group of talented IT specialists with their start-ups offers great opportunities for investments ranging between US$50–500k generate profit within short payback periods.
3CN organizes such international roundtables every year. They are attended by over 50 delegates from more than 10 countries. Among the participants such companies as Ernst and Young, IBM, Barclays, PWC, KPMG, Microsoft, BAE Systems, British Institute of Export and others.