Sergey Tokarev: The Ukrainian IT and its challenges

At the moment while there is a war in Ukraine, the country’s economy is suffering. Yet, according to Roosh Founding Partner Sergey Tokarev, once the war is over and Ukraine wins, there might be thousands of smart and talented specialists coming back to their homeland. And that is especially relevant for the IT industry.

However, one should not forget that there will be challenges as well, reminds Sergey Tokarev. For example, it might be hard to attract investments as foreign investors would prefer their key project team to be in a 100% safe place. There are many risks associated with the war that affects the team, its possibility to work, and its productivity. And unless the risks are significantly reduced, investors will remain quite cautious.

So, if there are so many unknown factors, how it is possible to predict the future of Ukrainian IT? It is indeed quite difficult, yet Sergey Tokarev admits there are some tendencies that one can observe already now.

There are lots of people who have already got back to Ukraine, even though the war is not over yet. Especially there were many who came back to Kyiv during the past summer as at that time the risks of being attacked there looked minimal. According to Sergey Tokarev, people keep coming back to the country even now, but there might be significantly more when the war is over. Tokarev believes that among those who will come back then, there will be also emigrants who left Ukraine in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since February 2022, these people are highly involved in helping Ukraine, both sending charity and assisting physically. And these people might want to rebuild Ukraine’s economy when there is an opportunity for this.

At the same time, it is highly likely that not only Ukrainians will want to come to Ukraine but foreigners as well. According to Sergey Tokarev, it will be the right moment to implement all the experience that foreign professionals can offer Ukraine.  

On the contrary, there is also a risk that Ukrainian IT specialists will rush abroad once the ban for men to cross the country’s border is lifted. Now, many IT companies that used to locate in Ukraine, have opened their offices in other countries. It is logical that once it becomes possible, the companies will want all their core teams to be together in a new safer place.

Another tendency that one can observe already now is that many key players in the global IT market would want to contribute to restoring Ukraine. This of course will have a very positive impact on the country’s tech industry. This contribution may also include joining the global tech labor market on the outsourcing level. Large IT companies tend to opt for outsourcing rather than hiring staff in the office, and Ukrainian specialists are known as highly professional and quite affordable for the market, which means they can find their place in this niche.

The war will also inevitably influence on developing the military tech and Artificial Intelligence industries. And since the state is already showing its huge interest in these areas, this cooperation will only strengthen in the future. 

Sergey Tokarev stresses that both Ukraine and the whole world now require highly qualified product managers and engineers. That means that if one is considering fitting into the future IT market, one should consider these specialties.  

Richard Maxwell

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