03 May 2022

Relocation is one of the most discussed topics nowadays. Business people believe that it is a good way to save assets and restart business activities. The Ukrainian government runs a program of support for relocation.

MIM. Economic Front gave the floor to Denys Shemiakin, director of the Reform Support Team at the Ministry of Economy and Vitalii Bulda, General manager of Robert Bosch Ltd., Vice President of Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH in the Baltic states and CIS (except for Russia) discussed relocation issues and real-life experiences.

Denys Shemiakin said:

The government is focused on moving businesses from Luhansk, Donetsk, and partially Kharkiv regions because of warfare proximity. So far we received more than a thousand applications and relocated four hundred companies. Small and micro businesses are the majority of the applicants. Big businesses are also relocating but they need more time and resources. We do not discriminate against our applicants on size. Any operating business that creates jobs is worth saving.

Ukrposhta and Ukrzaliznytsya support the program. The government reimburses the cost of railway freight if the owners apply before or during relocation.

- I do ask each and every business in Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka, in any place close to the front line to leave immediately. Please move and re-start in the safe places. Sometimes multi-ton machinery is easier to move than people.

Relocaters’ temporary base is in Dnipro’s warehouse. When the equipment is there owners can decide where to go.

- Manufacturers usually have many employees. They need places to live. Local authorities are helping. They are even competing for manufacturers. To keep the new businesses there, they cooperate with the Ministry and help solve administrative issues.

Bosch in Ukraine was among the first to relocate. On the sixth day of the war, they restarted operations in Western Ukraine. Vitalii Bulda shares his experience:

- On February 26, I shut the Bosch servers down because of the imminent danger of unauthorized intrusion. It is easy to shut a server down but difficult to switch it on. Although our team is virtual we had to re-launch our business processes and persuade the headquarters to let us start the servers. 91% of our people took the company’s laptops with them. We needed to decide on the location for IT, accounting and logistics people because they are critical for our operations.

In his review of those days’ activities, he stresses that he made a mistake. He started to search for warehouses instead of accommodations for people that are away from infrastructure and military sites. Social capital acquired in many years helped to find solutions.

- Without finding accommodations you won’t able to keep the team. The team is the most important. We paid a three-month salary bonus and are paying all our employees although some are not working. Bosch assisted us in European countries. They helped us to settle our families and are still advising and assisting them. Unless people are sure that their families are safe and comfortable, they cannot perform. I am lucky to be able to let our CEO know about what’s going on directly. It saves a lot of time. Many things that required a couple of months before the war are solved in 2- 3 hours now, Vitalii shares his experience.

If you are interested in relocating your business go to this link. For more details on relocation visit this page.  

For more relocation experiences visitthe  record of the episode.