21 March 2022

When the war started MIM-Kyiv established the communication platform to facilitate assistance to each other. MIM-Kyiv Economic Front is anti-crisis advice series offered by our alumni based on their experiences of keeping the jobs, supporting their teams, and thus keeping their business and national economy afloat. 

Nadia Omelchenko, VP of the IT.Integrator, MIM-Kyiv alum, and professor, and Mykola Skavronsky, commercial director of the Synevo medical laboratories chain, MIM-Kyiv MBA, and guest speaker were the first speakers of the series. Vadym Saveliev, MIM-Kyiv professor of marketing and business development director for the DC Link Group moderated the discussion and shared his experiences.

Here are the highlights of the discussion.

Mykola Skavronsky:

Unlike many other businesses, Synevo was in a better position because we have always had a healthy cash flow and accounts receivable. When the war started we had some reserves and started using them although in a very thrifty way. Our payroll is our priority. According to our calculations, we could support 3000 our employees for three months.  

I don’t think any business can afford to support full teams if the war is for a half-year or a year. Those employees who are temporarily displaced will need to find jobs. Our parent company assists with employment in those countries where they are present. Our employees are telling us that Ukrainian Synevo is more advanced than in other countries. It means that they are more competitive in the labor market. On the other hand, we run the risk of an HR deficit after the war. Enhancing our people's loyalty and “booking” their employability after the war is one of the reasons for helping them. 

Nadia Omelchenko: 

We are a Ukrainian company working mostly for Ukrainian clients. In December we did the backup of all our business processes, document flow, corporate network, etc. That’s why we could re-start quickly. However, support to our people is a challenge. We are paying salaries; we have already paid the taxes. Our economy and our sector is transforming and so are we. We are doing whatever we can to build on our network of suppliers and international partners. We are assisting our clients in bringing everything they need to keep their business going. We must run our businesses to show our people that the companies are alive and kicking. 

We have also become flexible in our scheduling. Some units are working 24/7 others are following less strict mode. We decided that we must pay certain minimal salaries to all units. However, we will pay full salaries to certain groups of employees, such as those who enlisted. Moreover, we are assisting them with appropriate equipping. 

I do not think we need to build the same systems we used to have before the war. We need to find new channels, maybe new products, ways to keep the teams while they are fleeing the war. Our people and their families safety is our top priority. We also need to store resources for rebuilding Ukraine after the war. That’s why we need to find out how to keep our business going. 

Unfortunately, not all IT companies, especially the small ones could continue operations. We are contacting our colleagues to restore and update the information about logistic hubs to be able to help each other. It is time to join efforts, to cooperate, and help each other to survive.