"We are facing a huge brain drain and if we don't take measures now, we will not be able to bring them back".
There are problems in all spheres of post-war Armenia that require urgent solutions. But we need time and resources to produce tangible results. The role of human resources is vital but we're experiencing a brain drain at this moment.
Stepan Avagyan, the head of 'IT & Industry" sector at Genesis Armenia, talks about the ways to prevent the brain drain, about the industrial projects that are already developed and the new initiative of Genesis Armenia.
Why Genesis Armenia?
It all started with Abraham Gasparyan's invitation. We met, talked to each other, and I realized that the goals, ideas and values of Genesis Armenia coincide with my principles. Gasparyan offered me the management of a sphere very close to my heart. That is the sphere of IT and Industry. And I gladly accepted the offer․ Of course, later we made some adjustments, for example, we included the sector of telecommunication into the sphere and then, got started. This is a platform that unites the Armenians who want to see a powerful and developed Armenia. It was very important to realize that nothing would change immediately. And what captivated me is that the sectors form a coherent whole but work independently. In this way we will achieve our goals much more quickly.
Principles lie at the crux of our work, and this is the guarantee that we will definitely achieve results.
What is the state of IT and Industry in post-war Armenia? Do we have clear steps?
I can't assert that these spheres were in a perfect state before the war. Problems have always existed and they have a history of decades. The sphere of IT is in a more advantageous position, it is developing in a different way because it is independent of politics, and the changes in internal politics don't affect it.
Unfortunately, there is nothing positive to say about Industry now. We used to be one of the industrial centers of the Soviet Union but we can say that now we have no industry. But we have great potential. The thing is, this field has lagged behind the world, and we should work in that direction.
We are currently working on strategies. We do not devise strategies just to put something on paper because in this way we will not be able to use our resources rationally. We need some time to engage the experts of the sphere too. Their contribution to our work will be enormous. We will be able to develop the right strategy for the development of our country based on their advice.
We are already taking clear steps: Genesis Armenia Pan-Armenian Research Think Tank and Foundation is gathering innovative projects and programs (from economic to scientific-educational), and after reviewing them, selecting and developing the best ones, Genesis Armenia will present them to the relevant investors. And we are talking about both Armenian and foreign investors. The Foundation will become not only a bridge between the investor and the project creator, but an active participant in the whole process with its human resources and highly qualified specialists. And the cooperation implies a transparent report.
Do we have a brain drain of IT specialists at this period of time?
Yes, we are facing a serious brain drain and if we don't take measures now, we will not be able to bring them back". But we also have ways to prevent it. We should create an environment for our "brains'' so that they feel useful and in demand. We should develop all spheres but the sphere of Education must definitely become the basis. We should boost our national identity and create conditions which one won’t have the desire to leave and will do his best to maintain his national values and to promote his national interests.
The Armenia you want to live in
It depends on each of us what the country that I'll live in in a few years will be like. If not us, then who should come and build a state for us? Yes, we should sometimes take risks, we should sometimes renounce the prosperous life abroad and we should sometimes make sacrifices... I want to live in Armenia which nobody will want to leave. Having such Armenia entails many risks but the greatest risk is not taking risks. So, we should give our time, our abilities and resources to our Homeland, so that we live in a powerful and developed Armenia in a few years.