Russian Tech Industry Faces ‘Brain Drain’ as Workers Flee

“We don’t have sufficient high quality residences for extremely educated folks with excessive salaries and excessive requirements,” stated Aram Shahbandarian, a former Google worker primarily based in Yerevan who helps many Russians transfer to the town. “Yerevan is cracking.”

Vahan Kerobyan, Armenia’s economic system minister, stated in an interview that as a rustic with a strategic relationship with Russia, it was not advertising itself as attempting to tug firms out of Russia, however that if firms determined to maneuver, it could work to accommodate them.

“The Armenian tech neighborhood is offering assist to their Russian mates, and the federal government may be very a lot anxious about giving Russian firms a pleasant place that’s not too costly the place they’ll work,” he stated. Mr. Kerobyan estimated that 43,000 folks had moved from Russia to Armenia, half of whom maintain Russian passports and half Armenian passports.

Miro, a U.S. software program firm, chartered flights to Yerevan for its Russian workers and moved them into two lodges within the coronary heart of the town, Mr. Kerobyan stated. X-tensive, a software program growth firm in Russia, has additionally moved its workers to the Armenian metropolis as a result of its major shopper, ServiceTitan, has an workplace there, he stated.

Miro has stated publicly that it was shifting its employees out of Russia. X-tensive didn’t reply to a request for remark.

A lot of these employees might ultimately transfer on to different locations as a result of visa restrictions require them to depart their present residence after a sure variety of days. Many are uncertain the place they may go. Others are planning strikes to up-and-coming tech hubs farther away, akin to Dubai and Lisbon.

Artem Taganov, founder and chief government of a Russian start-up referred to as HintEd, stated he knew about 70 founders of Russian firms who, like him, had fled to Armenia. If entrepreneurs keep in Russia, he stated, their firms can serve solely the native market.

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