After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the tech sector is one of the few that continues to operate during the war. Ukrainians developed various wartime apps and software, helping the country resist Russian aggression in the digital space and bringing Ukraine closer to victory. Moreover, IT services volume grew by 13% – to almost USD 5.5 billion – during the nine months of 2022, according to the National Bank of Ukraine. The Tech industry paid 48 billion in taxes in Ukrainian currency.
Despite the challenges, the Ukrainian tech sector is showing the world a very different Ukraine than it might have been used to while looking at us through developing innovative and fresh products.
In October, a new challenge arose – to keep working and delivering remarkable projects during power outages. This article showcases how Ukrainian tech adjusts to a new reality – highlighting the experience of Kindgeek, a Lviv-based product development company.
Ukrainian tech industry overview
IT is Ukraine’s third-largest export industry, with more than 200k specialists covering 4% of GDP. In 2021, the country’s tech industry grew by 36%, bringing $6.8 billion in export earnings.
The beginning of 2022 became one of the most successful periods in the history of Ukraine’s IT. At that point, every fifth of Fortune 500 companies worked with Ukrainian IT professionals. Many Ukrainian companies were featured in global rankings of the world's largest tech services providers.
As the invasion broke out, it was crystal clear that the IT industry would defend the country on the economic front.
The tech sector accounts for almost half of Ukraine’s total exports and is one of the few export fields showing growth and positive dynamics.
Here are just some astounding stats to consider:
Despite the war and relocation, Ukrainian tech generated a whopping $2 billion in the first quarter of 2022, according to the National Bank of Ukraine. Given the circumstances, that’s a remarkable increase of 28% compared to the equivalent period in 2021, with $1.44 billion in earnings.
Companies have successfully adjusted to the new reality: 85% managed to entirely or almost entirely get back to pre-war levels, 63% noted a positive financial result, and 13% — an increase in income in the range of 25–50%.
As a result, Ukrainian tech companies retained 95% of contract volumes, and 77% gained new customers during the war.
What is more – Ukraine’s tech stays active on the global stage and spreads its voice to the international community.
Recently, over 2000 Ukrainians participated in the global Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Ukraine was a trending topic during the event at all levels and days. The First Lady of Ukraine stunned the audience with her speech on the main stage at the Opening Night ceremony.
Other than that, Web Summit showcased the National Pavilion “Ukrainian Tech Ecosystem – The Capital Of Freedom,” a discussion with the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Government of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov. Over 70 Ukrainian startups and companies showed up as participants. The conference held dozens of panels, sessions, and discussions on Ukraine’s tech resilience.
“Unlike the aggressor, Ukraine wants to use all possible technologies to save people. Therefore the state is strengthening cyber security, ensuring the stability of all digital systems of both the public and private sectors,” emphasized the First Lady at the Opening Night.
Other than Web Summit, Ukrainian representatives speak up at other tech events around the globe. KindGeek spreads the word in Great Britain. Partaking in the fifth annual FinTech North Manchester Conference is another valuable experience for KindGeek and an opportunity to dive into the world of Fintech together with like-minded people.
9 months into the invasion, 100% of Kindgeek employees have returned to their regular workflow. Some continue working from the Lviv office, some work remotely from other cities in Ukraine, and some – from abroad. With only two things – a laptop and a decent Internet connection – Ukrainian tech specialists continue efficiently developing innovative tech solutions for international customers.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kindgeek offered a hybrid work model and launched a new format of offices – hubs that combine elements of a home, coffee shop, and classic office. Since the power outages began, the Lviv hub became popular among employees – it is almost full daily. Some employees bring their pets to the office to light up the atmosphere.
To support the country on the energy front, Kindgeek optimized electricity use and turned off non-essential electrical devices in the workspace. Despite that, the office remains a place for comfortable and uninterrupted work even during power outages because it is equipped with everything employees need. The company is also planning to open a few different working locations in the city very soon.
Kindgeek installed a generator for backup power and several uninterruptible Internet access points. For specialists who cannot work from the office, the company offers compensation for renting a co-working space and arranging a workplace, including purchasing power banks, batteries, and other equipment to ensure energy autonomy.
Most Kindgeek employees are located in the west of Ukraine, particularly in Lviv. Earlier the third city in terms of technology, Lviv has now become Ukraine’s central tech hub and main relocation point for many companies.
Residents of Lviv and the region have access to online service with a schedule of power outages, allowing them to plan working hours and adjust and reassemble workflows. The schedule has also become more flexible.
We all have our own fronts, and we diligently do our part and keep fighting to bring the day of victory closer. As the industry with the highest ROI, we feel accountable for Ukraine’s future and will do our best to make it as bright as possible.
Tech businesses in Ukraine continue to work even with more passion as we realize that every dollar the clients pay makes us one step closer to victory.
You can significantly contribute to Ukraine’s victory by partnering with a Ukrainian provider for your next project. You might get surprised by the dedication, freshness, and uniqueness Ukrainian providers bring to the global tech table.