On November 23, 2013, a new event called CEED Talks was launched by CEED Armenia and EDMC, bringing together a diverse group of successful entrepreneurs, business executives, and students. Multiple issues concerning the establishment and growth of a prosperous business were examined and many factors that can make or break an enterprise were discussed.
Shushan Arevshatyan of Radio Van presented the process of building an effective team, stressing the importance of creating a motivation for employees to succeed and fostering a culture of creativity and innovation. For example, if innovative ideas are often born while chatting around a cup of coffee, then the allocation of a space where team members feel most creative is quite important. Shushanik also emphasized that quality is achieved when team members know full well that company is committed to meeting their needs.
Stepan Khzrtian of LegalLab Law Boutique focused on a lawyer’s role in building a business. Whereas one often views a lawyer as a “translator of legalese”, lawyers are, in fact, architects of optimal strategies for their partners, generators of win-win solutions for both parties, and diplomats who find appropriate language to navigate difficult discussions.
Arsen Gevorgyan of SFL inspired the audience and shared his insights from over 1000 interviews he conducted to form his team. “Hire the best people” was one the key messages. In addition, Arsen emphasized the importance of attracting team members whose skill sets and personalities complement one another to ensure effective teamwork. On the other hand, as the employer, he works hard to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable and appreciated. The audience had a chance to view a video recorded by an SFL team member on her own initiative to share with the world what being part of the SFL team is like.
Arman Atoyan of X-Tech allowed the audience a glimpse into his company’s history, from starting with limited resources, focusing on quality products to build up a portfolio, to landing high-stake projects. It is important to assess the market the company will serve, the human resources that will be needed and marketing strategies that will generate maximum results with limited financial investment, such as exploiting social media and providing certain services free of charge.
Raffi Kassarjian explored the process of building a business from idea to strategy. Discussing the example of various products that have undergone signification evolution, he emphasized the importance of differentiation. The companies that have become more competitive are the ones who have developed a unique position in the market and continued innovating to ensure they stay ahead of the game. He also shared lessons learned from iCON Communications, a company he led before it was acquired by Ucom.
Ani Harutyunyan of Crumbs Bread Factory shared her wisdom about establishing a business, knowing full well that things rarely unfold according to plan. “Know your job well,” she says, “and consider both positive and negative opinions to continue improving.” Shouldering hard work is what will pay off in the end. Ani also advised to look for enthusiasm and quick mind when hiring, as these qualities are essential to success and can often be more valuable than one’s experience.
Gevorg Safaryan of LimeTech knows what it’s like to overcome obstacles and thrive in a challenging environment. In building his business, Gevorg took a route that was different from the traditional approach but was critical to his success. Having recently celebrated LimeTech’s 5th anniversary and rebranded the company to more effectively communicate the company’s proposition, Gevorg shared with the audience the lessons learned over the course of this journey and encouraged feedback from the audience.
Vahagn Poghosyan of Instigate shared with the audience the process of creating companies from simple ideas. Having developed Instigate into one of the most recognized IT brands in Armenia, Vahagn and the other co-founders further built it into an incubator of innovative ideas, thereby growing and spinning off a number of companies that currently operate in the market. Instigate has opened offices across Armenia and has significantly benefited from its operations outside of Yerevan.
Raffi Niziblian of DEEM Communications wrapped up the day’s event discussing the skills necessary to ensure entrepreneurial success, including taking ownership and responsibility, using creativity, persuasiveness and professionalism, all the while having passion, vision, audacity, persistence, humility, and courage.