The IT business is leaving Belarus.
The largest EPAM Systems office opened a year ago in Vilnius, has already surpassed many "old-timers" of the local market by the number of employees, and the average salaries of Belarusian employers are higher than those of most players there.
As of July 2021, data published by Rekvizitai.lt show that Epam sistemos, the largest employer with Belarusian capital, had 262 employees, writes Zautra tvaye krainy.
This company, whose founder, manager and shareholder is former Minsk resident Arkady Dobkin, opened a full-fledged development centre in Vilnius only last October. But already within a year, EPAM Systems has managed to outstrip many major IT companies operating in the Lithuanian market, including those that have been operating for decades. These include Asseco Lietuva (201 employees), Tieto Lietuva (121), CGI Lithuania (201), BALTIC AMADEUS (228), INSOFT (177), DXC Technology Baltic (221), Softera Baltic (112), Bentley Systems Europe (234) and EIS Group Lietuva (168) among Lithuania's top 50 taxpayers in the information and communications field. EPAM Systems is already among the top 20 largest IT companies operating in the Lithuanian market in terms of the number of employees.
Overall, more than ten Belarusian IT businesses opened offices and development centres in Lithuania late in 2020 and during 2021. The largest of them, after EPAM Systems were Flo Health LTU (44 employees), Coherent Solutions (36), Belka Games LT (19) and Itransition (19).
A peculiarity, at least at the stage of business formation in Lithuania, is a rather high level of average salaries of Belarusian IT companies.
Coherent Solutions with the index of EUR 4 606.90 was among the leaders among Lithuanian employers in this area this July. Another three companies with Belarusian capital (EPAM sistemos, Flo Health LTU and Belka Games LT) had average salaries higher than 4 thousand euros, which, according to the data of Rekvizitai.lt, is not so often met in the upper echelon of the Lithuanian IT sphere.
Altogether over the past year, according to Tatyana Marinich, founder of startup hub Imaguru, more than 20 thousand specialists left Belarus, including 58% of all startup founders.
In addition to Flo Health, which is about to become another Belarusian "unicorn" startup, the Wannaby project has opened a development hub in Lithuania. The Imaguru hub, which gave birth to many innovative ideas of the Belarusians, has recently been based in Vilnius.
- Some may think, "So why should we care that the IT people have left?" But one should not keep in mind the role of innovative business in the economy, because it does contribute to the development of not only the IT sector. Being inclusive, it helps bridge major social gaps. It is also the new jobs, new sectors of the economy at the intersection of technology. IT industry professionals earn above average incomes and contribute to the development of the consumption system, stimulating the quality of life for the entire society. A teacher or an employee of a company in the traditional sector may not feel the changes in the quality of life tomorrow, but in the long run, these changes will come," said Tatsiana Marinich during an online discussion on the future of the Belarusian economy held this October.