Conversation on “Imagining a Digital Economy for All in Ukraine” with Professor Bhaskar Chakravorti

A conversation with Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business at the Fletcher School at Tufts University

With Russian bombs raining down on his citizens, on March 14, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said:

“As long as the state is at war, as long as the people are defending themselves, the economy must be preserved and restored. As much as possible in the current difficult conditions.

Life must appear on the streets of the cities. Where security allows. Where people can provide it. Pharmacies, trade, any business that can work. For the country to live. For the restoration of Ukraine to already begin. And it depends on each of us, on each of us who is able to work.

Economic suppression of Ukraine is one of the tasks of the war against us. And we have to fight back from that as well. Save our economy. Save our people.

Therefore, the government has received a clear instruction–to return small and medium-sized businesses. Remove any obstacles. Reduce taxes as much as possible, remove all difficulties, absolutely all. So that the system does not press, so that people know that they can work the way they can. Where they can.”

Subsequently, the Ukrainian government cut taxes on small and medium businesses to a single simple scheme: 2% of sales–and, interestingly, it is voluntary: if a business cannot pay, they will be excused. In addition, excise duty on all imported goods has been cut to zero. 

With industries that deal with physical products being severely affected by the infrastructure challenges, there are high hopes for the third largest sector, tech and IT, to keep going despite the devastation being caused in the country by the Russian invasion. We focused on the impact of the war on a single tech business as a running case study and barometer, talked to their key executives in the country and tracked how their work is being affected as the war progresses. 

We spoke with Sergiy Fitsak, Managing Director of Softjourn in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, and Lyubomyr Nykyforuk, Solutions Architect for Softjourn in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. Their company Softjourn is a global technology services provider and they work in the areas of fintech, cards and media, and entertainment digital products.

The conversation will be shared in the form of short video episodes. The initial episodes are below. Please check back as new episodes will be added over time.

Part 1: Bhaskar Chakravorti speaks with Sergiy Fitsak and Lyubomyr Nykyforuk of Softjourn, a global technology services provider with offices in California, Ukraine, and Poland. They discuss the changes in the tech industry with the Russian invasion, shedding light on how employees are being supported, what contingency plans are in place with backup technology support, and how the government is supporting them through this crisis.
Part 2: Bhaskar Chakravorti speaks with Sergiy Fitsak and Lyubomyr Nykyforuk of Softjourn, a global technology services provider with offices in California, Ukraine, and Poland. They discuss how the tech industry, also called the IT Army, is battling the crisis on the economic end, especially with tech-driven relief processes, and how the world can help them put up a stronger front.

This page is republished from Digital Planet.

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