Nowadays, companies should develop and implement innovative technologies for efficient activity and competitiveness. Head of Ameria consultancy Gagik Sahakyan commented on Armenian consulting industry and its problems in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net.
What are the tendencies in consulting industry and which are factor conditioning its development?
Consulting industry is not well developed in Armenia, since all sectors of economy lack healthy competitiveness. There are no companies developing innovative solutions to compete with other enterprises in the market. That is why, private companies limit their needs to marketing consultations, specifically investigation of the market, its dynamics and potential demand. Another aspect is financial consulting, which can help a company to get financial resources as credits or mutual funds. Specialists in developed countries are elaborating new schemes and strategies the companies use in everyday activities.
As to the place of our company in consulting industry, it's hard to say anything for sure, as this market is not transparent. Nevertheless, we suppose to cover 50 percent of the market.
How will consulting services market change in case of possible Armenia-Turkey border opening?
Market of consulting services keeps changing, yet its development mechanics can't be characterized as fast and positive, as opposed to ones in developed states. Upon border opening, changes will take a positive turn, both in medium- and long-term perspective.
Uncompetitive companies might close down, which isn't a bad sign, as strong players will still stay in the market. Investments into strong companies will lead to their competitiveness increase both in local and regional markets. Increased competitiveness will lead to higher demand for consulting services, leaving only institutional consulting companies in the market.
What type of business planning is considered effective these days, how would you assess energy saving technologies implementation?
Business plan effectiveness is determined based on company's possibilities and the feasibility of consulting services. Still, business plan effectiveness provision is a multilateral process including: activities' optimization, increasing company's market share, viable manpower policy, efficient financial management. Yet, unfortunately, many businessmen are confident no consulting company could possibly have a better idea of company management.
A new trend in the elaboration of effective business plan is the introduction of energy-saving technologies. Unfortunately, the locomotives of the project are European states and not big industrial countries like United States, China and Russia. The process of saving energy is one of the components of common fight against climate change, and there is hope that during the UN conference to be held in Copenhagen this December those countries will join the process known to the world as Kyoto Protocol. From that point of view, energy saving is a very important component which should be viewed from two angles. First of all, people running business should have responsibility not only for their business but also for the world they work and live in. Armenia unfortunately has very few companies with such global thinking. At the same time, introduction of energy-saving technologies will decrease price cost of products in the long run. To introduce them a company should invest a certain sum which should be compensated within 5-6 years. Such result is not actually bad. But since the capital of our business mostly has short-term perspectives, there no special demand for that. To achieve a breakthrough in climate protection, developed countries direct more financial resources to developing countries for promoting certain processes there. In this regard, we will soon have projects funded by international financial institutions, which will credit local energy efficiency projects. Besides, grant programs will be introduced that will give impetus to this process. After a certain point, when concrete results are achieve, businessmen themselves will realize the need to introduce energy-saving technologies.
Tell us about new projects, the company plans to implement, and the plans of "Ameria" aimed at the development in the future?
Our basic plan in the medium term is a more active international market-entry. Unfortunately, every year we do not have many projects carried out outside of Armenia. We would like to reach a margin, when 20-30 per cent of all our projects we will implement in accesible markets, such us Central Asia, Russia and South Caucasus. To date, most of the projects the company implements out of the country, refers to the Armenian Diaspora. We work very closely with the investment companies of our Diaspora, since our partner is the Russia's well-known company "Troika Dialog", there are also partners in the U.S. and Europe.