Notes From Hairenik
November 27, 2008

Armenia’s IT industry has been taking some brutal blows in large part due to the global financial crisis that has been ravaging the US, Europe and Asia especially. Consumers and corporations are simply spending less on technological-related services for their businesses or productivity. As a result, IT companies are scaling back by laying off scores of employees or are shutting down altogether.

Case in point is Lycos Europe. Apparently the entire company is shutting down, although an official announcement will be made in the coming weeks. About 200 people are going to lose their jobs in the next two months, most of whom are based in Armenia. A close friend of mine, Loris Lalayan, is a systems architect and project manager working there who is trying to figure out what to do next. He’s previously worked at Boomerang Software, where we met six years ago when I was with the company for almost a year. Hopefully he and the others at Lycos Europe will find work soon enough, as apparently some companies are still hiring, like CQG.

Another company, Epigy Labs, has reportedly let go about 80 employees, and Synopsys has also cut back. That company, which opened its Armenian division in 2004, employs about 450 people as I have been told. EPAM Systems has laid off about 30 people from its Yerevan branch.

Information technology has put thousands of Armenians to work for decades. During the Soviet era Armenia was a technological and scientific hub, where many geniuses like astrophysicist Viktor Hambartsumyan were born. The high-tech industry has blossomed in the last five years especially, and a new technology park is currently being constructed near the Hrazdan Football Stadium. Hopefully, these setbacks will not continue because Armenia’s youth is banking on IT. Countless university students are pursuing degrees in computer sciences here. Most of the programmers that I know are in their twenties, and they as well as their families depend on software programming/engineering for their livelihood. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dear author, your information regarding Synopsys Armenia is NOT correct. Synopsys IS hiring and if you want to have correct information please refer to Synopsys office. FYI - number of employees is also incorrect.

Blogger Christian Garbis said...
Great, if it's not correct, then correct me. How many people indeed work there? Why is it that Synopsys has laid off novice employees according to my sources, yet you insist my information is incorrect? Prove it. And sign your name to your comment while you're at it.

Anonymous Gayane Markosyan said...
Nice to see the analytical news on your blog. Social media is just what we need today and I welcome it!
I would like to clarify the information posted here: It is strange intention to put Synopsys Armenia in the same line with Epigy Labs which has reportedly let go about 80 employees and Lycos which is entirely closing down. Synopsys Armenia cut only 5 employees and still have opennings you can find in Career Center.

Gayane Markosyan
Synopsys Armenia PR responsible

Blogger Christian Garbis said...
Thank you for the clarification, Gayane.

Anonymous Liana Korkotian said...
It's true, there are great IT minds in Armenia, but how many of those will actually stay in the country and thus make its IT future as bright as it is thought to be.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Re Lycos, I don't know if the entire company is going to shut down (i.e. all its European offices), but the Yerevan office is going to close some time early next year. This leaves about 230 people or so without a job (me being one of them). Lycos Europe as a whole employs some 700 people.

Also, keep in mind that this doesn't affect only the (highly skilled and educated) employees of Lycos Armenia itself, but the closure of Lycos will most likely also affect the AUA Business Center where Lycos takes up about half the building. The AUA BC is going to lose a lot of income (and "gain" a lot of empty space) and the same goes for the company that does the catering in the cafeteria. My guess is that the closure of Lycos will have some effect on those business structures as well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It would be interesting to know how much the Armenian Government is investing in developing the IT industry in Armenia. This needs to be a priority and the goal should be for this section to occupy the position of being the leading industry for the country. Developing software does not require physical transport of any product. The product can be transported as bits out the country's partially landlocked borders.

I also read recently that Microsoft is establishing an office in Armenia. Does anyone know more about this? Is it a sales office or will there be development work taking place there as well?

Hye Brotherb