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.