Taras Chabanivsky is the founder and director of CHGroup. He has more than 20 years of experience in the international IT company working with the office printing systems and document management software for companies-customers. Thanks to his work in office printing solutions and industrial vertical key segments, Taras has significant experience in developing business with key corporate customers, building and maintaining relationships with national system integrators, as well as forming a partner channel. The core CHGroup team leaded by Taras has received a number of valuable awards and honors over the years, including “For the greatest contribution to the development of the printing device market”, “Best hardware vendor” and others.
What is the secret of successful business?
Mutual trust, respect and knowledge are the crucialfactors for successful business. These factors form the CHGroup paradigm. New products and services which need to be improved and developed will always be invented. But it is impossible to achieve success if there is no crucial component – a team that shares these principles. At the same time, the team is the main competitive advantage of modern business.
How did you come up with the idea of establishing CHGroup?
Any situation can be perceived as a stress and a problem, or as an opportunity for a successful case. As for me, change is always a new opportunity. At the end of 2013, international companies started to close massively their representative offices in Ukraine , but at the same time did not want to leave the market forever, changing the forms of their presence. On the other hand, foreign companies, which potentially see the Ukrainian market as a region for development, cannot always decide to invest in a country with an unstable economic and political situation. This was the impetus for the CHGroup creation. Is there a way to help companies of both categories to develop, minimize the risks of being present in an unstable Ukrainian market and at the same time minimize and protect their investments as much as possible?
The presence of international companies without significant investments, the support of local companies, and at the same time customers / users who will not feel “abandoned” is the main idea of the CHGroup.
Why should companies choose CHGroup, what are your key advantages?
First, we have no competitors in this market – this is a completely new kind of product. We provide a full range of services: from market analysis, determination of competitive advantages in the local market, reporting information to dealers and customers to the organization of service support for sold products in this area and further support of the brand. We do not leave the company to deal with the ” market nuances” alone, whereas we build a successful business on behalf of the partner company.
Secondly, precious international experience and professional team can do impossible things so far. The CHGroup team knows the customers’ demands, understands the distribution system and the needs of the dealer network. As well as understands the needs, approaches and typical processes for international companies.
Thirdly, international experience helps to integrate best practices, determine the main advantages of each partner and correctly localize international programs in the Ukrainian market.
Which international companies do you prefer to build partnership with and why?
Priority in terms of partnership is given to the international companies that create software and hardware IT-products. The main criteria for partners selection is their reputation. We have an internal rule: we do not cooperate with brands that have scandalous and dubious reputation, since this is contrary to our corporate rules. It is also important to note that our customers are not direct competitors between each other. I believe that it is not quite ethic for one team to work with two competitive brands for personal benefit.
What problem do you encounter most often when introducing or returning international business to the Ukrainian market?
Of course, it is believed that investing in innovations in times of crisis is quite untimely thing. However, we are sure that any crisis is a perfect time for innovation and development, since it is necessary to resort to non-standard solutions. If you look at world crises, it can be noted that exactly at such times companies-giants appeared, because they were able to overcome the evolutionary path in record time due to non-standard approaches. And this is exactly what CHG Group offers, a flexible approach to doing business.
Once the world could not imagine how to sell without a shop network. And now no one asks this question again. You need to be able to identify promising areas and never stand still in anticipation of “better times.”
What are the Ukrainian market prospects for international business?
If we talk about the prospects for the international business development in Ukraine, then it will be determined by the overall country’s economic development level, the actual results of the reforms being implemented, the significant renewal of the social production structure and the export potential development. What are the prospects? In my opinion, there are many monopolists in the IT product sphere, who our foreign partners would be interested to compete with and “bite off a piece of cake”. Indeed, the movement of a market economy occurs only under healthy competition conditions. There are also certain niches that are still free and unfilled, which makes it difficult for local Ukrainian businesses to carry out their activities and makes them order products from abroad. And this, as is known, is always time consuming, inconvenient and usually increases the cost.
There is a demand for a large number of IT-products, and as you know, according to the law of marketing, it is necessary to satisfy it with supply. This is the goal of our company – to acquaint foreign companies with the potential market for their products and to provide access and presence in the market with minimal investment and risk.
Frequently, international brands are moving towards entering the market through their own representative offices. What are the risks in this case?
Sometimes it seems to foreign companies that having their own representative office in the country is the most effective way to achieve success. I agree with it, but in this case there is a risk of slowing down the process. It takes time to research the market, its rules and features, the laws of the country, possible mistakes in choosing contractors, creating the appropriate team and selecting personnel in general. It is also a significant investment, both financial and human. We know all the “underwater” nuances and help to quickly adapt to the local market and start getting the first financial results without significant and long-term investments, understanding the attitude of international companies to significant development investments.
Taras, what is the most effective scheme of entering the Ukrainian market for international brands?
As for me, a compromise solution for exiting or returning back to market is to start “testing” the market or stay on it, using the resources that CHGroup has today. It saves time, minimizes risks and investments. Personally my goal is to have as many successful foreign companies in Ukraine as possible.
Perhaps, if you start cooperation with CHGroup, further decisions will be made in order to increase investment in the Ukrainian economy, which will positively affect the economy overall.
We will be glad to help you!