Business Culture In Ukraine

Whenever you think about taking your business abroad, whether it be a one-time service deal or an establishment of a whole subsidiary office outside your home country, you inevitably come to a point where you want to learn more about the business culture of your destination. It is indeed a crucial thing that cannot be overlooked if you wish for efficient communication with your foreign colleagues.

As business culture may vary from industry to industry and from company to company, any attempt at comprehensive, universal analysis and summary usually results in overgeneralization. That is why we consider it our duty to focus exclusively on IT companies of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and to shine a light on the most common practices in the local IT business environment.

In order for this article to be truly informative, we tried to make it as honest and lifelike as possible. And what is a better way to do that than to ask people themselves? We have polled local IT companies to see what their rules and values are when it comes to international cooperation. Now, let’s take a closer look at what the Ukrainian business culture in the IT industry is like, according to those who work in it.

Getting Acquainted: First Impressions

Let us begin with the views Ukrainian IT specialists have on establishing and maintaining business relations, the importance of personal connections and the etiquette of business meetings:   

Apparently, most businesses like to play a long game when it comes to partners and clientele, so it is really worth it to show your best working with Ukrainians for the first time: if you do, you will be remembered, recommended and, most likely, contacted again for even bigger projects, as the trust grows.

Another important thing is that client portfolio really matters, especially when it comes to foreign clients, as it signals acknowledgment and a certain level of professionalism to, first of all, other local businesses in this industry. Therefore, many companies, especially younger ones, will be after any deal they can get with a well-known company, preferably foreign, to help establish their professional reputation, but be careful: if you act in an exploitative and generally impolite way, nothing of what we said in the paragraph above will happen, and you will lose a potentially long and mutually beneficial partnership.

The third question will, probably, be quite interesting for you. When it comes to business interaction, nobody wants to come across as reluctant and uncooperative, but sometimes it still happens. Things like delaying preparation of contracts, constant re-scheduling of meetings, delayed replies to emails, etc. may spark some mistrust and doubts, and rightfully so. Moreover, dragging things before the work is to be started can naturally give your counterpart a negative impression of your further performance of contractual obligations.

Now, if you do not want your intentions to be misinterpreted, you should always be as clear about them as possible, and remember that your attitude towards even little things like emails is seen as your attitude towards the people you are working with.

Next, we have some questions about the ways of holding business meetings:

All of them can be summarized rather briefly: the etiquette of business meetings in Ukraine is quite similar to that of Western Europe and North America. It does allow some room for a little ice-breaking and spontaneity, but everything stays within the boundaries of formal interaction.    

Although, apparently, you should not completely disregard small talk as mere courtesy: if you are asked a question not related to the current agenda, it means the person asking is genuinely interested in receiving an honest answer. That does not mean, of course, that anyone will ask you personal questions. The general tone is normally quite reserved.  

Another important thing is that most representatives of Ukrainian IT industry are fluent enough in English and are comfortable communicating in it throughout the entire working process.

A Look Inside Corporate Culture

Now, we thought you would also be interested in learning a little about Ukrainian corporate culture in the IT industry. Here are some questions and answers to help you with that:

Conclusion

To conclude all the above, although it is rather self-explanatory in itself, we can say that right now Ukraine is a place where the IT industry is booming and everyone is open to cooperation. We hope that this article was insightful for you and now you know a little bit more about your potential business partners – after all, knowing who you are working with and being certain of their ways is half the job done.

Doing business with Ukrainians means: well-balanced communication with no unnecessary formalities, exceptional quality of work (this is something to read about in our other articles) and potential for long-lasting partnerships based on mutual trust and respect.

To learn more about the IT industry in Ukraine read this article: 5 Reasons Ukraine Should Be Your Next Tech Destination

Now, special thanks to the most active member-companies that have helped Kyiv IT Cluster create this article: