A large number of IT experts from Russia arrived in Serbia

, News

More than 2,000 Russian companies opened in Serbia. Two thirds from the IT sector. Marko Mudrinić from “Netokracije” says that Serbia has positioned itself as a serious player on the IT map and that those people who came, together with ours, can create successful startups and some new companies.

Estimates are that since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, in several waves of migration, between 50 and 100 thousand Russians have arrived in Serbia. Among them, there are more and more engineers, programmers, and the number of Russian citizens opening companies in our country is also increasing.

Are the mentioned changes in the IT market a threat or an opportunity and how do they affect domestic staff – Marko Mudrinić from the “Netokracija” portal talks about this for RTS.

We heard data about the number of new companies, a large number of IT experts from Russia arrived in our country. How can this affect the Serbian IT market, which, according to some rough estimates, lacks around 15,000 workers?

– It will certainly have an impact, but more time must pass before we can see what kind of impact it will have. What we can say with certainty is that these are people who have kept their jobs, they work from Serbia, but from the company they worked for at the time when the conflict broke out. I think it is very important to explain that, that people fleeing the conflict kept their positions in search of security. And if the conflict continues, if they stay for a long time, it is assumed that maybe a certain number of workers will spill over to some of our companies here in Serbia.

Some large Russian companies also came to Serbia. There is a fear that they could attract a large number of domestic developers. Is this fear justified?

– I think the fear is certainly not justified. In the past years, we have seen a large number of companies that came to Serbia to open their representative offices and to work with local talent and employ local developers. The need for that staff always exists, it is not something that can be disrupted by the arrival of a few companies. I would have looked at it from a more positive angle, if Serbia had positioned itself as a serious player on the IT map and now we have the opportunity not only to attract a large number of IT companies, but also to make it possible for those people with knowledge and combined with the local people here to create successful startups and some new companies. Therein lies the real potential.

How can it affect the competitiveness of domestic companies?

– Our companies have been constantly competing with each other for many years, year after year. Working conditions in companies have improved a lot. IT is the leading industry when it comes to working conditions. What is certain is that a large number of Western companies have contributed to making these conditions better and better. Now it remains to be seen whether this will lead to even greater competition between Western and Russian firms or whether they will all simply comply with local conditions dictated by the market.

Some European countries like Slovenia invite Russian IT experts to find a place in their market. On the other hand, the Russians are also trying to preserve that sector, abolishing taxes. How does Serbia rank there?

– We have been between two fires for years. I think that we have positioned ourselves well in previous years, that a lot of those initiatives were implemented so that not only Russian citizens, but also Western companies decided to develop their solutions here. In that sense, I think we have positioned ourselves well. I would say that most of the European countries that invite IT experts look from the point of view that they lack IT staff, and then try to attract them. While on the other hand, in Serbia the situation is different, because we already have a developed IT industry and I see the real potential in the fact that Russian citizens from Italy pair up with our domestic entrepreneurs and from this cycle of migration, new successful companies from these areas are created.

Although it was thought that the crisis would slow down employment in the IT sector, the complete opposite happened. The demand for IT personnel in Serbia has never been higher. The number of ads is growing every day. How much is being done to ensure that education follows the changes in the market and that young people and children are encouraged to take this path?

– In the past years, we have had a large number of initiatives aimed at education, instructing young people that there is a living industry. We also introduced programming in schools. It is certain that ten years will pass when we will see the concrete effects of everything that is being worked on now, RTS writes.