Skip links

Round-up of the webinar Recovery in Ukraine. Perspectives for Advanced Manufacturing Sectors

Meanwhile Ukraine is undergoing tough times because of the Russian invasion, everybody is raising the question – what is going to be after the war? And this is a high time to answer this question and not only come up with a Recovery plan for Ukraine, but build a good foundation for its quick kick off once it is possible.

On the governmental level Ukraine already gathered the brightest minds in Lugano and in Berlin thinking of the top-level initiatives that the countries can undertake. We, as one of the leading players of the Ukrainian business community, need to address this question on the business level, covering our core expertise – Advanced Manufacturing and Industry Automation. 

This is why we gathered our key international partners who have been already supporting our community since the beginning of the invasion, and played a big role in promoting Ukrainian system integrators on the global level, on the webinar Recovery in Ukraine. Perspectives for Advanced Manufacturing Sectors led by an excellent moderator and supporter of Ukraine, Alex Chausovsky from Miller Resource Group.

This is no doubt that the war has massively impacted the Ukrainian economy. According to the opening speech by Alex Yurchak, CEO of Association of Industrial Automation of Ukraine, Ukraine has experienced massive economic losses, with a preliminary forecast of GDP falling by a staggering 40%. Around half of the Ukrainian SMEs have stopped their work, while the rest has decreased its productive capacity by 30% to 50%. With the huge destruction of cities and infrastructure, many companies had to relocate almost 30% of their key personnel. 

The main challenges that Ukrainian SMEs undergo are maintaining a good level of orders, that equals jobs; finding new approaches to safe and fast logistics, when sea transportation was almost cut off; production re-launch, when relocating or rebuilding destroyed manufacturing sites; maintaining staff; finding new suppliers. 

At the same time we need to keep in mind that many global companies have the RD centers or core development teams located in Ukraine. 

“Our Ukrainian team has been a vital part of each segment of our business, from hardware, machine learning and software development, to vibration experts” – says Rob Ratterman, co-founder and CEO of Waites. “On top of all of this, our Ukrainian team runs European operations. We are deeply invested in Ukraine. And Ukraine was and will be a big part of our success going forward”

Rob Ratterman, having founded Waites 17 years ago in the USA, has been closely working with the Ukrainian team for more than 15 years. Back then he was amazed by the work ethics of the Ukrainian team, who handled any challenge thrown at them. From there the scope of responsibility has massively grown over the years, showing the equal expertise to top-talents hired across the world. By February 2022 the Ukrainian office consisted of 60 people, who also ran rapidly expanding European operations, including sales, analytics, marketing, installation and product maintenance all across Europe. Having hardware manufactured mainly in the USA, shortly before the war Waites has also launched a part of design and manufacturing in Ukraine.

Being highly invested in Ukraine, Waites has witnessed an amazing resilience and capacity of the Ukrainian team since the beginning of the war. Even during the first weeks the Ukrainians continued to work from the basements having bombs dropping all around. 

“The productivity of the team never missed a bit. Watching the Ukrainian team survive and strive through these hard times, has been an inspiration for the rest of our company. You simply can’t find more dedicated people in the world.”

Rob Ratterman, Waites.

Once the war is over, having undergone through these hard times, Waites is committed to keep and grow its operations in Ukraine. And Rob encourages other companies to do the same.

And this was supported by Denys Yatsyshyn, Director of Corporate Relations at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), who pointed out that while many recovery plans are made on a high level, businesses have to prepare their own personal recovery plans, involving international partners and the global business community. Which is especially easier now, when Ukraine showed to the whole world its high level of resilience, recovery and innovation.

And the business does prepare on its own level. As pointed out by Andriy Kalantarenko, CEO TeraWatt Group, their company has made everything possible to work internationally, having relocated part of the key staff, manufacturing sites and deeply investing in international cooperation. This all makes possible that the work is continuous and timely delivered to the international partners.

We, as business communities, can utilize the level of our international connections and support our Ukrainian SMEs. Especially when the global community supports Ukraine. For example, Autoware has launched an initiative “One extra hour”, when employers can donate payment for one hour of their work and this amount is doubled by Autoware. 

APPAU thanks to continuous efforts of Luigi De Bernardini has also got a free membership in the CSIA – Control System Integrator Association, which is a great example how communities can support each other.

The Ukrainian business community is ready to work. To work now and after the war ends. Moreover lessons learned during these hard times will become a fuel for jumpstarting innovation when the war ends. And we invite you to become a part of this jumpstart. 

Leave a comment