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Interview: Keeping an IT business going through the Russian invasion

After heading home and discovering that his country have been invaded, Konstantin Klyagin was forced to create life-changing family and business decisions

Karl Flinders


Published: 09 Sep 2022 12: 00

Ukrainian companies are continuing to use amid Russias invasion of these country and so are determined to transport on within the national effort never to be overcome by the threat from the east.

Software development company Redwerk can be an example. Following the lives of most its staff were thrown in to the air when Russian tanks entered Ukraine, the business had to do something quickly.

Konstantin Klyagin, its founder, was travelling home following a visit to Sri Lanka and, throughout a change of flight in Dubai, he learnt that Russia had invaded his homeland.

He previously to improve his plans while at Dubai and headed to Berlin, where he previously previously lived and owned a set. He’s got not yet been back again to Ukraine.

Klyagin may be the founder and CEO of Ukrainian software development company Redwerk, which targets developing software as something (SaaS) for enterprises. It had been set up by way of a 24-year-old Klyagin in 2005 and today serves international customers with SaaS development services built-in the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure clouds.

The business began in Zaporizhzhia and opened an office in Kyiv in 2010. Its workforce comprises developers, DevOps experts, project managers, interface (UI) designers and every role that’s needed is to generate and launch a full-scale SaaS operation, said Klyagin.

It had been on 24 February this season when, on a flight home to Ukraine, Klyagin had to take into account helping his family and staff reach safety, before considering his business.

When I found its way to Dubai to improve flight, the media was filled with news concerning the invasion, he told Computer Weekly. I paid attention to Vladimir Putins speech and realised I wasnt likely to Ukraine.

I paid attention to Vladimir Putins speech and realised I wasnt likely to Ukraine

Konstantin Klyagin, Redwerk

Klyagin said probably the most shocking sight for him was Russian tanks crossing the border just 80km from the town of Kharkiv, where he was raised and had family.

I never managed to get back again to Kyiv in February and I have already been working remotely since, he said. I found its way to Dubai, realised Russia had invaded and there is no chance back because the air space was closed.

Klyagin had previously lived and worked in Germany and had a set in Berlin, so he went there. His girlfriend, who was simply pregnant making use of their first child, soon joined him.

After five months in Berlin, they moved to Lisbon in Portugal, where Klyagin had a big band of friends. Lisbon was considered a significant web 3.0 hub and several Ukrainian entrepreneurs came here, he said.

His parents are actually safe in Berlin, but his business, with 80 employees, has remained in Ukraine.

Klyagin himself plans to come back to Ukraine the moment it’s possible. When it’s safe and the war has ended, I’m moving back again to Ukraine the very next day, he said.

The Redwerk team

For the time being, Redwerk has continued to use at full scale, following a temporary slowdown once the company and its own staff readjusted to the brand new reality facing Ukraine.

At the start of the invasion, there is lots of uncertainty, said Klyagin. Many companies were moving entire operations to the west of the united states but there have been major difficulties, including a shortage of housing, so we opt to take action in a decentralised way.

That’s where the firms remote working experience gained through the Covid-19 pandemic helped. We told everyone that all of these would get $2,000 in advance in cash or in virtually any form they wanted, so to cover their solution to safety, or they might use their very own money and we’d compensate them, said Klyagin.

Just about all the Redwerk staff used the offer. The majority of the team has been working remotely because the pandemic with only 10 to 15 at work each day,said Klyagin. Our people either visited the west of the united states, or even to the centre.

Then, on 28 February, Klyagin wrote a contact to his employees asking if individuals were safe and asking what they had a need to work. I said lets continue working since it was very important to everyone to possess income for the reason that situation and was also very important to Ukraines economy, he said.

Klyagin said that in the initial week of the invasion, 20% of the companys staff can work, by week two it had reached 80%, and prior to the end of March it had been 100% operational. And we kept recruiting people, he added. We didn’t let anyone go, in addition to the usual attrition.

We have been gaining people because there have been more good people out there who have been just victims of these employers panicking and permitting them to go. We could actually cherry-pick the very best minds and talent to cultivate the business.

The business lost two employees if they joined the Ukrainian military.

In accordance with Klyagin, Redwerk does more business now than prior to the war. He believes the reason being he’s got concentrated on the business enterprise to avoid him taking into consideration the turmoil in Ukraine. I came across this a shelter in the war also it worked because I acquired five new customers, 25 more staff and the business enterprise grew, he said.

The business lost no customers following the invasion after Klyagin contacted all of them separately to reassure them that work wouldn’t normally be interrupted.

Actually, Redwerk isn’t Klyagins only business. Since 2021, he’s got also committed to a company create in Zaporizhzhia that develops drones for civilian use, concentrating on industrial settings. IZIVIZ, because the company is well known, continues to be in its startup phase, but has undergone a transformation through the war.

The business enterprise continued hold for two months, but we made a decision to help the army prepare their drones and also have provided drones cost-free, he said.

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