This year BSC Business Support Center (BSC) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of foundation. Being the first business consultancy and training company, most of the time BSC experts have spent in the marzes of Armenia.
BSC founding director Samvel Gevorgyan, through the authorial project “The business face of Armenian marzes’’, will represent all the peculiarities and uniqueness of the business approaches in marzes in the Banks.am.
I myself travel a lot: because of work, also by personal interest. I am on the ways all the time. There are years, for instance in 2018, when I have traveled from Vanadzor to Gavar, than to Goris, Idjevan, in some days to Stepanakert. And so on.
Yerevan is like a hotel. During the process I come here to spend the night, to renew my luggage to restart my traveling. Already 25 years like this. During these years I have been in 880 communities, villages, residences.
TRAVERSING THE BOARDERS OF MARZES
When I traverse the boarders of marzes, on one hand, it seems that nothing is changing, on the other, I can say that my feelings certainly change. You feel the breath and the differences of the marz. I have always searched the peculiarities. How the Gyumri people do business? And people from Vanadzor? What about Goris? I will ask a more global question: how the residence or marz belonging effects on the style of doing business and business thinking? Does it have an effect? How the Armenian marzes differ from one another?
I can say, almost with everything: the pragmatism of Idjevan people, the imagination of Armavir people, the riskiness of Martuni, the purposefulness of Artsakh, cold judgmental feature of Meghri people… All these things are beyond the obvious. For me, these things are reflected in business. Who and how imagines the business, who and how manages the business, who and how does the business.
When I was writing the book “Your Own Business in Armenia”, first thing that came to my mind were these sentences: “There is no better place than Armenia.Whoever, whatever says, I am sure on this. Armenia is a business country”.
The key point of this project is to show the peculiarities and uniqueness of the business approaches in Armenian marzes that describe precisely that marz, place, residence. I have been in hundreds of residences, have known thousands of people, have had millions of emotions, I will try to share my thoughts about the business face of every single marz.
FROM ARAKS BANKS TO YEREVAN
Armavir marz is spreaded from Yervandashat historical residence in the bank of Mother Araks to the capital Yerevan’s administrative borders. Being mostly a field territory (200-1000 meters above sea surface), Armavir has an invaluable importance in terms of history, spirituality, social environment and economy.
First, 4 from 12 Armenian historical capitals are in this region. In addition, Edjmiatsin is in Armavir, which is considered to be the spiritual center of Armenian nation. Second, here are located two objects of vital and strategic importance for Armenia: nuclear power station and “Zvartnots” airport.
For another point, with Ararat valley, here are located the most fertile agricultural lands making the region the leader of fresh food production and processing. Moreover, in Armavir, Vagharshapat and other settlements of the region there are great amount of entrepreneurships and factories, which have an essential role for Armenian economy. One of them is “Armavir’s machine building factory”.
Being the smallest region of the country Armavir has a crucial role in the field of agricultural production. In the field of product release in Armenia, the greatest portion belongs to the region Armavir, where the 19% of agricultural product of the country is produced. There are fruit gardens and vegetables’ fields around the region. The territories of corn, grain corps, potato, various vegetables and garden corps are around 25.000 hectare.
There are great amount of middle greenhouse farms and season greenhouses, which provide employability to small farm economies. Both vegetables and different types of flowers are produced here, changing the imported products to local ones. “Biga” and “Amster Flowers” are Armenian-Dutch companies, which belong to greenhouse farms of big industrial importance.
A great amount of projects have been implemented through the support of international development agencies and structures emphasizing the development of organic agriculture. Specifically, with the efforts of “Shen” NGO and funding of external partners, dozens hectares of organic gardens have been planted in a number of communities of Baghramyan territory.
In the marz essential agricultural directions are cattle-breeding and poultry breeding. The quantity of all the corneous animals is more than 60.000. In the field of poultry and egg production there are enterprises (specifically “Araks poultry-fabric”), which have substantial effect on the development of the field in the country. Although, there is a field in which the marz is an absolute leader: viticulture. The 40 percent of vineyards are located in Armavir, approximately 7000 hectares, where is produced 90 000 tons of technical and table grapes.
FOOD PROCESSING AT PLACE
Armavir with the quantity of food processing enterprises is the leader in Armenia. First of all, with the quantity of canned factories. The main reason is simple: it is located in the source of the raw material. Not only not only in the marz, but also in the republic “Euroterm” Noyan fruit and vegetable processing companies in Vanand, “Conser” canned factories in Armavir and Edjmiatsin community are among the leaders.
Second of all, a great amount of dry fruit production enterprises are spread all over the marz. In the first place, the dry fruit production of Ervandashat should be mentioned, which is considered to be in the range of best ones. The dry fruit economy of Jrashen, which is operating under the patronage of agricultural cooperative, is spreading the amount of its production and is being exported to Russia and other countries. The same thing can be said about “Nor Aygi” LLC in Sardarapat community.
Third thing is that the presence of vineyards is giving an opportunity to develop viticulture and brandy making. “MAP” factory is one of the leading producers in the marz. The biggest and innovative technologies user “Tiera de Armenia” is situated in the marz, which is producing “Karas” wines with the eminent brand.
THE PERSPECTIVE OF HISTORICAL TOURISM
It is occurred that the border of the map of Armenian tourism is going through Edjmiatsin. The tourists are taken to Zvartnots, then Edjmiatsin, after they are showed the main churches and that is it.
It is a good thing, that “Machanenc” cultural and tourism center is operating in Edjmiatsin, which is presenting cultural tourism in one of the oldest streets of Edjmiatsin. The street, where the station of the tourists is situated, is also called “The path of the pilgrim” as it starts from the Holy Temple and stretches to the South, Khor Virap. To the West, to Armavir, there are almost no touristic streams. Probably touristic agencies are not attracted by those territories from the point of view of an effective business, and most probably, appropriate subdivisions of touristic, hotel and public food service fields are absent.
Try to search via Spyur Armavir+Hotel version: only 13 options, total majority of which are entertainment places, and there is no offer beyond Edjmiatsin city. It is possible that citizens even do not think to propose something. Though the fact is, there is no offer, and this is the case when the offer is born the demand.
Now imagine a touristic package, which suggests the indescribable beauty of the Araks river, Ervandashat antique settlement, Urartian Argishtkhinili ruins representing historical value, unique monument of five millennium (Bronze age) metal sculpture on Metsamor hill slop, after which the memorial of Sardarapat heroic battle.
Another packaged tour can be “Five capitals of historical Armenia”: Modern Armenia’s capital Yerevan, Ervanduni kingodm’s Ervandashat and Armavir capitals, Arshakuni dynasty’s Vagharshapat and Bagratuni’s Bagavan, passing from 331 BC to nowadays, which altogether becomes 2350 years. It is hard to imagine a more attractive proposal.
The duration of these packages can be 1 or 2 full days, and to include trade, food, various services, which will be created because of the increased touristic flow. If in some places the hospitality businesses will be developed, tourists will have a night stay in there.
THE DEVELOPMENT IS INEVITABLE
In case of Armavir, the usage of the formula of “The problems bring to solutions” is obvious. Being close to Yerevan, having beneficial climate conditions for agriculture, field climate and other factors give us permission to conclude that problems existing in the marz, which are considered to be barriers for economical development, may become business projects. Specifically, a working idea is the foundation of small and medium sized food processing workshops. For this idea can be used available, but not usable, decaying, post-industrial territories. The recycling of the garbage may become another business project, as there is insufficient level of solid waste management in the region.
Tourism opportunities are unlimited. The production of industrial and household products is developing in the marz. There are already the first results. In 2018 in the community of Merdzavan “IMG group” has opened household appliances’ production factory.
The factory with the label of “Made in Armenia” is producing air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, microwave ovens, which can be sold in different countries of the world. Compared to other marzes, the immigration level is lower in the marz, and the quantity of the communities with natural gas is almost 90%, which creates enormous opportunities for new projects.