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.
TAVUSH IS A UNIQUE MARZ
The marz is unique first of all with its geographical location. Every time when I enter tunnel from Sevan, all the ordinal expectations to see miracles in the coverage of Dillijan forests begin. Second of all, the relief of the marz is also unique, located at an altitude of 380 meters to 3000 meters. The lowest point of the marz is near Debedavan village, the highest one is the mount Murghuz of Miaphor ridge.
The next peculiarities of Tavush are the 4 regions included in the marz with their features and varieties. It is easier to find diversities than similarities among Dilijan, Ijevan, Berd and Noyemberan. The same is among the residents of the marz. Living in the same marz, they differ in characteristics, thinking, approaches. They say that the character of people is abraded by the nature. In Tavush it is obviously expressed. When I meet one of Tavush people after a while, with a great probability, I guess from which region he/she could be. From the sight of the structure of the economy there are vivid differences by taking into account tourism, agriculture and industry importance for this or that region.
GATES TO THE WORLD
Tavush marz, beginning from Dilijan tunnel, which is separating it from the marz Gegharkunik, is ending in Bagratashen with the border of Georgia. From one point it is a gate to the external world by being a connecting link of Armenia to Europe and Asia continents. It is not only political, but also an economic factor ensuring the smooth export of goods produced by different Armenian branches. Lori is neighbour in the West, in the South there is the border of Azerbaijan in the hundreds of kilometres. We can consider Tavush as border guard marz by taking into account the locations of dozens of settlements right on the border.
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN BORDER GUARD MARZ
Legislative and tax numerous privileges give opportunity to develop the economy of border guard villages and commune infrastructures. Presently in Tavush village with great speed social entrepreneurship is developing by ensuring the activity of youth and increasing the awareness of communities. In the scope of “Teach For Armenia” project, the young people work in border villages as teachers providing great opportunities for the development of villages. One of my Facebook friends, who is already from Movses village, at least for me, initiates big amounts of projects for social and economical development of the village.
When the governor Hayk Chobanyan presented the region at the Tavush Region Investment Forum on June 22 in Dilijan, I, being for dozens of times in Tavush, have amazed at the hidden opportunities of the region, which are not used yet. Each region of the marz has differing peculiarities only special to it. Dilijan has a fame of sanatorium, providing the great amount of tourists to the city. Ijevan has started its fame as a little and modern city since USSR times, where a crucial role has education and culture positioning it as a riverside, verdurous and young city.
To the rich past of Berd we can add big opportunities in viticulture. What about the fruits of Noyemberan, especially peaches, are famous not only in Armenia, but also in many CIS countries.
Tavush, by being on the main interstate highway, has become one of the important touristic harbours in Armenia. Leading one is Dilijan for sure, which is positioned on Armenian economic map as leading center of tourism. If we question an Armenian, where he/she wants to spend holidays, Dilijan will be in the top 3.
By the way, for recent years it has become one of the most wanted cities not only among locals, but also among tourists. The perfect nature, more than 100 guesthouses, small and big hotels, sanatoriums have become attractive for people preferring different directions of tourism. For 2 recent years, new restaurants and cafes have been opened, which are additional stimuli to provide new flows of tourists. Where to eat tasty food I have always chosen with a great difficulty in Dilijan, previously because of the lack and nowadays because of the abundance of restaurants. For example “Karahunj” is always full of tourists, “Kjuj” and ”Losh” have become first choice place for many people. The founder of the latter Varda Avetisyan says she has returned Armenia from the USA, and now she is using the smallest part of big opportunities.
Due to IDeA Foundation, EU different projects and other partners, several international and local educational, financial and research centers’ construction and operation, the city has been positioned not only as a resting place, but also as a center of educational tourism. The first step is already done for this direction: In 2018 Touristic Informational center has been opened in Dilijan. For the recent years, a real challenge has been created by Enokavan for Dilijan.
Due to Chibukchyan family, “Apaga Resort” club for active tourism and Yell Extreme Park have become the most wanted place, especially among young people. According to Tigran Chibukchyan, they plan to make Enokavan a regional adventure tourism center and to add 5 times the number of visitors reaching it to 250.000.
Great opportunities have been opened for agro tourism and ecotourism. Young people even move from Yerevan to here to do great job for developing touristic trending directions. Garik Paytyan and his “The World’s End” guesthouse at Shamshadin is the best example of it. Specifically Aleks Nersisyan and the active team of young people of the community, try to have their unique place in the development of tourism in alternative directions in Aghavnakar.
Although, there is a problem from the perspective of cultivating the gardens for production, fruit sales and management. Every year several types of berries grow in the forests of the marz. According to the published report of GIZ in Armenia in Tavush berries grow approximately to €300 milion, from which the little part is used through selling on the interstate roads in buckets. As it is said “There is no evil without good”. Global warmth brought to the point that in a range of territories people have started to grow tropical fruits and crops. Specifically in Ditavan community kiwi is being grown, even bananas in several villages of Noyemberan. Yet in amateur level, but it seems everything is behind.
There was a time that Ijevan was one of the industrial most important centers, where strong productions of state and union importance were located. Only “Bentonit” was worth a lot. Presently, steps are taken to recover one part of industrial strength. Specifically, in some communes in the territory of Berd “Tavush textile” enterprise is already acting, the production of which is totally exported.
Ijevan, by being in the cneter of the marz, has a great opportunity to become a logistic center. In the investment forum of the marz there was a suggestion that Azatamut commune can take the challenge to implement that idea. Fresh fruits, wines, fruit vodkas, conserves can be rearranged, packed and be exported to many countries. It can become a unique marketing center not only for the marz, but also for the whole economy of Armenia. In the investment forum of Tavush dozens of Tavush people were present from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, who plan to found different productions in the marz such as big bins, conserves, juices etc. Endless potential is hidden here as well.
Tavush, with its peculiarities, attracts not only Armenians, but also international investors’ attention. The governor of Beqaa state of Lebanon stated this fact by having brought interested investors from Lebanon. One of them has founded a garden in Tavush. It is rested to pack beautifully, to present attractively ,and impossible results will not make us wait long.