As part of our "TOP-100 IT Leaders" project, we are proud to present you an interview with Laziz Adkhamov, Development Director of SAP Uzbekistan.
In this interview, we talked about how Laziz’ IT journey started at the early age of 14, why you need SAP, how privatization of state assets works in Uzbekistan, what are KPI mental models and, of course, what are the digitalization prospects in this country.
We also discussed how SAP can help your client reinvent their business: the main goal is to simplify daily operations through a holistic digital structure. This structure is the foundation for new business models, new processes and new working environments.
1. How do you assess the current state of affairs in the IT sector in the CIS and Uzbekistan in particular?
2. Can you assess the digitalization level in Uzbekistan from the perspective of your extensive experience in the IT market?
3. What difficulties do you face in work? Are there any region-specific features of doing business in Uzbekistan?
4. What are client companies ready to spend their budgets on? What technologies are in priority?
5. Has anything changed in the company’s daily operations due the worsening geopolitical situation in the world?
6. What would you advise to digital-driven companies? How should they build their strategies?
7. What are your plans for next year?
Laziz Adkhamov is a well-known businessman in Uzbekistan, and founder of multiple successful IT companies, service companies and the largest call center in the country. When SAP first entered the Uzbek market, it was Mr. Adkhamov who was invited to run the process.
Uzbekistan is only starting its digitalization journey. Until recently it was a pretty closed country that avoided long-term investment, where problems were solved “here and now”. With the new president, the country opened up to new investments, and fostered business capitalization and competition.
Unlike other CIS countries and Russia, Uzbekistan has no legacy systems that required heavy investment. Everything that is done here is done from scratch, and there’s no need to protect your investments, which is a trump-card for the IT business.
Of course, we are relying on other countries’ experience, but we never ignore our own outlook, culture and past experiences. Business development in Uzbekistan is special due to the recent launch of privatization of assets. Only 2-3 years ago the state was a pure monopoly, which put a barrier in the way of evolution of business. That’s why it’s so important to keep in mind that state-based business models need to be transformed into commercial awareness and KPIs.
The country doesn’t need to automate existing business models, it needs to build new digital and transformational models instead, because we don’t have legacy frameworks. The private IT ecosystem is developing at a very fast pace. The conditions for residents are perfect, Uzbekistan being a sort of an offshore zone with huge government support. It works both for local businesses and those who relocated here.
The government is the driver behind the development of IT in the country – optical fiber lines have reached even the most remote villages; with higher speed and lower prices for telecom, so you can create new businesses that heavily rely on the Internet. Businesses use more and more locally produced software which can compete with products from the West.
A vital trend is IT security, but we sadly feel there’s a big shortage of experts in the field. The problem of qualified personnel comes first in IT.
In Uzbekistan, each enterprise has expat workers from Russia, Asia and Europe who act as advisers and business transformers. As the geopolitical situation aggravates, we are getting more and more IT experts from Russia, which helps us to quickly develop our junior and middle employees and promote them to higher positions.
"Diversity is a driver, while restrictions are a barrier"
"New models should attack the existing business"
“I’m sure that Uzbekistan will be embracing new ecosystems that will destroy the old models and drive evolution”
“No one is afraid to make mistakes, since IT is always about research, about trying new things, without fear of being punished for mistakes”
“We need to change the mindset of managers before launching digitalization projects”
“Every large enterprise has an “elite force” of young people with a good Western education – it’s up to them to transform the country”
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