almost soon Russia also invaded Ukraine last yearUkrainian entrepreneur Rostislav Vovk realized he needed to look beyond the country’s borders to keep the pet food company growing.
The ongoing conflict has prompted many Ukrainian companies to venture abroad to reduce their adoption on shrank home market And take advantage of millions of people who Owns left.
More than 5 million Ukrainians who Those who fled the conflict were registered in Europe of the start of Data from the United Nations refugee agency showed in May, with Poland hosts over 1.5 million of they.
Ukraine, which had a pre-war population of About 40 million, domestic saw economy turned upside down and with corporate investments and growth Rare now.
Country economy shrink by about a third in 2022, its largest annual decline since independence from the Soviet Union, and it’s only modest growth He predicted for this year.
And the result drop in Consumer spending is felt in private in consumer and service sectors, where senior Executives at four companies said they turned to her new markets in Neighboring Poland and Eastern Europe to promote business.
“regarding big which started after the full scale war first “The destination was Poland,” said Vyacheslav Klimov, co-founder. of The largest Ukraine private Postal Corporation Nova Post, Inc in 2001.
“Our choice was to go to Poland, mainly because Poland is hosting now highest number of Ukrainians who They fled the war.”
Klimov said it more than others of Nova Post clients there were Ukrainians, with the exception of 10-15% of Client who They were Poles, a lot of Send parcels to Ukraine.
Andre Khudou, co-owner of W head of the! restaurant group and who Years of experience a job with partners on projects in Central Europeans agreed that the diaspora helped.
Before the war, we already He was in Poland, Romania and Hungary. Then we started a lot of negotiations attract new and expand existing partnerships.
“We’re starting to actively open up in Poland because in this market Our brand and products have been already known and popular and it was easier to speed it up with Existing partners there.
in Khudo taverns, including “Piana Vyshnia” meaning “drunk cherry” in The English and Ukrainians are reminded of home.
“We come here because we are know That’s great, Tanya Krasnik said, on Visiting from Cologne in Germany, where she has lived since the war, to see her friend Hanna Derevyanko, 34.
“Today is my birthday. I come from Ukraine and I come from Germany…and we decided to meet in Warsaw,” Krasnik said as they sat down in Highchairs by the window, each sipping from a glass of The signature cherry drink at the bar.
More than 24,000 companies with The Ukrainian capital is registered in Poland, or 25% of all of these with Foreign capital, according to estimates of the Polish Economic Institute.
in September 8.5% of All businesses have been opened in Poland has the Ukrainian capital, compare with 0.8% in January 2022.
– It’s not so easy
Some companies are looking to go deeper into Europe, and strategies vary.
Khodo and his associates also Bars fired in Latvia and ready to open in Czech Republic, Lithuania and Estonia – all countries hosting large numbers of Ukrainian refugees.
Andrey Zdysenko, who over 26 years built His company Biosphere at the largest plant in Ukraine of Home and Personal Care Products, was looking to expand already.
The opportunity arose during the war.
“We bought Alufix, an Austrian brand. It is known not only in Austria however also in “Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovenia,” Zdysenko said. who he have also He bought a Roman factory and another assets.
To enter a new market with a unknown name, moreover, for Ukrainian company is not so easy.
before invasion in February last yearUkraine’s corporate sector was mixed reputation outside, with Scandals and questions of corruption over Transparency harms its image.
K resultMost Ukrainian companies focus locally or are interested in the markets in Russia and others former Soviet countries.
But her war changed landscaping greatly.
early in Conflict, Ukrainian businessmen said they benefited from popularity support across many countries.
Vovk, co-owner and CEO of Kormotekh, Ukraine said leading The pet food producer has started selling in Baltic states retailers It seemed to replace Russian products.
“the main goal is to grow abroad much faster than we planned for ourselves in “The pre-war period,” Vovk said.
Kormotekh has expanded its sales to 39 countries In the start of 2023 from 19 five years ago. Vovk expects export growth of 22% of total sales in 2022 to 30% this year and between 60% and 70% by 2028.
Zdesenko estimates Biosphere revenue will reach $ 150 million this yearcomparison with $102 million in 2022 and expects his Ukrainian counterpart business to calculate for about 60% of total sales, with Foreign operations about 100 million euros in sales inside next Three years.
Meanwhile, Klymov from the Nova Post, plans To invest about 10 million euros to open up to 200 branches across Europe.
Kormokh invested in Expand production of both in Ukraine and Lithuania.
as companies in Ukraine battle curfews, Russian bombing, damaged infrastructure, disrupted logistics and halted production, many are helping civilians and the armed forces with necessities and donations.
they also Looking forward to futurein the hope that “made in Ukraine has become a trusted brand in the world.