Level Up Ukraine 2018

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Level Up Ukraine 2018

What drives transformational changes of Ukrainian business

The third annual business forum Level Up Ukraine was held on 28 November 2018. The event was organized by Deloitte Ukraine and the Taxpayers Association of Ukraine

Level Up Ukraine is a unique platform for communication and exchange of experience between the representatives of business and state authorities. As part of this year’s forum, the participants discussed global trends and internal incentives that prompt the Ukrainian business to change. Therefore, the forum was devoted primarily to the topic of transformation.

To help the companies to implement qualitative changes, Nataliya Ulyanova, Leader of Complex Business Transformation practice announced a pro-bono project of Deloitte Ukraine for small and medium-sized businesses: “We announce this initiative to fulfill our social mission and dispel the myth that change is a difficult and frightful process.” In particular, the project envisages a competition for a free reorganization of a company.

During the forum, a special consideration was given to the issues of transformation of the Ukrainian medium-sized business. In its welcoming speech, Andriy Bulakh, Managing Partner of Deloitte Ukraine said, “The fact that the Level Up Ukraine is organized with the participation of Deloitte shows that the small and medium business is very important for us. We believe that through joint efforts of these particular companies it would be possible to achieve success in transforming the Ukrainian economy.”

Raffaele Petruzzi, Managing Director of Transfer Pricing Center, Vienna, was one of the forum guests. In his opening speech, he stressed out the fact that Ukraine needs to develop medium-sized business. Otherwise, the country's economy will not grow at a fast pace.

During the panel discussion titled “Tax and Financial Security of the Future”, the participants discussed global trends, particularly the BEPS, as well as current and expected changes in Ukrainian legislation. Grigol Katamadze, President of the Taxpayers Association of Ukraine during his speech stated that the process of establishing trust is a two-way traffic and the state has to take the first step. ”Above all, business expects for an introduction of exit capital tax that will replace corporate income tax,” said Grigol Katamadze.

During the discussion of the future of investments in Ukraine, the participants talked about the main requirements of international investors to business. Overall, the speakers agreed that Ukraine has the required talent pool as well as technological and intellectual potential, but businesses usually do not know how to sell their innovations. Deborah Feyrlamb, Coordinator of the Ukrainian National Startup Fund and Alex Romanovich, Managing Partner of BeachHead Partners, SEO Social2B also placed emphasis on this aspect.

The companies mainly invest in agribusiness and food production sector of Ukraine. The investors also show interest in education sector and pharmaceutical industry. Givi Topchishvili, Founder and President of 9.8 Group, in its turn, believes that it would be interesting to invest in the Ukrainian teams and people who are ready to survive under the difficult conditions and lack of transparency.

The practical aspects of transformation that took place over the last four years were analysed using success story examples of the Ukrainian companies. During the discussion, Andriy Pyshnyi, Chairman of the Board of JSC Oschadbank presented some impressive figures: market share of the bank increased from 7% in 2014 up to 22% in 2018. Andriy Pyshnyi named the project management and communication as key components of the bank's transformation, because involvement of each employee in the transformational process is very important.

Andriy Bulakh, Managing Partner of Deloitte Ukraine summed up the panel discussions by saying that transformation is possible even under the most difficult conditions. “The most significant transformation takes place at the level of decision-making and actions of a particular person. Business cannot move to a new level without a mature leader and a strong team that is ready for serious changes,” said Andriy Bulakh.

In addition to the main stage, the event participants could visit two more panels.

During the functional transformation session, the leading world experts held master classes and shared their personal recommendations. In particular, the agenda included such topics, as work structuring, building of a team, opening of accounts abroad, and capital raising.

The representatives of successful agrarian, infrastructure and pharmaceutical companies of Ukraine held master classes as part of the industrial transformation session panel. The experts also provided advice on what steps should be taken to enter the global market.

Moreover, during the industrial session there was a competition held among the Ukrainian startup projects.The competition was organized together with the business forum partner HUB 4.0 that selected the projects for the Startup Pitching Zone.The innovative solution teams presented their projects to a professional jury panel that also included Deborah Feyrlamb, Coordinator of the Ukrainian National Startup Fund. The competition was won by a startup that proposed converting the vehicles so that they can run on both fuel and electricity.

At the end of the eventful forum program, the participants had an opportunity to share their thoughts about the event and master classes while enjoying jazz music.

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