The war is particularly on my mind today. I am at the egta CEO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, just across the border from Ukraine. Tomorrow, I am traveling to Kyiv to participate in an Interactive Advertising Bureau Ukraine event to help bring attention to the amazing contributions that Ukrainians have made to the world’s digital advertising technology over the past 15 years.
We need to help Ukraine win the war, but we also need to help the country and its people keep their economic engine running during and after this war. That means jobs, projects and partnerships.
One-half of the population left Ukraine at the start of the war, but 75% have now returned despite the danger. Unfortunately, many of the clients and partners in some of the country’s critical, media-related industries – software development and content productions – have retreated from Ukraine and not yet returned.
The retreat was rational. With enormous uncertainty and existential questions looming, shifting offshore technology budgets from Ukrainian developers to India or Latin American markets made sense. The same applied to content production. Producers of television shows, movies and video ads shifted their productions out of the country.
Now, however, is the time to shift those budgets back to Ukrainian companies. In late February of last year, few thought that the Ukrainians had a chance to resist the Russian aggression. For sure, western arms and aid helped, but the country’s survival is mostly a testament to the courage, tenacity and extraordinary efforts of its people, its fighters and its leaders.
We around the world need to show the same courage. We need to show commitment to making a difference. We need to step up. WPP and its CEO Mark Read did with their support for the #AdvantageUkraine project.
Ukrainian software development is among the best in the world. The ad-tech industry we know today wouldn’t exist without it. The video production in Ukraine is very strong, and very cost-effective.
Investing in both of these industries in Ukraine is not just good business, but is good for the world. Will you do your part?