My Experience

26.03.2024
Impact Maker
Building Bridges: The Inspiring Journey of Move2Armenia (Part 1)
Building Bridges: The Inspiring Journey of Move2Armenia (Part 1)
 
Since its inception in 2012, Repat Armenia has been at the forefront of fostering repatriation and integration into Armenian society. Repat Armenia's extensive experience and established network complement the innovative approaches of newer movements like Move2Armenia, illustrating the power of collaboration in achieving shared goals.
 
Move2Armenia is a movement started by three Armenian repatriates from Russia, Garik Gevorgyan, Garry Garanyan, and Georg Mkhitaryan, in January 2022. With a mission parallel to that of Repat Armenia, Move2Armenia is dedicated to making Armenia a hub for living, working, business, and education. The founders, driven by their personal experiences and a deep connection to their homeland, have created a platform offering a plethora of services. From online resources to offline events and professional consultations, their mission is to smoothen the adaptation process for new arrivals and provide detailed guidance for those contemplating relocation to Armenia.
 
As Move2Armenia approaches its two-year mark, it continues to evolve, tailoring its services to meet the changing needs of repatriates. This interview with Move2Armenia co-founder Garik Gevorkyan will delve into the organization's methods for ensuring accurate and complete information dissemination, discuss challenges faced and overcome, and explore its efforts in facilitating career opportunities for new residents in Armenia. Furthermore, we'll uncover Move2Armenia's ambitious future plans, community engagement stories, and its adaptive strategies during Armenia's recent humanitarian challenges. Join us as we unravel the inspiring story behind Move2Armenia and its significant impact on the Armenian repatriate community.
 
1. Can you share the story behind the creation of Move2Armenia? What inspired you to start this movement, and what were your initial goals?
 
Move2Armenia was founded by three Armenian repatriates, Garik Gevorgyan, Garry Garanyan, and Georg Mkhitaryan, who moved from Russia to Armenia a few years ago. Since its inception in January 2022, the movement has focused on opening Armenia for living, working, business, and education by providing various services. These include online services, organizing offline events, and offering professional consultations. The movement’s primary goal is to facilitate the adaptation process for those who have already moved to Armenia and to provide comprehensive information for those still considering relocation. Over nearly two years, Move2Armenia has strived to be a platform for support and dialogue among repatriates.
 
One of the organization’s initial projects was creating a concierge service. This service aimed to assist 100 repatriated families in making a seamless transition to life in Armenia, providing all necessary resources and support to ease this crucial step.
 
Move2Armenia continues to evolve, adapting to the needs of repatriates and enriching its services to ease their integration into their new life in Armenia.
 
2. Move2Armenia aims to provide comprehensive information about living in Armenia. How do you ensure that the information you provide is complete and verified? Can you tell us more about your philosophy in helping individuals make informed decisions about moving to Armenia? 
 
Move2Armenia’s primary mission is to provide comprehensive, accurate information about living in Armenia, facilitating informed decision-making for potential repatriates and immigrants. To ensure the completeness and verification of the information we provide, we have adopted a multifaceted approach:
 
The creation of Move2Armenia Catalog and FAQ:
Initially, our team focused on developing an online catalog of Armenian service providers, including shops, banks, car services, and kindergartens. This step was crucial as the digital presence of local companies in Armenia was relatively underdeveloped, with many lacking websites or social media presence or having outdated information. Recognizing the influx of people in spring 2022 who were accustomed to more rapid and convenient infrastructures, we worked extensively to digitize the market. Our efforts involved verifying service addresses and hours, filming locations, and compiling all this data into the comprehensive Move2Armenia Catalog and FAQ – a unified city guide with up-to-date information.
 
Content Focused on Instructional Guidance:
We understand that relocating to a new country brings numerous organizational and bureaucratic challenges. To address these, we provide instructional content covering various essential topics, including guidance on legalizing one’s status, necessary documentation, first points of government contact, business registration, opening bank accounts, and enrolling children in schools. Our expert team, consisting of lawyers and accountants, swiftly provides accurate information and advice. We reach out to government institutions for queries beyond our team’s expertise, ensuring we relay the most current and official information.
 
Communication with Government Institutions:
Our experience with various ministries has been diverse; while some provide detailed responses, others communicate less effectively. Nevertheless, we have established efficient communication channels with these institutions to obtain timely and accurate data on a range of issues, including immigrant legalization and business incentive programs.

Support Services and Social Media Engagement:
Previously, we operated a support service that addressed various queries. Additionally, our presence at the Zvartnots Airport offered newcomers their first touchpoint with Armenia. We also actively engage with our audience on social media, responding to various inquiries and striving to maintain the trust and reliance placed in us by our community.
 
In summary, Move2Armenia is committed to being a reliable source of comprehensive information, supporting informed decisions for those considering a move to Armenia. We continue to adapt and expand our resources to meet the evolving needs of our audience and ensure they have access to the most accurate and helpful information available.
 
3. Building a successful movement like Move2Armenia must have faced its fair share of challenges. What were some significant obstacles you faced in the early stages, and how did you overcome them? 
 
While creating and developing the Move2Armenia movement, we faced several significant challenges. One of the main issues was finding suitable venues for our numerous events, ranging from small lectures to large forums and job fairs. We encountered unstable interactions with property owners and a lack of transparency in pricing.
 
We also faced challenges due to regional planning peculiarities, limiting us to plans for only two to three months ahead. This required us to be flexible and adaptive in event organization.

Moreover, we encountered the immaturity of the advertising market, where new establishments were not always ready to invest in marketing despite significant initial investments.
 
Additionally, there was a shortage of qualified personnel in many sectors, including IT. This revealed a mismatch between demand and supply in the labor market, prompting us to develop our own platform for personnel recruitment and organize offline job fairs.
 
Overcoming these obstacles, we learned to effectively adapt to local conditions, respond flexibly to changing demands, and actively seek innovative solutions to achieve our goals.

4. One of the key aspects of Move2Armenia is facilitating career opportunities for those who move to Armenia. Can you elaborate on the job fairs and career counseling services you offer and how they have impacted the lives of people who have relocated to Armenia? 
 
Throughout its nearly two-year history, Move2Armenia has been committed to serving as a platform for support and dialogue, especially in facilitating career opportunities for those relocating to Armenia. A key focus of our initiative has been to help individuals find employment, which is often one of the first challenges encountered when adapting to a new country.
 
Job Fairs and Career Exhibitions

Early Initiatives:
Our first career exhibition was held in the first week of March 2022, coinciding with the mass arrival of relocators to Armenia. This event marked the beginning of our ongoing efforts to connect job seekers with potential employers.
 
Engagement Beyond Relocators:
It became evident that our job fairs and markets weren’t just beneficial for new arrivals and attracted considerable interest from local Armenians. Over half of the attendees at events like the Move2Market, JobHub, and later Move2Armenia Career were locals, indicating our initiatives’ broader appeal and impact.
 
Impact and Success:
Through our job fairs, over 1,000 individuals have found employment, showcasing the significant impact these events have had on the lives of both relocators and residents.
 
Career Counseling and Online Services

Regular Offline Events:
We organize offline events, including career counseling sessions, at least twice a year. These gatherings provide a platform for personal interaction and direct communication between job seekers and employers.
 
Move2Armenia Career Online Aggregator:
Beyond physical events, we have developed an online job aggregator, Move2Armenia Career, to assist in the job search process continuously. This platform is regularly updated with open positions from Armenian companies, ensuring our audience has access to the latest job opportunities.
 
Informing Our Audience:
We actively communicate about open positions to our audience, bridging the gap between Armenian companies and potential employees. This not only helps individuals in their job search but also supports local businesses in finding the right talent.

Consequently, Move2Armenia’s efforts in organizing job fairs, career exhibitions, and developing an online job aggregator, coupled with regular career counseling and informational sessions, have significantly impacted the lives of those who have relocated to Armenia. These initiatives have not only assisted new arrivals in finding employment but also have contributed to the local job market by connecting Armenian companies with a broader pool of talent.

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