PandaDoc to open an office in Ukraine and hire new staff

PandaDoc, an IT company from Belarus, will open an office in Ukraine. “We are opening a company in Ukraine and actively searching for new staff, including not only engineers but also sales and marketing managers,” Mikita Mikado, PandaDoc’s founder, reported in his interview to DOU.UA.

According to Mikado, Ukraine has many advantages compared to the other countries that were considered for relocation.

“Firstly, it is about the local talent market. Secondly, everyone speaks Russian. So, it will a bit easier to adapt for guys coming from Belarus. There are issues with the migration legislation, but your government has really swung into action to resolve those. And fourthly, the fiscal conditions in Ukraine are even more favorable than in Belarus,” Mikado says.

As of today, about 60 employees of PandaDoc have moved from Minsk to Ukraine and are now living in Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv. The company is actively searching for new staff – engineers, sales, and marketing managers.

When asked how he plans to register employees, the Belarusian entrepreneur says he will use the “standard scheme,” applied by all companies in Ukraine, which is an individual entrepreneur (FOP).

“If you want the IT industry to flourish, then this Ukrainian FOP system is quite nice for that. The more so, because, most probably, 99% of the IT sector’s earnings come from export,” Mikado notes.

As for the disadvantages of such lack of official employment, FOP does not allow Belarusian programmers to apply for permanent residency; thus, they have to exit the country after 90 days of stay.

“We have one problem that needs to be resolved in Ukraine. And if you resolve it for us, you will do it for everyone. Most Belarusian companies move here and choose the same scheme with FOP as most Ukrainian companies do. But at the same time, a programmer from Belarus cannot obtain a residence permit acting in such a manner. Because he or she must be officially employed. You can’t get a residence permit through FOP. And you must leave the country after just 90 days,” adds PandaDoc’s CEO.

When asked about the investors’ reaction to the turmoil in the company, Mikado says that they are lucky to have such a board and that their fears have not materialized.

“Everyone has access to YouTube, so, if desired, any person can understand what is going on in Belarus. Of course, there are pecuniary interests in business, but there are human values as well. Our board has very high human qualities, let’s put it this way. I have received a lot of insightful advice on how to behave in the current situation, but there is no pressure from the investors whatsoever.”

Let us recall that on September 2, searches were carried out in PandaDoc’s Minsk office. Furthermore, houses and apartments of several members of staff were searched too. More than a hundred people were interrogated over the next two days. Four employees were detained and criminally charged for misappropriating public funds. Their pre-trial restriction is two months in custody.

The founders of the company are convinced that the case was framed up because of their position. At the very beginning of the protest movement in Belarus, PandaDoc’s founder Mikita Mikado announced that he would financially assist law enforcement officials if they leave the service. Consequently, his company fell under political pressure from the authorities.

Due to the office searches and pressure on the company, PandaDoc’s employees are leaving the country.