Without regard to crisis
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Magazine "Yerevan"

Formation of Ameria group of companies in Armenia promises to become an event in financial-investments and consulting services spheres. About what is expected from such step in the period of crisis talks the Executive Director of Ameria group of companies Andrei Mkrtchyan


Interview by Ruben Gyulmisaryan
Photo by Arnos Martirosyan
- Mr. Mkrtchyan, why was the crisis period selected for the integration of “Ameria” group companies?
-In my opinion, the time of crisis is the time for new opportunities: since it is the very period when such factors as efficiency, flexibility, ability to make non-standard decisions come in the forefront, and open niches and new development prospects are formed. It was just in the crisis period, when companies currently representing the modern business elite practically in all sectors of the world economy, emerged. Therefore, the emerging of integrated structure of “Ameria” group companies is the logical result of strive for taking maximum benefit of created opportunities, including those emerged due to crisis. The merging of “Ameria” is one of the first attempts in Armenia to establish financial groups. Being affiliated to one of the largest investment companies in Russia (and not only in Russia, but also in Eastern Europe) – “Troika Dialog”, and having a rich experience in consulting business in Armenia, “Ameria” group companies can provide all varieties of services associated with consulting and banking.   Considering the capital concentrated in the group, we may well become one of the largest investment-banking groups in Armenia.
- How and why was “Ameria” established?
- Everything started back in 1998. At that time, in fact a group of enthusiasts established “Ameria” and later – “Ameria Audit” and “Ameria Invest”. After 10 years, when former “Armimpexbank” (the oldest bank in Armenia) was purchased, we already had in place an experienced team of professionals knowing all refinements of their business: and on that foundation, “Ameria” was established. Today, 250 highly qualified specialists work in the group. This is a team of like-minded persons holding together not on specific personalities, but on the common idea. We have vision and ideology of a team that can and wish to work together in business. The capital of the Company is over $70 mln, and Ameriabank is the largest bank in Armenia by the amount of its charter capital: it is positioned among the top five largest banks of country. Thus, with the merger of our companies into the integrated group company “Ameria”, a rather powerful player has emerged in the Armenian market, in investment-banking services, management and financial consulting and corporate financing industries, with diversified range of services covering practically all directions of banking activity.
- What aims does the merger purse? What positive prospects are seen there for “Ameria” and the country in general?
- Today two brands exist in parallel - “Ameria” and “Ameriabank”, which as you may agree is ineffective. Formation of a single group, in the first place, pursues the goal of establishing a unified brand, which would reflect changes occurred in the management structure of companies and form a common public perception of “Ameria”. In the second place, we anticipate to reach serious synergetic effect for the correct orientation of our clients in the business. This includes both selling of standard package of consulting services, and development of corporate relations with clients, which is especially important today, under the conditions of crisis. That is, we want to announce about us not merely as sellers of services, but particularly as partners offering to clients the very services, which they need. This style of business – client-orientation – is what we imply under corporate culture. I think that in this respect, unfortunately, the number of such organizations in our country is not many. It is worth mentioning that we are conceptually client-oriented, rather than product-oriented, and nowadays this approach is the issue of the day all over the world. This, by the way, is another peculiarity of our team ideology: orientation not to local, but rather global development trends and standards in all directions of our business.
- What policy should “Ameria”, acting now as a group of companies, implement to support Ameria’s image – one of the serious brands in Armenia?
- We need a new brand management system based on the most advanced methods of communication, staff motivation, client servicing...  Just because of this, by the way, we trusted the development of our brand to world famous professionals, namely, internationally recognized British “Identica” Company. In addition, this also includes opportunities enabling our companies to provide unique services in Armenia: I mean, in the first place, our partners from “Troika Dialog”.
Both our partners and we have always felt certain responsibility for the situation in Armenia, and projects, including charitable projects (such as organization of “Armenia-2020, reconstruction of Tatev monastery, and many other measures in the scope of corporative social responsibilities programs), which we implement evidence our concern to see Armenia aimed at future. We plan to expand and we have that very important intellectual, technological and economic potential, which permits us to do so. The crisis provides real opportunities for achievement of most bold imaginable goals.
- Is “Ameria” group going to transgress internal market, at least at regional scale? 

- To a certain extent, we are already present in the markets of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Georgia and Iran: the matter concerns only legal documentation of our presence there. Formation of such a large, serious holding will become a weighty argument for entering international markets. We are confident that in a short time “Ameria” will turn into an international brand representing with dignity Armenia outside its boundaries.

Updated 25.07.2009, 11:22
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