Aram Khachatryan:

Aram Khachatryan:

“Investing in Armenia is First of All a Duty”

Aram Khachatryan is the co-founder and CEO of Galaxy Group of Companies, a multi-industry corporation headquartered in Armenia. He is in charge of strategic management and organizational development of the group. Regional Post discusses with Mr. Khachatryan models of business operation and engagement in Armenia’s economic agenda by the example of Galaxy Group.

Interview : Arshak Tovmasyan    Photo : Galaxy Group 

 

Investing in Armenia, how and why – if you could define what are the motivations and aspirations of Galaxy Group as a case for others to get inspired from.

- Behind the formation of the current profile of our Group, lies over 20+ years of continuous efforts in creating businesses from scratch. All of our companies operating under Galaxy Group were formed through the idea-concept-project model. And the path of development of this kind further strengthens the connection with the businesses beyond the commercial dimension. 

Thus, we have created over 15 businesses, and the Group, through its goods and services, currently penetrates every third household in Armenia, having consistently ranked as one of the top taxpayers in the country. With around 3000 employees and a huge customer base, reflecting significant socio-economic impact of the Group other than the quantitative indicators, we feel duty to those families and the communities.

So, looking back, what has made us successful in not deviating from our path of doing business, has been the immersion in business generation, the belief in goals and their truthfulness, and in our mission towards creating value for the country. 

Galaxy Group Annual Leadership Meeting 2021

 

Could you please outline the culture of a conglomerate? What is the model in Armenia by the example of Galaxy Group of Companies? (Note: the Galaxy is the first public reporting holding company in Armenia)․

- Our Group operates in diverse industries, such as commercial real estate, entertainment and hospitality, retail, IT and Telecommunication. And each company is unique in its business portfolio and the game-changing nature. Thus, in outlining strategic paths, the role of Galaxy is crucial, in terms of ensuring the business operations are in line with the principles and values preset, and providing development guidelines thereof. 

In building supporting engagement to our companies, we guarantee compliance with high international standards of corporate governance, developing and bringing in policies and mechanisms to ensure effective business eco-system within the Group. 

The multi-sectoral involvement drives exchange of experiences, enhancing knowledge in planning and implementing business strategies. This may also include a bulk of opportunities, from the negotiations with suppliers to the labor market.

Also, we take care of the business impact to be of the public interest and the interests of all stakeholders in the society. That is why we have a tradition to publish an annual social and economic impact report, releasing key data on taxes, loans, salaries and employees’ distribution across the Group industries, purchases, etc. 

While the reporting of this kind, for which, by the way, no special requirement exists, is aimed at ensuring a high level of transparency, our strategy is also aimed at reflecting Group capacities in the form of our collective impact on the economy. At the same time, the contribution of each and every employee in the socio-economic development agenda is emphasized. 

Galaxy Group celebrated its 22nd anniversary with a rock-classical concert performed by the State Symphony Orchestra of Armenia

 

Talking about the role of employees, it is interesting to learn more about the values that are forming the corporate environment in the Group, as a multi-industry corporation in Armenia.

- In our undertaking of the advancing business strategies, we are firmly attached to our mission and principles and our corporate values. 
One of them is continuous learning. As we have tried much in building this Group, we have learned much too. The new knowledge has driven us in setting strategies that are ambitious in their essence, and reasonable in bringing them to life. 

We are keen in learning from each other too, which form distinctive synergies within the Group. This, in turn, enriches our team insight toward providing solutions to nowadays non-routine challenges and increasing overall business efficiency. Especially, through the burden of unprecedented challenges of last years, we were able to come out due to the team spirit and consolidated efforts of our companies.

On the other layer of learning, we attach special attention to continuing education, contributing to our team members to advance their knowledge and skills in top universities, such as Sheffield, Oxford, Columbia, Stanford, Harvard. 

Forward thinking is another value we hold. As we live in uncertain times, we constantly improve our level of adaptability in order to effectively plan and implement risk mitigation strategies. Hence, through a think tank style model, we utilize future-oriented scenario-based planning, which helps us identify the factors and conditions that could form the future market. 

One of the values incorporated in our business culture is the game-changing. With each company we build, we aim to bring disruptive concepts and innovation in the relevant industry we enter. On the operational level too we are continually enhancing our innovative capacities, such as advancing digital transformation tested to be effective during the pandemic. 

We also set up new benchmarks in business. Among the feats we take pride in is that we managed on “exporting” our powered-by-Galaxy business concept outside Armenia, through establishing TI’ME and Chronograph brands in Georgia and Belarus.

Aram Khachatryan, the co-founder and CEO of Galaxy Group of Companies

 

“Development Projects Armenia 2022”: How has the framing been formed, and what are the actual projects within that framework? 

- The pandemic, the war and the crises have introduced a new agenda of responses, highlighting the need of bringing proactive engagement in economic development and multilateralism in action.

Indeed, partnerships are key for development. Among 200+ domestic and international partnerships in 20+ countries, we have partnered with Eriksson, Etix, Swatch Group, Richmond Group, Marriott International, and PAUL international running joint projects in the region. We further foster B2B dialogues on actual issues and collaboration within the setting of the international business community through memberships in the European Business Association, American Chamber of Commerce and CCI France in Armenia. 

Through announcing development projects 2022, we have been driven from the perspective of promoting and in our case implementing rumped up business engagement in the economic life of the country.
With institutional heritage of a dozen small and big development projects implemented throughout the path, enhancing the positive image of Armenia, supporting social and educational development, bettering lives and communities, we believe that the progress has always been and is possible through mutual cooperation. 

It is worth mentioning that in 2020, one of the most difficult years of Armenia, the Group paid more than $22 million in taxes. And I am happy to state that this number, along with other relevant directions, has increased in 2021, which will be reflected in our next Social and Economic Impact Report to be released very soon. 

Along with ensuring business continuity during the hard times, we moved forward with new investments in hospitality, commercial real estate and local production. 

Recently Katna – Armenian cheeses entered the Armenian market. A chain of famous French PAUL bakeries will open soon in Yerevan. As for the other international project Teryan 5, developed with Marriott International, the residential part of the building will be put in operation this year, while the Courtyard by Marriott hotel will open in 2023. 

We have also expanded our business concept in the region through TI’ME and Pandora brands in Belarus. We hope that the international situation will soon improve, and we will further advance our presence in CIS markets. 
Yet, the center of our vital interests remains in Armenia.

Teryan 5 is a real estate development project encompassing a 75 meters tall 22 story building in the heart of Yerevan


Galaxy Group of Companies | Business Overview

Galaxy Group of Companies is a multi-industry and multinational conglomerate headquartered in Yerevan and operating in three countries. The Group stands as one of the largest corporations in the region, having consistently ranked among the top taxpayers in Armenia, and comprises 15 companies, each positioned as a leader in its respective industry. 
Besides the leading telecom operator in Armenia Ucom, the businesses under the Galaxy Group include Yerevan Mall, the biggest shopping mall in Yerevan, TI’ME & Pandora premium jewelry and watch stores in Armenia, Georgia and Belarus, MegaFood, one of the largest importer and distributor of confectionery and food products on the local market, etc. 
While the commercial nature of business remains as an integral part of the corporate operations, Galaxy Group’s mission extends way beyond business affairs. With each new company, the Group brings new, disruptive innovations to the private sector in order to both ensure constant development and raise the prevailing standards within the market. Galaxy Group is also a big proponent of social responsibility, having implemented many CSR projects to improve lives and communities as well as promoting corporate citizenship as an inherent business value in Armenia.

The first PAUL in Armenia will be located at 8 Abovyan street, combining architecture of the old Yerevan and the culture of French bakery