ID Group’s Director and Shareholder Lala Bakhshetsyan’s perspective on effective leadership

Regional Post interviewed Lala Bakhshetsyan, the Director and Shareholder of ID Group, about the nuances of female leadership and the company’s long-term commitment to gender equality.

Interview : Margarit Mirzoyan
Photo : ID Group


Ms. Bakhshetsyan, what significance does being a female leader hold for you? What values does the company convey under your leadership today?

- When people think of a leader, they often picture a man, overlooking the possibility of a woman being just as successful in that role. Fortunately, I’m seeing more and more women in our country stepping into fields previously dominated by men. The companies within ID Group have a flexible management system, where women have a significant role and active participation. We have female colleagues within IDBank’s Council and Management Board, and over half of Idram’s management team are women. In fact, around 60% of our workforce are women.

We take pride in the fact that companies within ID Group managed to create an environment and working conditions where both women and men have equal opportunities to make decisions and participate in various aspects of our operations.

It’s important to note that our commitment extends beyond just ensuring equal rights. In all our business activities, decision-making is a chain flowing not only from top-level management but also from lower levels up to the top.

We all know that men and women view the same issues and challenges from different angles. That’s why involving both genders in the chain mentioned above is crucial to ensure balanced decision-making. As a dynamic group of companies, ID Group is committed to providing innovative services to our customers. Our fintech platform, the Idram&IDBank application, strives to lead the way in this field by offering a comprehensive range of services.

Setting such a benchmark obliges us to excel as employers as well. We aim to lead not only in our services but also in our management system and approaches to employees, ensuring equal opportunities for both women and men to thrive and express themselves fully. 


What is ID Group’s approach to female empowerment, and what specific actions or initiatives are being implemented in this context?

- As I mentioned earlier, we implement policies to ensure equal opportunities for both women and men at ID Group.

Regardless of gender, we prioritize all our employees’ development and growth. We heavily invest in their training and development while providing the necessary conditions for personal and professional advancement.

Indeed, in this context, we realize the significance of aligning our group of companies with global standards. One of our first steps in this direction was joining the UN Women Empowerment Principles program. We have already implemented various measures to empower women, such as training, workshops, and events. These initiatives are designed to broaden the opportunities available to women within our organization. Moreover, we remain open and flexible in adopting approaches corresponding to international standards.


You are one of the initiators of IDBank’s and Idram’s “The Power of One Dram” project. What was the driving force behind the idea, and why are such projects important to you?

- “The Power of One Dram” revolves around the concept that even a small investment can create significant change. In the context of our program, which has been running for four years, the only contribution we ask from our clients is to make payments using the platforms of Idram and IDBank platforms. In other words, our clients make their daily payments as usual without spending any extra money. However, every time they pay using Idram and IDBank platforms, we transfer “one dram” to “The Power of One Dram” initiative. Some may argue that this “one dram” is too insignificant to tackle the challenges our country faces. However, it’s important to note that with these “one drams,” we’ve already allocated approximately 165 million drams to various foundations and their beneficiaries, and the community of beneficiaries formed through this initiative agrees with us. 

If everyone believes they lack significant resources and therefore cannot contribute meaningfully, as they say, “the cart will not move”. However, if many people make small contributions to various fields simultaneously, it will eventually lead to positive results. And by positive outcomes, I mean fostering a culture of helping in our society, regardless of the form or size of the assistance. It’s heartwarming when a child encourages their parent to use Idram, knowing about “The Power of One Dram.” There’s much work to be done in this area, starting from families and ending with the private sector and the government. 



What specific skills or perspectives do women bring to the table, and how do they contribute to innovation and growth in the financial sector? 

- I believe that the professional skills required for the development of any field don’t differ significantly from one another. What’s crucial for both women and men is professionalism. Dedication and passion for work are equally important. Here’s where women possess a remarkable quality: when they love something, they give it their all, whether it’s their family or their career; the context doesn’t matter. A woman has the same potential as a man if she isn’t burdened with other responsibilities. In reality, women often shoulder the responsibility of caring for their families; thus, they cannot devote their whole minds to work. From this perspective, providing women with broader business and workplace opportunities is essential to fully realize their professional potential. Otherwise, it’s unfair to grant advantages to someone solely because they are a woman.


What changes would you like to see within the industry, in general, and concerning gender equality?

- Armenia has moved past the stage where women’s rights are overlooked in the professional field. Thankfully, we’re steadily progressing towards full inclusion of women in all areas. As I mentioned earlier, women hold significant positions in the management team and the general staff of ID Group companies. We firmly believe their participation at various company levels is vital for our continued growth. Indeed, there’s still much to be done in our country and across multiple fields. It’s unacceptable to see job announcements specifying gender or age preferences, and it’s also unjustifiable for men to be paid more than women in certain positions. These issues must be addressed quickly, as they shouldn’t limit anyone’s right to work or access equal opportunities.



What advice would you give young women considering career advancement in the financial industry? 

- I might be repeating myself, but there are other key factors besides the industry that can help you build a successful career. What truly counts is knowing how to listen. If you want to advance, you must first listen to your colleagues, friends, superiors, and, what is extremely important in our business, to your client. It’s not only about understanding the assigned task; it’s also about absorbing all the insights that can help you accomplish that task and more. If you’re new to a particular field, pay attention and gather as much information as possible from the professionals working with you or in the same industry. Learn actively, and don’t hesitate to learn from the experiences of others. Professional growth and training are also crucial from this perspective. In universities, we’re taught theory, which often differs from practical work. Professionalism is ultimately a skill that’s developed over time. For women to succeed, especially in the workplace, they must have the opportunity and ability to set aside other issues and focus solely on their work, as this is what brings positive results. Taking responsibility is also vital, particularly for young professionals. It’s essential to take ownership of both successes and failures. Only then will you be able to evaluate your work and be open to feedback from colleagues.


How do you envision the future of fintech in Armenia? 

- Armenia has immense potential in fintech development. We’ve got pioneering solutions that stand out in the region and even globally. Our Idram&IDBank platform, for instance, stands as Armenia’s leading fintech application in terms of the variety of services offered. It is a national payment method widely used across various points of sale and payment methods. As a proudly “Made in Armenia” fintech application, we focus on expanding remote services and enhancing user comfort, aiming to simplify daily tasks for our users. We already have solutions that can thrive internationally and actively pursue opportunities in that direction. Ultimately, our goal remains to provide even more customer-centric service.

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