Why we decided to open our office in Uzbekistan - Interview with the CEO of Optimo (Georgia)

We continue our column in which we introduce you to the new member companies of IT Park, which have chosen Uzbekistan for the development of their business. Today we delve into the narrative of Optimo, a dynamic SaaS (Software as a Service) company hailing from Tbilisi, Georgia. Nikoloz Popkhadze, the CEO of Optimo, shares his insights into the company's inception, expansion into Uzbekistan, and its vision for the future.

Optimo's journey began four years ago in Tbilisi, where the team embarked on a mission to empower MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) with digital tools for efficient inventory and sales management. With a focus on easy-to-use and affordable solutions, Optimo quickly gained traction in the Georgian market, proving the effectiveness of their SaaS platform.

As the company explored avenues for expansion, the team turned their attention to Uzbekistan, a market ripe for digital transformation. Nikoloz Popkhadze highlights the strategic decision to enter Uzbekistan, citing the country's size and the ongoing wave of digitalization in traditional markets. The CEO acknowledges the crucial role played by the IT Park, where Optimo is now a member company, offering benefits such as tax preferences and support through various programs.

Optimo's presence in Uzbekistan marks a significant milestone, with the company already making strides in establishing a local team. Popkhadze reveals that they have successfully hired 20 employees, with a focus on support and sales personnel. The team's expertise is complemented by training sessions, including collaborations with foreign trainers to impart knowledge to Uzbek colleagues.

The challenges faced by Optimo in the new market include bureaucratic hurdles and the need for certifications, factors that contribute to a longer onboarding process. Additionally, the company grapples with internet coverage issues in some regions, given their cloud-based solution. Negotiations with local operators are underway to address this challenge and ensure seamless service delivery.

Nikoloz Popkhadze sheds light on the warm hospitality and cultural richness of Uzbekistan, drawing parallels with the famed Georgian hospitality. Optimo strategically chose an office location near the center of Tashkent for convenience and accessibility, emphasizing the positive changes observed in Uzbekistan's IT landscape within a short timeframe.

Looking ahead, Optimo aims to be a catalyst for digital transformation in Uzbekistan and the broader Middle East region. Popkhadze envisions Uzbekistan as the company's hub for the Middle East, poised for expansion into neighboring countries. The company's commitment to becoming more than just service providers is evident, with plans to offer modern tools that empower businesses to thrive in the digital age.

As Uzbekistan embraces the digital revolution, Optimo's story exemplifies the potential for global tech companies to make a significant impact in the region. The journey from Georgia to Uzbekistan showcases the power of collaboration, innovation, and a shared vision for a digitally empowered future.