ICT story: How uzbek lawyer conquered Silicon Valley

As part of IT Park’s “ICT story” column, we are thrilled to continue to acquaint our subscribers with Uzbek professionals working abroad. Let us introduce our next guest — Asror Arabjanov.

Asror is 30 years old. He holds a law degree from Westminster International University in Tashkent and a master's degree from Stanford University, and now works as a corporate lawyer and lives in Silicon Valley.

How did you end up in the USA?

Asror moved abroad due to the master’s program.

“I went to Stanford Law School. So my wife and I came to the United States in 2021.  Now I live in Silicon Valley and engaged in a Datatruck.io startup, I work at the venture capital firm Draper Associates and I help startups from Central Asia tap the American market and attract venture capital funding.”

At Datatruck.io startup project, Asror is a co-founder and CEO on operations and legal affairs. Datatruck is working to bring automated processes to the transportation industry. The startup was launched by Asror and his friends from Uzbekistan, who are also studying in the US. At the moment, the first investments have been attracted to the project and the platform has been launched in test mode.

But this is not the only successful project in which Asror has participated - he is very proud that he was part of the team that worked on the Khantex textile cluster in the Kurgantepa district of Andijan region. Asror was also the CEO of the Chortoq mineral water project.

“Although I am a lawyer, I have always been attracted to the field of startups and IT in general. By the way, as a lawyer who was looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I can say that it is much easier for IT professionals here: in matters of obtaining a visa, and with employment. After master's degree, STEM specialists get the right to stay and work in the USA for 3 years. In the humanities, this period is limited to one year.”

By the way, Asror himself did not receive a visa immediately: for the first time, he got denied. Apparently, they did not believe that in Uzbekistan it is possible to receive 4-5 thousand US dollars a month and make savings of $100-120 thousand, he assumes. But the second time there were no problems.

Difficulties with the visa were, perhaps, the only problem. Everything else went smoothly for Asror.

“Since we were alone with my wife, and that we had already been to the States previously, we had almost no difficulties in everyday life. We quickly settled in, found interesting places to visit. However, it somewhat was difficult to return the state of mind of a “student” having significant gap years after a bachelor's degree. But it also made me stronger.”

How do you assess the IT sector of Uzbekistan?

According to Asror, the IT sector in Uzbekistan is now developing actively, but there are small gaps, which, he is sure, the government will soon resolve.

“The whole world knows about Uzbekistan as a country of cotton. I believe that the IT sector can be our next best sector. All conveniences are in place for that. I see only two big problems: firstly, Uzbekistan enters this industry very late, and secondly, we have gaps in education - in mathematics and sciences in general. But I see what changes are taking place in the country and I am very happy about it. I hope that in the coming years Uzbekistan will become one of the world leaders in ICT.”

When asked what innovations that exist in the United States he would like to introduce in Uzbekistan, Asror replies: first of all, he would like more venture investors and accelerators to come to the country.

“It would be good to introduce many Western initiatives here as well. For example, I would also like very much that small IT teams can easily both create their own companies and close them.

So that the contribution of the founders of our startups can be evaluated without registering intellectual property and its evaluation, it becomes more convenient to use the “convertible loan” tool, and that would enable startups can distribute options to their employees without the need to confirm their replenishment of the statutory fund. In general, Uzbekistan can launch a lot of necessary and useful things.”

Asror himself does not exclude that in the future he will live in Uzbekistan. As Asror says, he did not leave Uzbekistan at all in the popular sense of the word.

“I would not say that we moved abroad for good. While we are looking for ourselves and think where we can be most useful to society. But I do not rule out the possibility that we will return to our homeland.”

Tell us about a new project with IT Park

In the near future, a new joint column from Asror and IT Park is about to launch.

“I have long wanted to launch a special column on the pages of IT Park. At this stage, we agreed to work on the quality of the founders. So that the founders have basic knowledge of startups, of raising capital both within the country and abroad. We are planning a series of articles, video tutorials, online broadcasts for startups, IT Park residents and a wider audience.”

The project will kick off in the coming months. Asror is confident that this initiative will help many people who are interested in finding new jobs they are passionate about.

“There are many talented and promising young people in Uzbekistan and many successful companies. I want to share my experience and skills. It will be useful for any IT professional.”

To young and novice specialists, Asror wishes to be brave.

“I want every IT specialist to have the courage, determination, self-confidence and even a little bit of crazyness to start what seems like an unrealizable plan/project.  And most importantly, I wish anyone could believe that he’s the one who will succeed!”