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Times of India Interviews EPAM CEO, Arkadiy Dobkin

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The Times of India – by Shilpa Phadnis

Times of India Interviews EPAM CEO, Arkadiy Dobkin

EPAM Systems President and CEO Arkadiy Dobkin says the Company is looking to double its employee strength in India in the next few years. The $5-billion U.S.-based software engineering and product development services company has about 6,000 people in India now.

"We had a tough time because of the situation in eastern Europe where our big talent pool has been. Today, 11,000 of our people are in Ukraine. So, India is very strategic from this point," he told TOI in an exclusive interaction.

About 12 months ago, 60% of employees were in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Currently, Russia is zero. Dobkin said they will have to make up for that in India. "Latin America should accelerate as well. In three-four years, we probably will double in India, depending on the global economy," he said. It grew the India headcount 150% in the last two years.

EPAM started its India operations in 2016 and it has a presence in Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Gurugram and Chennai.

In 1993, Dobkin co-founded EPAM with three employees and went on to list it on the NYSE in 2012. In 1997, EPAM landed SAP as its first software product development client. In 2004, it acquired Fathom Technologies, opening its first EU delivery center and entering the European market, and in 2013, established its digital engagement practice, in addition to expanding its offerings in agile, and business intelligence/analytics.

Dobkin said that every three years, they have been doubling the company's strength. This happened from 2012 to 2015, 2015 to 2018 and then from 2018 to 2021. “From 2015, to probably 2017-18, we were exploring and trying to understand how to operate globally, because we came from different backgrounds, and our largest competitors had a bigger advantage. And we also wanted to capitalize on our engineering DNA,” he said. The company was inspired by Indian IT firms and the way they had globalized. "In 2018-19, when we understood that we could grow, we strategically were thinking about how to become a much more diversified company. Then all the situations happened in Eastern Europe which in some way accelerated our strategy,” he said.

EPAM crossed the $1 billion revenue mark in 2016. “And when we started to talk about $5 billion three-four years ago, the investment community was kind of surprised. We are now practically there on a run-rate basis. We now have a $10 billion aspirational target, but it's a very practical target," Dobkin said. The company, he said, invests heavily in industry knowledge, because big deals require strategizing and implementing this. "So we need to acquire new skills, which is the biggest challenge for everybody, and we need to be able to align these skills in complex deals. If this happens, then we will be a champion company," he said.

Originally posted by The Times of India.

Learn more about EPAM India here.