Nurtay Abilgaliyev, the director general of Kazakhstani company BTS Digital revealed why Russian SBER has chosen his company as a partner. It will be part of a new project by SBER which is going to update Kazakhstan’s e-government software.
Abilgaliyev has told journalists that because BTS Digital takes business seriously, Russian SBER has decided to share its technologies with the company and work on the project together.
“We had shared all the information we have: discussed products, strategy and the future of our solutions. We revealed who we are and what kind of team we have as a leading tech company in Kazakhstan,” he said.
In turn, SBER has let its new partner know that it expects BTS to use a reliable and transparent approach to work.
“I think we have succeeded in the creation of our own corporate culture and company structure. Our approach is quite flexible and based on principles of agility (in software development), which is a mandatory attribute of any company, I believe. We talked a lot about this point and you know, SBER and BTS think the same way about what the best team should look like and how we can be closer to our customers. It was a bidding and we weren't the only IT company from Kazakhstan. But of course, we did our best and have won,” Abilgaliyev added.
In September Kazakhstanis became aware of a new concept of digitalization called Data-Driven Government. The provider of all the proper technologies is Russian SBER which may also act as an issuer of a $500 million loan to make this concept come true.
“The amount of the loan is $500 million with a credit length of five years. Given the importance of the project this price isn’t mind-blowing,” said the executive of BTS Digital. Now his company is obliged to create an effective consortium of local companies that have to build a new platform for Kazakhstan by using technologies and services developed by SBER. BTS wants to prepare 1,000 young specialists to achieve this goal.
Bagdat Musin, the head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry confirmed that part of the $500 million contract is going to be invested in local companies. Another part should cover infrastructural issues and the last one-third is the payment for SBER services, he added.
BTS Digital, a subsidiary of ERG Group, has 350 employees and is partly owned by the government of Kazakhstan (40%). The company develops its own ecosystem of products and services designed for e-commerce and communications.
The company was established three years ago and isn't profitable yet. However, the company has got reliable financing and even participated in several IT projects for the government for free, according to Abilgaliyev.