By Vardan Janazyan
In the course of his MBA studies at the American University of Armenia, Alexander Harutunian discovered within himself a strong finance managerial spirit. After graduating in 2001, Alexander has started his career path and never settled for more than 15 years. Alexander’s curiosity led him to the discovery of his passion for Blockchain technologies and the creation of his company, Concent.io.
The years of bachelor studies at the Yerevan State University were fundamental for Alexander. After majoring in mathematics, Alexander grew a desire to understand economics and financial relations. For that reason, he decided to deepen his knowledge and get an MBA degree at AUA right after graduating.
What was the next step after completing your MBA studies?
Alexander got a job at the “Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI)” at one of the USAID funded projects. The project was called “SME Development Project” where the funding was based on non-commercial terms. He worked there for four years. “I started as an accountant, and finished as the SME Finance Advisor,” says Alexander.
During those four years, Alexander became a regular traveler, an explorer of the Armenian lands. He mainly traveled in the southern part of the country, with occasional visits to the north as well. “I got to know the regions better, their problems and fields of potential growth, such as mining, agribusiness and so on,” says Alexander.
During his working years in non-commercial, charity organizations Alexander always had the desire to turn to the other side, to the commercial sector. For quite a time Alexander had the feeling that he was not using his knowledge at full; the competitive commercial sector seemed more real to him. The desired business sphere welcomed him with a job at a company named KPMG.
At KMPG Alexander set aside his previous practices and started from a blank page. “The beginning was hard, because my predictions turned out to be true,” shares Alexander. The position of an Auditor at KPMG was quite specific. “My previous work was nothing compared to the new one. The work that I did previously in a week was done in hours at KPMG,” he continues. Alexander left the company after another four years of productive employment.
To work on monetizing the knowledge that he gained throughout these years, Alexander started working in sectors such as insurance, real estate, retail and of course finance.
In 2016, Alexander participated in a training in Lausanne, Switzerland, with one of the shareholders of the company that he worked in at the time. “I learned there that Blockchain has a big future,” he says. After getting back to Armenia with excitement, he has started doing research. He understood the concept in a few months, and by the end of 2016, Alexander had already decided to start my own business in that very field.
According to Alexander Blockchain is a technology, which initially has been created to support Internet Cash. This is not to confuse with the system of transfers of ordinary paper money, which has its virtual representation. Rather, this is a “cash with an internet DNA”: something, which can travel through the Internet and have value.
“The revolutionary idea of Blockchain can be compared to the invention of cell phones or even creation of the Internet. So I decided to be on the frontline of this technology’s development and started Concent.io.”
The company started as a consulting service. Alexander aimed to use his acquired knowledge and designed training to help the interested people in the field.
“In the process, I understood that in this sphere one could not reach high results without a team of developers. If you have an idea, a vision to do something, you also need a tool to implement your project from its beginning to the very end!” says Alexander. The company’s team already counts four developers who are working on several ambitious projects. The clients mainly are from abroad.
“No matter what you do, if you do it well,” notes Alexander.
One of the biggest challenges in the field of Blockchain technology is finding professional developers. “The sector is highly competitive, with high salaries, but there are a very few specialists,” Alexander concludes.