12:59 | 21.01.16 | Articles | exclusive 7210

Armenian IT’s opportunities in Iran: different perspectives

On January 16, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy and Security Affairs Federica Mogherini stated the lift of sanctions against Iran.

The lift of sanctions is an excellent opportunity for Armenia’s economy fields including IT and high technology sectors to enter around 80-million Iranian market.

For those Armenian IT companies which target abroad Iran has a potential of becoming a huge testing market as well as a good development platform where foreign competitors haven’t yet positioned themselves.

According to statistics, half of Iran’s 81mln population are smartphone users; the number of users is expected to double in March 2016.  It means that alongside with other technological products on the market, new mobile apps will be of more interest.


Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna on January 16
Photo:Reuters.

Why not be represented in a market when we can do it?

Iran and Armenian IT companies

Itel.am talked to a number of Armenian IT companies trying to find out how much they are interested in exporting their product to the Iranian market.

Zangi company with the mobile app of the same name has today around 400 thousand downloads and 5000 of them are from Iran.

“Our company has always been interested in Iran. Zangi is promoted there organically without any mediation”, noted Zangi team member Arthur Avetisyan.

Supposedly, Armenians or relatives of Iranians living in Armenia make the majority of the users in Iran.

“Zangi allows making high-quality video and audio calls even in case of very poor connection, exchange interactive messages, photos and videos. Taking into account the internet issues in Armenia, it addresses a very urgent issue”, stressed Arthur Avetisyan.

gg company which has recently launched ggGeorgia brand in Tbilisi is going to enter the Iranian market as well this year.

“We can’t be late. It’s desirable for us to enter the market in the first half of the year. I personally call upon all Armenian businessmen who have competitive products to take the Iranian market very seriously to get positioned there as soon as possible”, stressed gg co-founder Khachatur Grigoryan.

He has noted that besides Teheran, they are going to enter other Iranian cities- Tavriz in the first place.

Teamable Armenian company which facilitates HR management is also interested in entering the Iranian market.

“Iran is a very interesting market for us as in near future it is going to burgeon at a rapid pace. We haven’t quite clearly plan when we will enter the market as first of all we should “teach Persian” to the system”, noted the company’s co-founder Vazgen Hakobjanyan.

Hrachya Manukyan, one of founders of Truthly app which allows making honest and anonymous “confessions” to your friends, has noted that they don’t have definite plans regarding Iranian market yet.

“Our next target market is Russia and then European countries. Only after that will we think about Iran”, he said. 

There is a lack of innovative solutions in Iranian market

Startup Armenia co-founder Hayk Asriyants finds Iranian market an attractive one for Armenian IT.


Photo:ERIC LAFFORGUE PHOTOGRAPHY

Iranian economy is the 28th in the world: according to the World Bank’s initial indicators and the GDP of the country is USD 425 bln. Only 4-6 % of the population (80 mln people) is considered as poor if we consider USD 2.5-3.5 daily expenses as poverty level. At the same time, Iran had unemployment high indicators in 2014(11.4%), although the government had decided to reduce this number to 7% by creating new workplaces this year”, he says.

Hayk Asriyants thinks it’s worth mentioning that some foreign IT platforms  and products are banned in Iran.

“It made the local businessmen develop their Iranian versions, while there is a lack of innovative solutions in the market. As a result, an interesting competitive atmosphere has been created and, I think, Armenian companies may be very successful there”, he highlights.

According to Hayk Asriyants it’s important to use Armenian-Iranian  trade and cultural connection, Iranian-Armenians that are based in Armenia  and Armenian community in Iran in order to create a bridge to Iran

78% of mobile gamers prefer English interface in Iran.

Techcrunch has published some interesting numbers abut mobile gaming in Iran recently.

The aim of the survey, where 837 people participated was to understand the situation in the country.

The majority (61%) of Iranian population is under 30 years old. Consequently, 67% of the mobile gamers are under 24 years old.

78% of mobile gamers participating in the survey prefer English interface.

67% use the mobile games a couple of times in a day with short duration and 19%- more than 3 hours a day. 84% uses Android, 13%-iOS devices.

Leading indicators in terms of choosing the games include advice from friends/acquaintances (52%), the rating of the app (47%), media coverage (28%). The most widespread genres are action (52%) and strategic (49%).
 
The Guardian has also talked about it during the year. The magazine noted that half of Iran’s population has smartphones quoting sources.


 
Talking about internet coverage, According to Internet World Stats indicators, 46.5 mln people use internet in Iran, which is 40% of all internet subscribers in the Middle East.

Although, it is worth mentioning that not all subscribers have the possibility to use internet regularly.

Narine Daneghyan