Godel Technologies’ mission is to build the most respected nearshore software delivery partner in Europe. CEO Neil Turvin explains how his business is drawing on the depth of skills available in Belarus to help UK clients implement cutting-edge IT solutions.

Why are you tapping into IT talent in Belarus?

In the former Soviet Union, Belarus was chosen as the place where investment would be made in tech. Minsk, the capital of Belarus, was the tech hub. There’s been 50+ years of investment in technology, which is why we have been operating there for the last 15 years. We employ around 500 people: about 30 in Manchester and the rest in Belarus.

Is Godel a disruptor – or at risk of disruption – or both?

Everybody is at risk of disruption in some ways. But I definitely see ourselves as a disruptor, probably for two reasons. Firstly, the lack of high quality IT skills in the UK is a big challenge across every industry. We have access to exceptional software engineering talent which we can offer to our clients at competitive rates, so we are a disruptor in that way. In addition, we are solely focused on serving clients in the UK and we see that as a differentiator compared to our competitors. There’s so much demand in the UK. If you try to meet demand across the globe, it’s harder to keep your quality. For us, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.

How are you future-proofing your business?

We continue to invest in technical education around the latest technologies. Traditionally in the offshore and nearshore world, organisations would do what I call ‘business as usual’ work. We don’t really want that work so we have to invest in tech education in order for our colleagues to stay a step ahead of the game. We are leveraging high quality talent in Belarus, so in order to retain and motivate those people, you have to invest educationally in them with the latest technologies and offer them those types of [cutting-edge] projects. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is a good example. Microsoft are visiting our development centres to train our guys in their technologies in AI and machine learning as they also recognise that as a partner, we are able to offer a disruptive model in the UK market.

How have you applied digital technology in your business?

We must have around £300,000 of video-conferencing kit out with clients. That’s key to our business. It demonstrates to clients that we are a technology company and high quality engineers expect a certain level of tech. So a lot of investment goes into digital technology within the business, and into our website so that we get across our culture and what really makes us tick. We’ve also invested heavily around cloud.

What sectors apart from yours are most likely to feel the impact of disruptive tech?

Retail, because the high street is dying a death. The likes of PrettyLittleThing.com, Boohoo or Asos have grown online without the need for shops. That model will continue. Even businesses that kick off in fashion see themselves as tech businesses really and can grow from nowhere and quickly reach £50m turnover.

Also healthcare, because of the potential impact of AI and machine learning. If a hospital is failing to meet targets or you’re a doctor or surgeon interpreting the results of scans, for example, AI and machine learning could help to generate more accurate results for treating illnesses, depending on how you teach the tech.

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