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Yasin Taha Celiloğlu, a professional in the IT field, became an entrepreneur in Russia. His next goal is to make his company vMind one of the region's most important players. - Mehmet Erdoğan Elgin

Starting his Russian adventure as a technology manager in structuring the subsidiary of a Turkish bank in Russia, Yasin Taha Celiloğlu reached a significant crossroads after seven years. Having become accustomed to Russia over the course of seven years and setting bigger career goals in this country, Celiloğlu wanted to continue his work in the technology field but dreamed of pursuing it as an entrepreneur.

His encounter with Volkan Duman, the founder of vMind Bilgi Teknolojileri A.Ş.  company, in Moscow in 2015, was the first step towards realizing this dream.

Celiloğlu, who had left the bank where he worked, became the business development manager and Eurasia Regional Director at vMind Bilgi Teknolojileri A.Ş. . Over the course of the next six years, Celiloğlu is now the CEO and partner of the company. Based in Moscow, vMind is attracting attention with its rapid growth in former Soviet countries such as Kazakhstan, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

Yasin Taha Celiloğlu emphasizes that they operate in two different areas: they produce turnkey projects that provide on-premise solutions, including hardware, software, licenses, installation, and support. They are also experiencing rapid growth in cloud computing, an area they excel in. In Turkey, they protect and store their customers' data in three different data centers and guarantee high accessibility and speed.

vMind closed last year with a turnover of over 10 million dollars and made a 2 million dollar investment during the same period. In line with its growth strategy, the company has increased its workforce to 160 employees. Celiloğlu states that they are partners with more than 35 manufacturers in over 40 different service areas. The young entrepreneur points out that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) market offers various opportunities for growth in the technology sector, and they are progressing towards becoming a leading company in IT projects in the region and in Turkey. vMind, which is striving to achieve a significant position in its region, currently focuses primarily on the Russian market. Of course, the developments in Russia's IT market will determine the company's future direction as the main growth point. So how does Celiloğlu evaluate the Russian IT market?

Firstly, the young entrepreneur highlights that Russia has a conservative market, but this conservatism is not a type that is closed to development and innovation. On the contrary, the high level of education among the population, the advanced internet network nationwide, and relatively low costs make it easier for people to adapt to emerging technologies. The country's openness to innovation is evident from the global position of Russian-origin IT companies such as Kaspersky, FaceApp, Veeam, and Yandex. Celiloğlu points out the richness of the human resources in Russia, mentioning that due to the high cost of labor in Moscow, companies can find top-level software engineers and programmers in remote regions like Novosibirsk and have more cost-effective developments done there.

He also mentions that the education curriculum is appropriately structured, allowing children to encounter software development courses at an early age and providing them with opportunities to specialize deeply in their chosen field in IT even at the university level, which enables young graduates to become more ready for the business world. Turkish companies began to establish a presence in the Russian market in various sectors, primarily in the construction sector, starting in the 1990s. Now, companies operating in the IT sector are also being added to Turkish companies that have gained significant positions in this country. Yasin Taha Celiloğlu emphasizes that the growth potential in the Russian market in the IT sector is ideal, noting that we are talking about a country with a highly developed culture of adapting to new technologies.

This could lead us to lose our competitive advantage in areas that we claim to be unique and very good at. Therefore, we must work tirelessly and be open to innovation in both production and marketing as well as logistics. We must constantly strive to improve ourselves.

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