Aram Khachatryan: Galaxy is a story of team success

“From a small team to a large employer in Armenia.” In an interview with Arka and Novosti Armenia news agencies, the Co-Founder and CEO of Galaxy Group of Companies Aram Khachatryan summed up the activities of the company for the 22 years.

ARKA: Galaxy Group recently celebrated the 22nd anniversary of its foundation, announcing its intentions to give a fresh push to its business and social projects. If we try to summarize this whole period retrospectively, how would you describe this long journey as a Co-Founder of Galaxy?

Khachatryan – While it is difficult, maybe impossible, to summarize these 22 years in a few words, I think this whole period is a story of team success. I have reaffirmed for myself that in any situation you must first of all rely on yourself and on the team. And that with collaborative capabilities and knowledge one can reach a seemingly impossible milestone. And knowledge is born from experience, from business competition, successes, failures, challenges and from going through different ways of overcoming them.

For me, the 22nd anniversary of Galaxy has the meaning of this team formula, and we have been led by this value to formulate our next year’s projects. They are aimed at business development, social and economic recovery and progress in Armenia.

I think we have a strong institutional legacy for this agenda. In that context, I would emphasize the steady growth and transformations Galaxy had: from an Armenian company to a group of companies with regional representation, from a commercial company to a socially responsible business, from a small team to a large employer in Armenia.

Galaxy Group celebrated its 22nd anniversary with a rock-classical concert performed by the State Symphony Orchestra of Armenia.

ARKA: Last year was the most difficult: pandemic, crisis, war; it would take a long time to mitigate the consequences. How did all this affect the business, taking into account the fact that more than 10 large Armenian companies are part of your holding?

Khachatryan: Indeed, the volume of challenges was unprecedented, and the losses have been indescribable for all of us. It was difficult to work, especially when, in addition to those biggest problems, we had corporate crises. However, we tried and were able to maintain the team spirit, make every possible effort to mitigate the consequences of the crisis and, finally, to work with the understanding that each of us contributes to ensuring Armenia’s economic stability and economic recovery.

A new strategy has been developed with the aim of responding to the novel challenges and promoting the continued growth of companies comprising the Galaxy Group. Last year alone, the Galaxy Group of Companies paid more than AMD 11.5 billion (more than $22 million) in taxes, and purchases from the local market totaled about $36 million. We have also been able to ensure the business continuity, ensuring the sustainable development of projects at different stages.

ARKA: Apparently, serving as part of the Galaxy Group gives companies a competitive advantage, taking into account the fact that being part of a larger system certainly secures a stronger foundation. It is interesting to know what principles guide you in implementing institutional management?

Khachatryan: Galaxy, as a holding company, introduces strategic development guidelines, promoting the stable operation of the entire ecosystem with appropriate business processes and procedures, and as such, must be the first to consider business risks and ensure effective management. The role of the Galaxy is defined by providing three important functions for our companies.

1) Supporting at all stages, including creating teams, establishing partnerships with various stakeholders, negotiations, etc.

2) Ensuring regulation, including the introduction and implementation of relevant procedures and principles in the areas of finance, team leadership, marketing, and law;

3) Control, aimed at ensuring the development of the business in line with the strategy.

Multi-sectoral involvement facilitates the exchange of experience, provides a variety of opportunities, from the labor market to negotiations with suppliers, etc. In this sense, the continuous exchange of knowledge and experience between companies is a key point for the effective development of our group of companies.

ARKA: The Galaxy model of doing business also incorporates the regular publication of social and economic impact reports. Could this be considered the beginning of a new culture in the economic life of Armenia?

Khachatryan: I am not sure, if that would be a new beginning or not, but we believe that it is definitely an effective means of communication with the citizens of Armenia, all the stakeholders – employees, consumers and others. And although there is no special requirement to publish tax, credit and other key data on the company’s operations, nevertheless, at least for Galaxy it is important to ensure a high level of transparency.

In addition, our strategy aims to raise awareness both outside of the Galaxy and among the team members working in Armenia and our regional offices about the collective impact of our multi-industrial company on the economy.

And the scope of our Group’s impact is quite comprehensive. Therefore, as a responsible business, we try to ensure a level of business culture that is in the public interest and reflects the interests of all stakeholders in the socio-economic sphere. Moreover, we consider it a part of our culture to ensure effective governance, to bring innovation to the market, as well as to develop human capital within the Galaxy, which, on the other hand, is an essential value for the economy.

The first PAUL in Armenia will be located on Abovyan street, combining the architecture of the old Yerevan and the culture of French bakery

ARKA: Have effective governance mechanisms, innovations or a set of other principles been instrumental in promoting the continuity of the business continuity of the Galaxy Group?

Khachatryan: Belief in goals and their truthfulness has been one of the most important value in the context of ensuring business continuity. And we passed through the way towards a goal with a team, knowledge and willpower. We are proud of our human potential. Our dedicated and professional teams are the guarantors of our success.

That is the reason that, despite the difficulties of the past year, no company of Galaxy has stopped its activity. Furthermore, we have never stopped considering new projects, planning and implementing them. In particular, at the beginning of next year, the residential part of the Teryan 5 building, which meets the highest requirements of modern architecture, will be put into operation in Yerevan. We also announced the opening of a chain of famous French PAUL bakeries in Armenia soon. And recently we opened the second center of TI’ME and Pandora brands in Belarus. We have other projects of regional significance, as well as ones promoting local production, which are in the stage of dynamic development.

The center of our vital interests is Armenia, we love our country and it is a great happiness to bring added value to the domestic economy. At the same time, our aspiration is to expand the business geography of Galaxy and to ensure that the Galaxy-created brand receives international recognition.

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