The Most Frustrating Thing About Armenia….

…is the fact that people don’t want to be helped but will later complain!

Let me start from the beginning. I work for a development project, which means that my job entails help businesses in Armenia flourish and the country develop, in an effort to create the Utopia we dream about. It really is the perfect job, if you think about it. Utterly unrewarding, no one understands what I do, but the end results are more than enough to make me smile and feel proud of myself. It’s been a month since I started and every moment is a delight in itself, no matter how frustrating things become.

Right now, we are creating a catalogue for all the startups currently operating in Armenia, preferably established within the last 3 years. Out of a list of nearly 100 startups, our initial invitation brought in “2” responses. After calling ALL of them, that number increased to about 12. After a 2nd invitation with a longer deadline, it increased to 18. A follow up call brought it up to 25. Pokes and calls and advertising brought that number up to 38 within 3 weeks. In the meantime, I have sent email after after email to get the information necessary. A quarter are still missing information. One is left to wonder whether these businesses want to be advertised and find investors to expand their work through or no….

So now I’m staring at 39 startups and wondering how it’s possible that over half of the startups we know about couldn’t care less about being represented in the catalogue. It will help boost THEIR business, bring in new clientele create much needed networking, etc. And still they don’t care….

This country doesn’t lack jobs, it lacks the drive to become something, to strive for their best… In other words, this country is full of some really lazy individuals (not all of them , mind you!), from the shoe repairman who works possibly 8 hours in the whole week and has no set times to the manicurist who won’t come to work before noon to the beggar on the street who makes more money looking like a walking corpse with babe in arms than working to feed that child.

Disclaimer: This post in no way maligns the good work the startups do, nor compares honest entrepreneurs to beggars. It is a completely personal post, based on a repatriate’s views on life in Armenia. The project I work for is by far one of the best I have seen operating in Armenia. Furthermore, I absolutely love the country with all its good and bad, the pretty and the ugly, for better or for worse… Wouldn’t be able to settle here for life if I didn’t. This post is by no means meant to offend any party. It is a personal reflection only. 

PS: Don’t give your spare change to the beggars, even the handicaps. Most have been offered shelter, food and a bit of money to live off of. They’ve just made begging their careers.


20 thoughts on “The Most Frustrating Thing About Armenia….”

  1. Dear Tamar,
    I have created Real Yummy Bagels LLC and it has been a year we are in business. No shop yet but just delivery & our facebook page!! We have lots of customers and we have added a sister company with my partner, called Go Green Armenia!! With GGA, we deliver fresh produce from farmers to our customers. We would appreciate any kind of help through your work you are doing. Please let us know how to apply. We are diasporans so we will respond to you as soon as we hear from you!!!!;)) We are not lazy and are working day & night since we are open 24/7~!! We are having a hard time finding workers and getting the right employees as well. So let us know how we can get support through your work that you are doing. I thank you in advance and look forward to hearing from you soon!!
    Best regards,

    1. Hi Carolin! That’s amazing! Hopefully you’ll have a store soon! That actually sounds like an amazing startup! can I have your private contact to send you Levon’s email? What’s your email? I will send in the form to fill out to be part of the startup catalogue 😀

  2. I believe we need to get rid of the Mafioso who have monopolized everything in this Land of Ours. Only then, will the mind set of the old soviet “laziness” regime will change.

      1. LoL.

        I actually have though. They are plentiful here, having emigrated in great numbers in the early 1900’s.

        My old tennis pro is Armenian, for instance.

      2. Yes.

        Hey, you aren’t related to Arman Najarian in Fresno are ya? Grew up with his kids. Nishan, his oldest son once pegged me with a paintball right in the soft spot of the throat where I had no padding. Couldn’t breathe for about 30 seconds, haha.

        Have a great day.

      3. You might be 64th cousins 200 removed or something, lol. Like McCain and President Obama are related.;)

      4. Nishan was a crazy kid. Ran around playing paintball yelling “Armenian Power” lol. Good aim, also, haha.

  3. One of the reasons you’re not getting responses is that most of these startups are working under the radar. They do not want to be known. This may seem contradictory to good business practices but this is driven by the fact that we have over zealous tax office which would tax them out of work.

    1. A possibility, but many also work very well and have not seen that problem. Taxes are regulated and if one works cleanly, there are little to no problems. Its only when they have been caught deceiving authorities that things get bad. When it comes to IT, the work is often exported as well, which already entails taxing.

  4. Good point! I believe, the Soviet Union in the past and the free diasporian money presently are the major reasons to this cultural epidemic.

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