Syrian-Armenian businessmen: “One should never avoid work”

With its #3wordsofadvicefromasyrianarmenian feature, Hayern Aysor presents its interview with owner and executive director of Hyelandz Construction Hagop Pilavjian, co-owner Hampig Javakhjoulian and Deputy Director of the Armenian School of Kuwait, editor of Azdarar Armenian Weekly Garo Arslanian.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Pilavjian, can you tell us how you launched this project?

Hagop Pilavjian: I am an alumnus of Yerevan State Polytechnic University. After graduating in 1977, I started building several apartments in Aleppo. In 2005, I founded a construction firm, and over time, I was joined by new co-owners. Based on my proposal, we decided to name our company “Hyeland Construction” (plot of land of Armenians). After its establishment, the company built 4 apartment buildings in Aleppo and 7 apartment buildings (with 100 apartments) located 10 km away from Aleppo. Hyeland Construction is quite a successful project. Over the years, people would often ask us why we weren’t building apartments in Yerevan. After conducting a small study of the market, we decided to try to build apartments in Yerevan as well. When we came to Yerevan to pick up our Armenian passports, we were very lucky to meet people with plots of land and construction permits. All we needed to do was to make a small investment in order to start our business.

We completed the first construction project quite successfully and sold all the apartments. About 40 families live in those apartments during the summer. We will soon organize a groundbreaking ceremony for the foundation of a new building. In this period, we came up with the idea of letting the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia know about this. Minister Hranush Hakobyan received us with great pleasure, encouraged us and told us that she would help us in all regards (click here for the press release devoted to the meeting).

Hayern Aysor: Which are your target groups? For whom are the apartments?

Hagop Pilavjian: We consider Diaspora Armenians our target group because we want to provide them with suitable apartments in Yerevan. We don’t know if they will move to Armenia after purchasing the apartments or not, but we definitely want to provide them with homes.

Hayern Aysor: During our conversation before the interview, I already informed you that Hayern Aysor was going to publish this interview in the #3wordsofadviceofasyrianarmenian feature. Now I would like to ask you to give words of advice to those Diaspora Armenians who are thinking about starting a business in Armenia.

Hagop Pilavjian: I believe the three main conditions for a successful project are the following: precise study of the economics, technologies and organization of a project, quality and careful work and minimal material profit. These are the principles by which we are guided by.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Javakhjoulian, could you tell us about construction of the building?

Hampig Javakhjoulian: As Mr. Pilavjian said, the plan for the building was ready back in 2006, but for some reasons, construction was postponed. A couple of years later, thanks to new partners and investments, we managed to restart construction, and the building is ready after four years.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Arslanian, what can you add to all this? What advice would you give to Armenians who wish to move to the homeland and start a business here?

Garo Arslanian: All us Armenians know that Armenia is a very young country and that people need to work. One should never avoid work. One shouldn’t think that everything has to be ready-made. I think young Armenians have the potential in Armenia and abroad. One should also have confidence. Most importantly, the goal has to be set correctly. Timing is also very important.

Laura Samvelyan

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