The CEO of Evoplay, Ivan Kravchuk, talks about the dramatic situation in Ukraine and launches an appeal to European industries, including gaming.
Among land-based and online gaming companies, which are experiencing the invasion of Russia in Ukraine at the forefront, there is the casino games design studio Evoplay, which has been engaged for weeks to carry on its business, but also and above all to assure the safety of its employees and to support the population in need.
But what is the situation that they are experiencing these days in Kiev and throughout Ukraine? The CEO of the company, Ivan Kravchuk, describes it to Gioconews.it.
What is the situation you are experiencing these days in Kyiv and across Ukraine?
"The war in Ukraine has severely impacted iGaming companies that are situated in the country, especially in terms of human resources. Naturally, these businesses have had to take immediate measures to ensure the safety of their employees and retain operations at the appropriate level.
At the same time, looking at my colleagues from the industry and internally at Evoplay, I see how brave, empathetic and supportive Ukrainian nationals are. Since the first days of the invasion, our employees have been participating in volunteering activities, reaffirming that we have recruited not just top talents but compassionate, well-natured people".
Do you hope and believe that a path of peace is possible?
"Under such circumstances, it is important to keep believing in better things. We hope that we will soon be able to return to work in our Kyiv office. Not to make unsubstantiated statements, but we hope that financially supporting the Ukrainianian relief efforts will bring this moment closer, and in the long term, ensure that the country can return to some sense of normality".
What can the European Union and Italy do to support Ukraine?
"On the subject of the industry, I would say that European businesses can show their support by continuing to work with Ukrainian companies, and by engaging with Ukrainian relief initiatives that support Ukraine’s volunteer groups, citizens, and defense forces.
The only call is to 'Stand with Ukraine'. To withstand the war, we need the understanding and assistance of the industry; especially from those based in European countries. We highly appreciate anyone offering a helping hand to Ukrainian companies in these hard times".
Is there anything you want to say to the Russian and Ukrainian governments?
"We condemn the actions of the Russian Federation and have so many words of encouragement to say to the Ukrainian leadership. First of all, hold on, stay strong and do what you must. We keep our fingers crossed for our country and are proud of its people, who have set an example for humanity and heroism. We hope for the best but should be prepared for whatever might happen.
Although Evoplay is a Cyprus-based iGaming company, 95% of our staff is located in Ukraine. This is why we stand with the country and are doing everything possible to help the nation through this difficult time. We’re still focused on our business and employees, but we cannot forget about our duty as Ukrainian citizens and as contributors to its economy. According to Ukraine IT Report 2021, the tech industry paid approximately UAH 23.5 billion in taxes and fees, whilst also generating more than 4% of GDP for the last year. It proves yet again that now we, as a representative of the IT sector, should focus on ensuring workplaces for our employees and continuing our operations, supporting the economy as much as we can".
What personal difficulties do your employees experience?
"Undoubtedly, our staff, as Ukrainian citizens, are dealing with uniquely challenging times. Many difficulties have already occurred as a result of the war, from organising transportation and finding accommodation, to mental and physical health problems connected with the stress and emotional pressure of the past few weeks.
Since people are Evoplay’s biggest value, we will do our best to assist those in need, from relocation all the way to corporate psychological support services".
How does the war affect your business?
"Although the war impacts our business in many ways, and it is impossible to escape it, the company has managed to continue operating as normal. We have made maximum efforts to handle the situation, which includes providing safe workplaces for our staff and continuing our activity as a leading iGaming developer in the market. We feel it is our duty to operate at a regular pace, in order to be among those who will help rebuild Ukraine’s economy.
Without any changes to our product pipeline, Evoplay has adapted quickly to the new reality, which, we hope, won’t last long. Preserving a normal workflow is necessary, not only for the development of our business but also to support our employees and country".
How did Evoplay organise its processes to help both the staff and the country?
"Naturally, as soon as the situation escalated, it was a particularly frantic period for the company as we tried to help in every area that we possibly could. Our first measures were aimed at the protection of our most at-risk staff by relocating them to safer regions of Ukraine, or abroad. However, relocation wasn’t the only problem, with employees contacting us around the clock with various support requests, to which we had to react immediately".