Auto-translation used

Sabir Niyazov: Karaganda has every chance to become the IT capital of Kazakhstan

Sabir Niyazov is the head of the Terricon Valley IT Hub and a regional manager Astana Hub in Karaganda. He studied Public Relations and worked as a PR and marketing specialist, but has been actively working in IT since 2018. He started his career in this field as a project manager at the fintech company Wooppay. In 2019, Sabir and his team launched a startup Belsendi Azamat in the field of B2G to receive citizens' requests for the improvement of the city. He is also the co-founder of the Center Urbanism of Karaganda, and in 2021 became CEO of the IT Hub Terricon Valley.

- Sabir, tell us about yourself

-       I am a multifaceted person, I admire space technologies, I like to read journalism and I am interested in everything new. Among the idols from Kazakhstan, I can safely name Timur Turlov and Sayasat Nurbek. On a global level, I am inspired by Tim Cook and Elon Musk.

-       Who is the regional manager of Astana Hub?

-       The regional manager is a kind of human orchestra. It is important to have skills or rapid learning in various fields: from business and operational issues of the company to knowledge of programming languages and marketing. Networking skills are also extremely important, which will help build stable communities in different directions in the region.

-       What motivated you to become a regional manager?

-       During our three years at Terricon Valley, we have accumulated significant experience and we want to share the results with other regions so that they do not repeat our mistakes. It is also important for me to interact with all the institutions developing IT and digital technologies in Kazakhstan, and the synergy that arises when working together.

-       How do you promote the establishment of partnerships between Astana Hub and local IT companies?

-       We advise IT companies wishing to become residents of Astana Hub. For example, in February 2023, we held a meetup together with the Astana Hub Business Registration office in Karaganda. In 2024, we managed to attract three new IT schools and four IT companies that became residents of Astana Hub.

-       What initiatives and projects have you implemented to support the local ecosystem?

-       In three years, we have signed 28 memoranda with most universities and colleges in the Karaganda region. We firmly believe in the ecosystem development strategy through three key elements: the IT hub, universities and business. Since 2022, Terricon Valley has been actively involved in creating curricula for students. In 2023, together with the largest IT companies in the region, such as EPAM and Wooppay, we organized basic digital literacy training for socially vulnerable segments of the population. We also held a hackathon in the field of GovTech to solve government problems with the help of local IT businesses.

-       How do you help startups and entrepreneurs in your region?

-       We organize various events where startups get to know big companies. IT companies interested in introducing corporate innovations. Currently, the IT hub is conducting a corporate accelerator with Kazakhstani Utility Systems, which will result in the implementation of at least six startups. One example of a successful case is Kz Tranzit, which passed the Terricon Valley accelerator in 2020. This company has shifted from the production of rubber products to high-quality 3D printing of equipment parts. Currently , about 20 large companies are listed among its partners, such as , Halyk Bank, Kazakhmys and others.

-       What are the main tips you give to startups seeking to develop in the IT field?

-       Focus on one product, have a clear investment request, quickly develop a minimally viable product (MVP) and carefully analyze the unit economy of the project.

-       What trends and changes in the field of IT and business, in your opinion, will be the most significant in the coming years?

-       Startups with embedded AI have a high chance of success. Startups in the field of industrial technologies are also important for our region .

-       What are your goals and plans for the near future?

-       In the near future, we plan to open a club of business angels in Karaganda, which will invest in startups at the pre-seed stage.

-       What is the main lesson you have learned from your experience working in the regional IT ecosystem?

-       At the initial stages, it became clear that there are not enough IT specialists in the city who are able to independently form various communities. The main task is to create these communities by bringing together disparate market players.

-       How do you see the future of the IT ecosystem in your region?

-       Karaganda has historically been strong in the IT sector: since the beginning of the 21st century, the central offices of large IT companies operating in Kazakhstan and abroad have been located here. Being an industrial city, Karaganda needs a new driver of development, and I believe that it has every chance to become IT is the capital of Kazakhstan.

- May your faith be justified. Thank you.

Comments 0

Login to leave a comment