To learn more about design studio opportunities and strategies in Armenia, iTechnology.am interviewed G Design Group. We talked to Grigor Semirdjyan, the founder and the director of the studio, who was kind to tell us their story and their achievements. You will find below how a design studio became an official representative of Google apps in Armenia and even more…
iTechnology.am: Let’s talk more about G Design studio. When was it founded? Do you have branches or work mainly from Armenia?
GDesign Group: Our company was founded in 2010. We studied the Armenian market and saw many gaps which needed to be filled. Expanding our research on Indian, American and Chinese experiences, we concluded that Armenian market needed a package system. So we came up with a solution for this gap. The problem was that without package systems the customers were facing up unreasonable prices. We tried to change that policy and introduced the package systems. We offered business websites which could be easily customized by customers themselves without the help of a programmer. It was such a period when Joomla CMS was just developing. So we chose it as a best solution.
iTechnology.am: What are your main services?
GDesign Group: We provide professional web design and development, website promotion, SEO services, hosting, etc. We also offer Internet marketing, including social media, emails, etc.. I want to state that we ensure our customers and guarantee the service will be done. This is important since not every Internet marketing firm ensures that, for example, your website will be in top 10. We do ensure, if not, we don’t take the project. But this is not all. Since 2011 we started Google Apps representation here in Armenia and we are the authorized reseller of Googe Apps. We cooperate directly with Google’s Irish office. They are our direct partners. We took the great responsibility to make Google aware of our country, because when we applied for partnership they did not know that such a country existed in the world. They even thought we are a city in Colombia. Also, we as a country, have a lot of problems concerning the accuracy of data on the Google Maps. We are working with the Irish office to fix these problems.
iTechnology.am: Where from or how do you manage to find good designers for G Design Group?
G Design Group: We prefer taking beginners and training them for the purposes and goals of our company. We think it is the best way to have good specialists. We provide them needed equipment, literature, etc. It is a little bit expensive, but it is the best way.
iTechnology.am: How do you manage to communicate effectively with your foreign customers?
G Design Group: In 2011 we opened up our European office in Varna, Bulgary. Also, this month we are planning to open another office in Sofia. These offices are mainly responsible for foreign customers and they manage the communications with them. But generally before entering any market first we conduct comprehensive research and study its features. I think communications are easily carried out when you know the language. It is difficult here to deal even with the local Armenian customers who speak the same language.
iTechnology.am: What is your main tool for web design? Are there any online tools that you would recommend our readers?
G Design Group: We use mainly Adobe Photoshop for web design. As for development we have already prepared some websites using new technologies as HTML5 and CSS3. Also concerning online tools, in my opinion, Dreamweaver is the best for now. There is also a php Designer, but I would advise to start with Dreamweaver.
iTechnology.am: Let’s talk about the marketing strategy of a good design studio?
G Design Group: We have a separate marketing team. Recently we introduced a coupon system. This is going to be the main tool tell our story to our customers. Our customers are often attracted by our package offer. Our main market is Armenia.
iTechnology.am: Do you will agree that cooperation with Google is already a good PR for your company?
G Design Group: Maybe yes, as the Armenians are more inclined to be impressed by such things. I just will add that now we are working on becoming Google Adwords representative here. It requires a huge budget to be recognized by Google, but we are already in the process. In September we will have a press conference on it.
iTechnology.am: Do you think the Armenians are good designers?
G Design Group: Yes, the Armenians are creative specialists. We don’t lack creative people, we lack creative clients. Currently, customers prefer standardization. What is creative and different, it takes long time to become popular and accepted. And it is normal. The more creative, the less friendly. People are inclined to use simple themes. I myself have a creative thinking, but I am trying to find the balance between the creativeness and the simpleness of design.
iTechnology.am: And what about young specialists? Are they interested in web design and do they have enough skills in this sector?
G Design Group: Young people are quite interested and good specialists are busy and have lots of offers. But the problem is no good education is provided for them. They graduate and don’t have enough practical skills. They concentrate just on theory, which gives nothing good to start doing real projects.
iTechnology.am: You are already aware of our logo contest for Digital Pomegranate. So tell us your opinion. What tendencies are now modern for logos?
G Design Group: At present most common logos are those which use only the name of the company without an icon. This is the modern tendency, especially when we speak about IT companies.
iTechnology.am: Thank you very much for this interesting talk. iTechnology.am wishes your company more and more creative projects!
This post is also available in: Armenian