Turkmenistan’s Small Businesses Modernize, Increasing Profits and Salaries

When the CEO of Melhem, a firm specializing in the shipment of building materials, decided to send his employees to ICT training, he had no idea how quickly it could improve their overall efficiency or that it would quadruple company sales.

In June of this year, Melhem employees attended ICT training at the IATP center in Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan. The employees learned basic computer and internet skills and achieved proficiency in various MS Office applications. Throughout the process, participants focused on how to apply their ICT skills in their jobs and realized how much it could improve business operations. Not long after the training, the company invested in three computers and connected them all to the internet.

A Melhem staff member using her new ICT skills acquired at IATP for routine paperwork Now the company keeps track of their clients through e-databases and finds and maintains new contacts online. Thanks to the modernized system, the company estimates it has improved its efficiency by almost 70 percent. The majority of employees’ time is now spent developing the company, which suits workers well, as their salaries are based on a percentage of the company’s profits. Melhem accountant Margarita Hemraeva explains, “Before learning IT skills, we spent most of our time doing paperwork and did not have as much time to seek out new clients. Our new IT skills are allowing us to spend our efforts in achieving our real goals—to expand our customer base and increase profits.”

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  • U.S. Agency for International Development - Primary funder of the IATP program in 10 countries of Eurasia.
    IREX - Implementer of IATP, and a leader in applying technology to support civil society, independent media, and education development in Eurasia. With nearly 40 years experience in the region, and over $50 million in programs worldwide.
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