TechTalks is an initiative taken by Innovation Directorate part of DPTIIDH, featuring local entrepreneurs helping to strengthen our ecosystem. By inviting founders to answer some questions, we want to highlight the most inspiring stories and patterns of our ecosystem. We hope that by giving startup founders a space to share their knowledge and experience, we will all learn and grow together.

How has your career helped you with setting up your start-up?

The path of my education starts in Rome, near the “Sapienza Università di Roma” about two decades ago, where I had the opportunity to study in the field of Computer Engineering. At the end of the master’s degree, between the preparation of the diploma and the necessity to carry out the professional practice, my paths crossed with a company whose doors were initially opened to coach me as a student intern, who aspired to become a worthy engineer. Armundia Group, very soon after graduation, became my second “home” as it was the first company that chose to offer me my first contract as an IT engineer and the place where I was lucky enough to meet people who, day by day, became real mentors who helped me grow and shape my vision. About three years of intense work at the Armundia Group passed, when at the beginning of 2012, after a well-thought-out decision to return to Albania, the CEO of the Armundia Group, Mr. Gianluca Berghella, proposed to me to continue the long-distance cooperation and evaluate meanwhile, the possibilities to establish a company in Tirana. A three-year period had to pass, during which we managed to establish Armundia Factory in March 2015, as a new Albanian reality in ICT, which would create the opportunity for young people to grow technically and professionally nationally and internationally.

What have been some of the biggest challenges for you?

I must emphasize that in 2015 the ICT community in Albania was still in its infancy. It was really challenging, since the job market at that time hardly contained profiles with experience, which limited many aspects of our daily life, as a new company. We soon realized that investing in training and various professional formations of junior profiles of newly graduated young people would be a smart move to grow as a company and take on important responsibilities. And so we did. We invested a lot in young girls and boys, who had just graduated from university, transferring the necessary technical knowledge to them and at the same time adapting the vision, mission and work model in the development of projects from Armundia Group. These young people became part of several months of training alongside Italian colleagues, embracing new techniques and gaining their experience, to bring the best to our company.

No less challenging throughout these years, has been the diversification of our clients’ portfolio. We have worked hard and committed ourselves consistently, in order to create a reliable and competent profile. Today, in addition to Armundia Group, as part of the client portfolio, other prestigious Italian companies have entrusted us with their activities.

What have been some of the biggest wins of your engagement?

In these eight years, commitment, dedication and desire to move forward, Armundia Factory has climbed many levels of success, has taken safe and mature steps in important international projects. Today, I am proud to mention that Armundia Factory is a team of 60 people, passionate about work and curious about innovation, who contribute to international and challenging projects in various sectors such as banking, insurance, transportation, etc. This undoubtedly makes me even more responsible to maintain the trust of our clients, to further develop cooperation opportunities and to challenge myself and the team with new projects.

Armundia Factory is an important brand for the ICT market in Albania, thanks to the collaborations we have had with the academic world. The goal is to continue investing in this direction, to give ICT students an opportunity to enter the labor market and develop their professional career.

What are some of the specific needs of Armundia Factory?

Armundia Factoty, like many other ICT companies in Albania, needs to increase the capacities and quality of the services we offer to our customers. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable to say that this is being significantly affected due to the effect of immigration. In order to curb this national problem, what is needed is a close cooperation of all decision-making links, such as central, local government and business, in order to devise and implement such initiatives and instruments, so that young people can see interest in the opportunities that our country offers.

Why did you choose Tirana to establish and grow this initiative?

Tirana, as the capital, undoubtedly has certain economic dynamics compared to other cities. Also, another very important element is the presence of public and private universities, which enables a certain number of students to enter the labor market every year.

What are the objectives of Armundia Factory for the next 3-5 years?

Undoubtedly, Armundia Factory intends to increase the quality of services, strengthen cooperation with current clients, invest in the expansion of the portfolio, as well as invest in the creation of new competencies for the staff.

It is a fact and luck that the geographical position of our country is very favorable. Also, the new generations know at least one foreign language. These constitute significant elements compared to other countries, which, in my opinion, can be better utilized to increase our capacities.