Carmel resident Alex Morozov has always been determined to support his native country of Ukraine.
In 2005, he started Swan Software Solutions with the plan to connect American companies with talented developers from Ukraine. The U.S. companies could receive high-quality software for lower prices.
The practice worked well for years, Morozov said. But then tension increased between Russia and Ukraine with Russia eventually attacking Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
To help Ukraine, Morozov was committed to keep operations running.
“We’re probably the only company in Indiana with our developers from Ukraine,” said Morozov, who is Swan president and chief executive officer.
There is a small staff in the Carmel office and 180 people working in Ukraine.
Those 180 employees are spread out over six offices in Ukraine, in Cherkasy, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Poltava and two offices in Uzhhorod. The offices in Uzhhorod are in western Ukraine, very close to Slovakia. Morozov said there is no bombing there for fear of hitting Slovakia, a NATO country.
“Before the war we tried to move everybody to western Ukraine, but not everyone moved because of family,” he said. “We offered $3,000 to help them move. Some did it and some didn’t.”
Morozov said Swan is still hiring despite the ongoing war.
“We’re in a unique situation, because 80 percent of the Ukrainian economy is destroyed by the war,” Morozov said. “Very few jobs remain. A lot of companies, even IT companies, closed offices after the war because of the risk. We’re the opposite, we are hiring people. We are aiding people. Our (individual) developer used to only support close family, now they support extended family, up to 40 people, because people don’t have jobs.”
Morozov said information technology operations are working smoothly.
“People are starting to work harder and better because they understand they are helping Ukraine and helping the economy,” Morozov said. “We send almost $4 million in salaries and bonuses. It’s a huge help to the economy.”
Swan started an internal program called Helping Ukraine that allows employees to contribute to this program. Morozov said it raises $10,000 to $15,000 a month to buy military gear, such as night vision goggles, heat-seeking drones and clothes.
“We have another program for kids who got relocated because of war,” Morozov said. “So the money is going to help kids, refugees and the Ukrainian military.”
Last year, Morozov said Swan employees raised more than $150,000.
Swan is finding ways to raise money in Indiana, too. A concert featuring Ukrainian musician Yuriy Dikiy at Global Violins, LLC., in Zionsville on Jan. 22 raised approximately $1,000 in donations. The free concert was arranged through Dikiy’s old friend, Efim Pastyh, a retired violinist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Morozov’s friend.
Morozov was in Ukraine’s special forces before moving to the U.S..
“I tell our people it would take a long time for me to come back and fight, because I would probably need to be trained again,” he said. “They are much more useful for Ukraine when they are working for Swan because I tell our 180 people they are not a battalion but they are like a brigade because of so much help they are doing for Ukraine.”
Shannon Krueger, director of operations, said many Swan employees are doing volunteer work, such as delivering needed items.
“We have several channels when we are purchasing things for aid over there, then we have a whole logistics system where our volunteers are getting things where they need to be,” Krueger said.
Morozov said when they are talking to employees there are air raids in the background.
“They used to get scared, now they don’t even pay attention,” he said.
Todd Peabody, Swan business development manager, said many clients have told him productivity has increased.
“The alternative is to sit home and watch the news and do nothing,” Peabody said. “These guys are actively working, engaged and helping their country.”
Swan supports Indiana Supports Ukraine, a nonprofit which raises money to help with humanitarian efforts for Ukraine.
For more, visit indianasupportsukraine.org,