Apricot Party reveals the best of Armenia

12.07.2017 | 10:38 Home / News / Articles /
#Apricot Party #IDeA #EY
From 30 June to 2 July the Yerevan office of EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services for the fifth time held its Apricot party for employees of Armenian descent and Armenia’s friends from EY offices from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, USA, UK, Germany, France, Australia, and Qatar.

The party kicked off with a traditional and most anticipated event – a reception at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. Apart from the EY employees and guests, the organizers also invited business people and officials.

Visit to AGBU office in Yerevan

In the scope of the 5th anniversary of the program, the EY employees and guests visited Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) offices, and Tumo Center for Creative Technologies to learn about their programs, innovations, and educational initiatives. They also took a tour around Tsaghkadzor, Garni, Geghard monastery, and museums of Yerevan.

Meeting with IDeA CEO Edgar Manukyan

“Our guests saw many famous monuments of our culture and history in the past five years. Last year we decided to put the focus on the past and future of our country. As usual, we were starting the Apricot Party by laying flowers at the Armenian Genocide Memorial. Inspired by ideas of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, this year we decided to visit the Aurora Initiative office and learn about the Aurora heroes.

Visit to Aurora office

EY is honored to be Aurora’s partner. The stories and mission of Aurora Initiative left unforgettable impression on our guests. To show how Armenia lives today and tries to find its place in the quickly changing world, we visited Tumo and PicsArt headquarters. What we saw was a pleasant surprise for our guests. I hope that every year we will be able to show something as a country to make us, our friends and compatriots feel proud of Armenia,” EY Country Managing Partner for Armenia Eric Hayrapetyan told Banks.am.

According to him, Apricot Party is a unique way to connect EY employees in different countries, which the company highly encourages.

“As a global company, we try to explore our potential to the maximum in places where we operate. For Armenia we try to use the capacities of our extensive network in order to strengthen the connection of compatriots working at the EY offices all over the world to their homeland and allow them to establish ties with Armenian partners and local businesses.

That idea met all expectations and even exceeded them. We hosted over 100 compatriots. Not only employees of Armenian descent, but also people interested in Armenia or how we say, friends of Armenia expressed their desire to take part in our events. We’re proud that many guests visited Armenia for the first time thanks to the Apricot Party, started visiting regularly bringing families and friends along. Apricot Party reveals the best of Armenia for many people. Our guests become “Ambassadors” of Armenia in their respective countries,” Eric Hayrapetyan noted.

Apricot Party members in Garni

He also remarked that the event allows combining the pleasant and the useful.

“We expanded the range of services we provide in Armenia thanks to the connections we made. We strive to make our office in Yerevan a sales center that provides all kinds of EY services. Last year we opened a transfer pricing support group, which serves a wide circle of customers through our other offices. In general, we provide various services to customers abroad and simultaneously involve for the projects our colleagues from EY offices in different countries, which facilitates a very helpful exchange of experience and knowledge. Moreover, many of our employees are in secondment in the offices of Russia, U.S., UK, and Ireland offices,” said EY Country Managing Partner for Armenia.

Head of EY CIS TAS (Transaction Advisory Services) Valuation Services, Partner Hakob Sarkissian said that all Apricot Party guests noticed positive changes in Armenia in the past few years.

Hakob Sargsyan (right) and Alexander Ivlev

“We visited the Tumo Center, IDeA and AGBU offices, Impact Hub, and our guests from all over the world were very impressed. They were simply in awe. Of course, there are many such initiatives and we aren’t the first, but people here show stunning devotion and enthusiasm,” he said.

Touching upon the event objectives, Hakob Sarkissian stated:

“Our first objective is to unite Armenians. EY Armenian employees or our partners with Armenian descent don’t know each other and the country itself. Many of them consider themselves Armenians, but have never had an opportunity to see Armenia. Another objective is to make our country recognizable in the world.  

 The number of our friends is increasing: several years ago, we only invited Armenians or our partners of Armenian descent to the Apricot Party, and now we also have Armenia’s friends over, the people who aren’t Armenian but stand by our side. The more friends of this kind we have, the more recognized Armenia will become worldwide.”

Grigory Arutunyan, partner with EY Russia, Head of the Oil & Gas and Power & Utilities Groups in the CIS,  has been a permanent guest of the event for five years running.

“Apricot Party has become a brand with EY, and I hope it is the same outside of the company too. It is interesting to meet our partners from Australia, USA, Germany, UK, France, and many other countries. Through these events we try to understand how we can improve relations with partners and serve our customers better,” Grigory Arutunyan said.

Partner of EY Transaction Advisory Services in Qatar Paul Karamanoukian was born in Canada. He first came to Armenia four years ago by the invitation of EY Armenia.

“I noticed throughout these years that the building of Armenia began from the foundation. UWC Dilijan looks impressive in education, healthcare and IT sectors are developing. We visited Tumo and the AGBU offices. Initiatives of that kind are indeed important to ensure long-term development of the country. Of course, changes aren’t quick in Armenia and  will take a long time, but this is the best way to have permanent results,” he said.

Paul Karamanoukian noted many opportunities for investment in the country.

“My involvement in Armenia’s development is that I try to encourage people and facilitate formation of human capital. Armenia is paying high attention to the youth education, sending youngsters to global educational centers, allowing them to gather experience there and then come home. Another way of getting involved is by financing college or other initiatives,” he said.

For Director of Strategic Initiatives for Global Delivery Services (GDS) in EY London Jane Collette, this is the first ever visit to Armenia.

“I’m very impressed. Yerevan seems to me a cosmopolitan city, cultural and youthful, with lots of young people around. I came with my parents. My grandmother survived the 1915 Genocide by escaping to Constantinople and later to the U.S. She met my grandfather there, who was from Van. They got married and had my mother. When I meet Armenians at EY and tell them about my heritage, already a connection is being created. Apricot Party is the best way to unite us.”

Jane Collette promises to return to Armenia:

Visit to Tumo Center

“It’s better than I expected. We saw development of technology in Armenia at the Tumo Center. I didn’t expect to see startups, innovative centers, and tech entrepreneurship here.

The food is a bit different from my granny’s cooking, probably because she’s Western Armenian and this is Eastern Armenia. In any case, everything is delicious.”

Mariam Manoyan
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