Nearshore. Geographically Belarus is very close to the Western Europe. This facilitates communication between customers and our specialists. It takes approximately 2 hours to get from Frankfurt to Minsk by plane, so it's easy to arrange personal meetings (some complex problems need face-to-face communication). Belarus is situated in a convenient time zone (time difference is only 1 hour from Mid-European time), so it is easy to arrange Internet conferences, discuss urgent problems via phone, etc. Cultural proximity is also important. Moreover, English and German languages are widely studied here.
Assembly plant. In the ex-USSR Belarus was cultivated as an "assembly plant" of the country. Not only industrial plants but design and engineering organizations were founded and developed here. Belarus accumulated qualified specialists in different fields: electronics, radio-engineering, engineering industry, civil engineering, etc. All that factors created corresponding cultural and intellectual background, and as a result, high-tech career became socially valuable here.
High level of education. In order to run "assembly plant" and design bureaus, the state needed qualified personnel. That caused development of powerful educational system, aimed on training of high-tech specialists. In 1960s scientific schools closely connected to education as well as to industry had been created in Belarus. Belarusian universities founded new IT-specialties ("Applied Mathematics" department at Belarusian State University, department of "Computer Science" at Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radio-engineering, etc.). Higher education is traditionally valuable here. After "revolutionary" period in early 1990s, social prestige and value of the higher education returned back. Many young people are willing to get University degrees now, which in turn forces further development of high-tech companies.
Mature IT-industry. First radio-electronics enterprises in Belarus were founded in 1960. Till the end of 1960s industrial system of microelectronics, electro-engineering and software enterprises was formed here. Almost semi-centennial experience of high-tech industry became the basis for the modern success of Belarusian offshore. The last decade brought up experienced specialists in local offshore companies.
Cultural proximity. Mutual understanding is one of the key factors for success in offshore. Cultural closeness promotes fruitful communication between customers and developers. Communication becomes effective; results of development correspond to expectations. Belarus is "culturally compatible" with EU-countries. Our long-term experience of communication with our partners shows that we didn't meet culturally conditioned ambiguities at all. Behavior is always mutually predictable, and it benefits communication of managers as well as technical specialists.
National assistance. Belarusian IT-companies proved to be successful in offshore. This success is indicated by permanent growth of turnover and companies' personnel. Last years government pays increasing attention to the development of national IT-industry. In 2005 national High Technologies Park has been established in Belarus. Residents of HTP get tax exemptions and other assistance. Stable political situation guarantees long life for the governmental program of IT-industry development.
Reasonable costs. Belarusian IT-sector offers advantageous prices in comparison to onshore development. Of course, they are higher than similar offers of traditional Asian IT-offshore. But this is leveled by the described above advantages. It is a special value for small and medium companies, which are not interested in creation of a foreign branch office managed by the company's specialists. Geographical and cultural proximity of Belarus together with its mature high-tech industry allows effective communication and project management, and as a result minimizes risks.