Александр Колб
The author of the blog «The Big Fish»
5 minutes for reading

“I do not believe that robots will be able to replace employees in the near future,” Yegor Anchyshkin,the founder of the website Zakaz.ua

“I do not believe that robots will be able to replace employees in the near future,” Yegor Anchyshkin,the founder of the website Zakaz.ua
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Egor Anchyshkin is the founder of the Zakaz.ua website, the Viewdle company and the co-founder of Instok.com. Zakaz.ua food delivery service operates in 15 largest cities of Ukraine, as well as in Moldova and Uzbekistan.

On the air of the Big Fish Youtube channel, Yegor Anchyshkin spoke about the difficulties of automating Ukrainian retail, whether there should be a tax on robotization, and when robots will deliver orders to Ukrainians.


Zakaz.ua was a successful project in terms of product. We have changed the market. But it wasn’t super success. I haven’t paid myself a salary for 5 years, and while working in the USA, I assigned myself a microscopic amount of money, which was barely enough to survive. I have used all my savings.

If I could change something in the past, I would focus on the production of software for Western markets. Zakaz.ua is developing. The main competitors of the project are the retail chains themselves: they can do the same faster and better.



It was hard for us to raise money. Every investor wants to invest profitably, and we had a conflict with the Chernovetskyi fund: we saw different ways of the company’s development. As a result, we decided to sell our part to Takeoff Technologies and agreed to merge. My team at zakaz.ua has some interest left. I became the technical director of Takeoff Technologies. I worked there for three years and went into my own business.



I founded this company and was its ideologist. I built it bit by bit: I assembled a team, investors, energetic managers. We sold it to Google for $ 35 million. It was a super successful story, everyone made money, and this is very positive for the market.



It is still difficult for Ukrainian retail to invest millions. When it will be hundreds of thousands per object, it will become easier. Even with low wages, it is still cheaper to start an automated system than to pay salaries.

Why will offline supermarkets remain popular? People care about their user experience, they need a place where the buyer researches a new product, gets advice. Deliveries absorb a share that stores used to cover: this is why both in America and in Ukraine there are food courts or departments of finished goods at supermarkets.



I don’t believe that robots will be able to replace employees anytime soon. Although this trend is growing. For example, there is already a robot for turning cutlets. First, robots will appear en masse that will collect piece goods that do not require changes, then there will be a culinary revolution. In 5 years, 20% of the cooking will be robotic. Warehouse logistics will change as follows: 40-50% of all piece goods will be collected by machines.



I believe that taxes should be taken differentiated from different forms of income. If technology quickly conquers a segment, people will become an unemployed mass of workers, and this industry will be separately taxed.

This is how it works in America: a road tax is included in the price of gasoline. Therefore, for example, in California, you do not pay the electric car tax. This amount is included in the cost of the electricity you buy.


In America, it has already been implemented, there, in principle, private aviation is developed. It’s hard to say when it will happen in Ukraine. But some players have a demand for something non-trivial, for something more than a conveyor belt with a motor. From an engineering standpoint, an indoor drone is a delicate task: you need to make it fly in a narrow corridor and not crash into people.



If all Ukrainian companies merge into one, they will still not have enough capacity to enter a world-class system. Walmart doesn’t have that much capacity even after buying startups. If your market is only Ukrainian, then it’s too early to talk about development. If you compete with another EU company, you will lose. When solving complex engineering problems, it is difficult to predict how long it will take in the end.



Each western player has its own threshold of pain in the fight against Ukrainian “jokes”. Here to underrstand, there to agree and wait for permits for 3 years – Ukrainian market players have long learned this. I do not expect that some global retailer will fight for the Ukrainian market, because it is relatively small.



I found it difficult to improve my communication skills. How to communicate with US customers? It is very difficult to learn to motivate people, to build work in a team, to make people do it with pleasure. Building a team is an art. At the same time, it is possible to develop soft skills starting from school, but this is not taught.



I would like to build a large technology company that would achieve global success in robotization. I do not like the word “revolution”. It is rather about a radical improvement that one would like to bring to the global retail.

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