SoftServe is expanding its presence and opening new office spaces in four cities — Vinnytsia, Khmelnytskyi, Uzhhorod, and Odesa. They are available for 250 people working in these regions as well as other employees.
The coworking in Vinnytsia where SoftServe has around 50 employees is already fully operating. Odesa is the next — office space there will open on December 1st. Coworking in Uzhhorod is planned for December, 17th. Currently, specialists are connecting coworking in Khmelnytskyi to the corporate networks. The opening in Khmelnytskyi is scheduled for January.
It took around 3-5 months to find those locations because the corona crisis had caused a lack of propositions in the housing market and a massive changeover to the online format.
«We began preparations at summer. As the number of remote specialists was increasing, we got more and more requests for spaces where people could work together and eventually hang out offline. That’s why we decided to develop our office infrastructure. It is also important for sustaining the level of engagement, further company growth in the regions and local IT communities’ promotion”, says Anastasia Frolova, Talent Operations DC Director at SoftServe.
Four spaces are designed for 100 workplaces in total. They will function as coworking because of the pandemic. It means that employees don’t have reserved seats, instead, they can book one if needed. The company plans to continue working in a hybrid format when everyone can choose where to work — at home or in the office, and combine both formats.
With the improvement in the epidemiological situation, SoftServe will hold corporate events to exchange expertise. The company also plans to contribute to the development of local IT communities and support educational institutions. Thus, IT Academy already has a unit in Uzhhorod and the company works with Uzhhorod and Khmelnytskyi national universities.
Next year SoftServe plans to grow by 350 employees in Odesa, Uzhhorod, Khmelnytskyi, and Vinnytsia. The company launched the program for the recruitment of IT specialists at new locations and already hired 500 remote specialists. As for now, SoftServe community consists of more than 10,000 specialists all over Ukraine, in particular, 50 people in Ternopil, Zaporizhzhia, Lutsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv, and 500 in Chernivtsi.
SoftServe is a digital authority that advises and provides at the cutting-edge of technology. We reveal, transform, accelerate, and optimize the way enterprises and software companies do business. With expertise across healthcare, retail, energy, financial services, software, and more, we implement end-to-end solutions to deliver the innovation, quality, and speed that our clients’ users expect. SoftServe delivers open innovation—from generating compelling new ideas, to developing and implementing transformational products and services. Our work and client experience are built on a foundation of empathetic, human-focused experience design that ensures continuity from concept to release. We empower enterprises and software companies to (re)identify differentiation, accelerate solution development, and vigorously compete in today’s digital economy. No matter where you are in your journey.
Shell is launching a new coffee brand Shell Café all over Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) (to replace the Deli by Shell brand) — and, as always, at the highest level of service and product quality.
The Shell Café concept, developed by Shell global team, provides a range of activities: from tasty beverage preparation and up to a new level of service and comfortable arrangement of fuel stations areas. These enablers complement each other and are aimed not only at the refreshed and widened product range, but also stepping ahead in the cultural journey of coffee consumption athmosphere, meeting increasing expectations of people on the move.
First, it is the creation of a new deliciuos taste of our special line of beverages made from the highest quality varieties of coffee beans. For this purpose, Shell has teamed up with world-renowned brewing and roasting experts to create two blends of roasted coffee of their own brand made from high-quality coffee beans. A true coffee lover will highly appreciate, for example, the following blend:
— “Taste of South America”: 80% Arabica, 20% Robusta, rich, deep, perfectly balanced with the taste of dark chocolate. Origin: Southeast Asia, Central and South America;
— “Soft fruit taste”: 100% Arabica. Origin: South America.
Second, it takes into account the peculiarities of long-distance travel: coffee will be consumed primarily by drivers and their passengers who are on their journey. Therefore, the fuel stations offer appropriate service conditions and additional products, even tableware, from which, if necessary, it is possible to eat on the spot or order dishes “to go”. For example, customers can order a drink into their own thermo cup, which will keep their coffee fresh and hot for hours.
Third, it is the arrangement of cozy and comfortable coffee shops at the service stations, so that the customers can have some comfortable rest and relax with a cup of aromatic drink and tasty, delicious food. And here, at the stations, it is not only the interior of the premises (a comfortable arrangement of furniture, a harmonious color palette with finishing details and a decor, spacious halls) which is considered, but also the environment. Worth to stop at the terrace coffee shop of service station 4221 in Bila Tserkva immediately on the Odessa-Kyiv highway where travelers can fully enjoy calming view of a beautiful lake while refreshing.
Fourth, many service stations are equipped with comfortable parking spaces so that drivers — even of large cars and buses — can comfortably stop and have some rest in a coffee shop together with their passengers.
And fifth, the coffee culture brand Shell Café offers not only this popular world drink, but also a wide gastronomic range, which is a useful and pleasant complement to the rest at a service station. For example, the Shell menu in Ukraine, which is based on the idea of ”world of cuisines”, offers quesadilla, a national Mexican dish and such types of hot dogs as “Bavaria”, “New York” and Tyrolean, which is new and very unique with sausage in bacon. And the Shell innovation team does not stop there: visitors will find a lot of pleasant surprize in gastronomy and service.
Shell has once conducted a large-scale survey of more than 10,000 customers from five European countries. According to this research, coffee is one of the important reasons (not taking into account the actual refueling of cars), why the drivers stop at a service station. This is not a surprise, because strong quality coffee helps to refresh yourself and generally take a break from the trip.
However, to stop “for coffee” means not only to have some aromatic drink with coffein. It also involves physical movements, stretching muscles (after all, sitting in a car for a long time is quite exhausting) and in general switching attention to something other than driving along a monotonous traffic lane. These needs of customers are considered in the concept of Shell Café: Shell launches this brand to create a completely new coffee experience, and at the same time to make the service station a place that offers a variety of amenities and services and where you can efficiently relax.
Thus, in addition to a completely new line of quality coffee and other products, it provides the arrangement of coffee shops and “coffee corners”. This is a new global brand of Shell Group, which has been launched in Europe.
But coffee is above everything else. In the above-mentioned survey consumers shared their ideas of a perfect drink. Their thoughts were taken into account when developing the new concept of coffee shops.
SHELL CAFÉ IS GAINING POPULARITY IN UKRAINE
As noted by Peter Kerekgyarto, General Director of Shell Retail in Ukraine: “Shell Café is not just a coffee shop, but a trendy place where you can relax, have delicious meals, enjoy a signature coffee blend. We paid special attention to coffee development. Customers have very high expectations for this drink at service stations. Shell Café is creating a new experiment based on high quality coffee, tasty food and unique experience.”
The first Shell Café, which fully meets all the above characteristics, opened in Ukraine in July 2021 at the service station 4221 in Bila Tserkva (377-A Petro Zaporozhets Street). New coffee shops are already operating at the service station 4044 (Chaiky village bordering with Kyiv, near the exit to the E-40 highway towards Zhytomyr) and the service station 9101 (near the Reshetylivka town, Poltava region, on the Kharkiv-Kyiv E-40 highway). In the coming months, the update will take place all over the network.
It is noteworthy that Ukrainians take the first places, next to their European neighbors, in the time of promotion of the Shell Café brand. Although the new Shell Café format just started this yearin Central and Eastern Europe, according to Peter Kerekgyarto, their quick development in Ukraine is just a matter of the nearest future.
Shell service stations in Ukraine are equipped with modern coffee machines which give the possibility to prepare aromatic coffee with soft stable milk foam. A new coffee variety Classic Crema Rainforest Alliance has been introduced, which meets European trends and will be used to prepare our coffee drinks. The main difference is that the new blend contains Arabica and Robusta beans. This blend of dark roasted beans has a rich and intense taste, whereas the addition of Robusta beans creates a stronger taste and pleasant aroma. In addition, we have updated the coffee menu with consideration of European trends, added large portions so that customers could enjoy the taste of their favorite coffee on their way.
HOW ARE OUR EUROPEAN NEIGHBORS DOING
Shell Cafés are opening in CEE and will soon open in, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg.
Thus, in Hungary, in addition to the introduction of a new line of drinks based on the developped blends (in this country, they are called “Taste of South America” and “Taste of Africa”), Shell Café in this country will also offer a new range of national dishes and other beverages.
The research conducted by NMS marketing agency showed interesting results. It showed that during long trips (over three hours) most Hungarians stop for a short break from time to time, and mostly at the service stations, to rest, have some meal and refresh. The main indicators of coffee quality for them are the country of origin and a professional coffee machine, which makes it possible to prepare a premium drink. The range of coffee is also very important. When stopping at a service station, the friendliness of the staff is extremely important. About 60% of surveyed Hungarians said that polite staff may facilitate a spontaneous decision to drink coffee. The frequency of coffee consumption in Hungary corresponds to the frequency of cars refueling, which shows a significant potential to make the service station a place for a short coffee break. In addition, two thirds of surveyed customers prefer to drink coffee at a service station and rest at the same time. Surveys of 2020-2021 also show that Hungarians are finally returning to the habits they used to have before the pandemic and are starting to travel more. In April 2020, 40% of respondents said they plan to spend less on travel and recreation, whereas in March 2021, almost 40% of respondents said they still plan to travel within the country, and 20% expressed their intention to go abroad.
In general, the Shell Café concept is available at 129 Shell service stations throughout Hungary.
The situation in Poland is a bit more “productive”: in this country, Shell Café has opened at 237 Shell service stations, which offer coffee blends developed by the company named “Espresso” and “Lungo/Americano”. In this country, as well, there are quite interesting statistical “coffee” studies. Thus, according to the SW Research survey conducted by Shell Poland, among 1,000 coffee consumers, 86% drink this beverage every day, and 26% — three times a day, herewith 40% drink coffee in the morning (from 6.00 am till 10.00 am). Most Polacks drink coffee to enjoy the aroma (62%), refresh oneself (48%), or it’s already a habit (43%). It’s interesting that 80% of “coffee lovers” drink coffee outside during walks, and 41% of them buy a drink at a service station. 46% of respondents say that they visit the stations at least once a week. For 78% of respondents, the most important indicator of coffee quality is the aroma, for 76% – the taste, and for 37% – the quality of beans. As we can see, the process of making coffee is especially important, that is why the employees complete barista trainings at a specialized academy in Warsaw — Shell Café Academy.
In the Czech Republic, Shell Café is already operating at 168 of 180 Shell service stations. Depending on the size and location of the stations, various formats of coffee sales are available to the customers: from full-scale coffee shops to “coffee corners”, where customers can buy freshly ground coffee to go. All sales points are equipped with the most modern coffee machines. The visitors of Czech Shell service stations can also enjoy freshly cooked grilled specialties, baguettes, rolls and panini. In this country, hot dogs are especially popular, which received “Česká chuťovka” (“Czech snack”) award and dTest quality mark.
SHELL CAFÉ MAY BECOME AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW
As you can see, Shell Café is a totally new brand of concept coffee shops and high-quality coffee. It also manifests Shell’s desire to change the purpose of service stations, which has been practiced till now: from a place for only refueling to a certain locus which provides a wide range of retail services, comfortable service and the possibility to fully relax.
In the countries of Europe, Shell Café replaces the current retail Deli by Shell brand and offers two signature coffee blends, developed by world-renowned coffee experts and masters of roasting, and in Ukraine, respectively, continues to develop the renewed Shell Café brand.
The Shell Café brand fully meets the highest standards of responsibility and ethics, and all coffee varieties are certified according to Rainforest Alliance Certified™. It is worth mentioning that the “Rainforest” certificate confirms that the beans are supplied in accordance with three basic principles of sustainable development — social, economic and environmental. Suppliers and farmers must adhere to strict criteria for the manufacturing and processing of coffee products.
ABOUT SHELL IN UKRAINE
Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 83,000 employees in more than 70 countries. The company uses advanced technologies and take an innovative approach to help build a sustainable energy future. Shell also invests in power, including from low-carbon sources such as wind and solar; and new fuels for transport, such as advanced biofuels and hydrogen.
Shell Retail business entered the Ukrainian market in 2007. Since then, Shell-branded fuel sites network has been operated by Royal Dutch Shell. Shell Retail Ukraine is a part of the Central and Eastern European cluster of Shell Downstream. Shell in Ukraine employs around 1 500 people.
To date, the network of Shell-branded fuel sites consists of 132 stations in 20 oblasts of Ukraine, offering its customers high-quality motor fuel products, including Shell V-Power fuel, diesel & LPG, as well as a solid range of Convenience Retailing goods, tasty food & beverages products. In an effort to meet the expectations of a growing number of Ukrainian electric vehicle owners, Shell in cooperation with its partners installed six electric vehicle charging modules at selected fuel sites.
Radisson Hotel Group is proud to be the world’s first hotel group to make all meetings and events across 400+ hotels in its EMEA portfolio carbon negative. For every event taking place at its participating hotels, Radisson Hotel Group will offset double the carbon footprint, to ensure that every meeting has a positive impact on the environment.
For meetings booked between 18 October 2021 and 31 January 2022 and taking place before 31st March 2022, Carbon Negative. Planet Positive will set a new sustainability standard in the global hospitality industry. The program allows clients to host meetings in a sustainable way by offsetting double the CO2 emissions from meetings and events free of charge to the client, making meetings that take place during this period at participating hotels carbon negative.
Carbon Negative. Planet Positive reinforces the Group’s 100% Carbon Neutral meetings offering, in place across the Group’s 1,600 hotels worldwide since 2019. The initiative forms part of the Group’s wider Responsible Business program which targets reducing the Group’s carbon footprint by 30%, and which aims to set science-based targets. Since the launch of the 100% Carbon Neutral Meetings program, the Group has offset over 30,300 tons of CO2 at no cost to its clients, which is the equivalent to removing more than 6,500 fuel driven cars off the road.
Carbon Negative, Planet Positive meetings complement the Group’s Hybrid Meetings solutions which launched in 2020 and offer owners and guests the flexibility and space optimization they require to better meet the rapid lifestyle changes of today’s travelers. Hybrid Meetings are available across more than 100 hotels in EMEA and contribute to a lighter scope 3 footprint for the client.
“The upcoming COP26 conference will see world leaders come together to discuss climate change which needs all our attention. At Radisson Hotel Group, we are constantly reviewing how we as a global business can influence positive climate action, and how we can encourage the hospitality industry to push the boundaries on green meetings and events. We are proud to be pioneering this initiative and trust that meeting organizers around the globe recognize the positive impact they can have on the environment as face-to-face meetings increase,” says Eric de Neef, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Branding & Commercial Officer.
“Carbon Negative. Planet Positive allows you to make your meetings carbon negative and your impact planet positive. With the return of business travel, now is the time to have a positive impact. For Radisson Hotel Group, it is important that we offset carbon emissions according to the highest quality standards and in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is why we select offsetting projects that are not only good for the environment, but also socially relevant. This initiative plays a key role in helping us achieve our Responsible Business targets to protect people, planet, and community,” says Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications.
For each meeting, the carbon footprint is calculated using the HCMI methodology and then offset through projects which are Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) recognized. These projects combat climate change and contribute to sustainable development in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and include: a clean cooking and safe water program in Kenya, wind farm projects in Turkey, India, and the US to generate green electricity, a forest protection program in Peru to reduce deforestation sustainably, and a biogas project in rural China. In addition, members of Radisson’s Radisson Rewards loyalty program can also choose to redeem their loyalty points to offset their stay.
Carbon Negative. Planet Positive. will be available from October 18, 2021 to January 31, 2022, for meetings and events taking place between October 18, 2021, and March 31, 2022.
During trading on Monday, October 11, the price of a barrel of Brent oil rose by 2% to $ 84.01. She reached this mark for the first time since October 2018. US WTI oil rose by $ 1.62 to $ 81.3 – the highest price since 2014, according to Reuters.
It is noted that Brent oil is steadily rising for the fifth week in a row, WTI – the seventh, the agency said.
This price increase is due to higher prices for natural gas and coal. As well as the resumption of global economic activity caused by a successful vaccination campaign in developed countries and, as a consequence, the removal of quarantine restrictions for businesses.
The dynamics of oil prices are also affected by expectations of a deepening global energy crisis.
Thus, in India, power outages began due to lack of coal in power plants. The Chinese government has ordered coal mining companies to increase production due to rising electricity prices.
Last week, the US Department of Energy refused to use strategic oil reserves to reduce rising gasoline prices, which was another factor in rising oil prices, the agency added.
It is also not expected to increase oil production in OPEC + countries, which have decided to keep production at current levels.
High oil prices are expected to persist for at least another three months.
Earlier, analysts at Goldman Sachs raised Brent’s forecast for the end of the year to $ 90 per barrel from $ 80 per barrel.
The agreement on a single corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent was signed by 136 states, which account for more than 90 percent of world GDP. The agreement is aimed at combating tax evasion by international corporations.
The initiative was also signed by countries that were initially opposed to tax reform, such as Hungary, Ireland and Estonia, which were once convenient hubs for IT giants.
The most important agreement in the field of taxes
136 countries, including Ukraine, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the world economy, have agreed that the global minimum tax rate for large corporations will be at least 15 percent.
This was announced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on October 8, which became the platform for this global initiative.
The idea is that, first, corporations pay taxes in the same country where they made a profit. Secondly, in order to avoid the emergence of “tax havens”, a minimum mandatory threshold for all countries is introduced.
The project, which has been underway for several years, is now called a timely opportunity to provide the state budget with additional revenues to rebuild economies after the corona crisis.
The corporate tax will be applied to companies with revenues of more than 750 million euros. The deal will raise $ 150 billion annually worldwide and redistribute more than $ 125 billion in revenue to the 100 largest international corporations.
In addition, the new tax rules will affect companies with global sales of more than 20 billion euros. If a corporation receives more than a ten percent profit margin, it will be forced to redistribute a 25 percent surplus to the countries where it sells its services and goods.
The deal could deprive tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and other corporations of the opportunity to evade taxes through low-tax jurisdictions.
“The agreement will make our international tax mechanisms fairer and more efficient. This is a great victory for an effective and balanced multilateral approach,” said OECD Secretary General Matthias Corman.
The initiative was also signed by those countries that were initially opposed to tax reform, such as Hungary, Ireland and Estonia. It was possible to reach an agreement with them due to concessions, for example, in Hungary the transition period was extended for ten years. This will allow the country to keep the rate at nine percent temporarily.
The new tax rules should come into force in 2023. The initiative is expected to be finally approved at a meeting of G20 leaders in Rome in late October, followed by changes in national legislation.
In France, the agreement was called “the most important in the field of taxes for a century”, and in Germany, declared “tremendous progress in the field of international corporate taxation.”
“For four years, we have worked for fair taxation of international companies and digital giants,” said French President Emmanuel Macron, calling the introduction of a minimum 15 percent income tax for international companies historic.
The idea of introducing a single minimum tax on multinational corporations came from the United States. The government is not happy that companies are registered in low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland and the British Virgin Islands to pay much less.
As a result, all states had to compete for corporations to pay taxes to them, and as a result, lower rates. A minimum rate of 15 percent should put an end to this – most developed and developing countries have agreed.
At the same time, experts note that the big rich countries, whose citizens consume a lot of electronic services, the money from which used to accumulate in low-tax jurisdictions, will benefit the most from the tax revolution.
In early June, agreements on the introduction of a digital tax were reached by the G7 countries after years of discussion. At the time, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak called the deal historic and revolutionary.
Many countries have decided not to wait for the end of many years of discussion and have introduced a digital tax themselves. It already operates in France, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, and Turkey.
On June 28, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law according to which foreign global technology giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and others will pay 20 percent VAT (value added tax) in Ukraine.
Under the new law, foreign companies supplying electronic services to Ukraine will be required to register as VAT payers under a simplified procedure through a special electronic service if the total amount from the relevant transactions exceeds one million hryvnias per year.
The savings of Ukrainian citizens outside the banking system are estimated at $ 30-35 billion. This estimate was given by the chairman of the National Bank Kyrylo Shevchenko during the Kyiv Economic Forum.
There are different estimates of the “gray” economy. We in the National Bank believe that this is up to 30% of GDP. If we talk about the savings of Ukrainian citizens who are outside the banking system after 2010, it is equal to $ 30-35 billion – in dollars, euros and hryvnias, “Shevchenko said.
“As for the question of how to get this money” from under the mattress “, it is a non-bank financial market. Today this market is more dynamic, its way to the client is shorter than that of banks,” the head of the central bank added.
Shevchenko also noted that citizens have 2.5 investment options: deposits, real estate and IGLBs, which he estimated at 0.5.
The head of the parliamentary committee on finance, tax and customs policy, Danylo Hetmantsev, believes that Ukrainians are keeping $ 50 billion of undeclared income in the shadows.
During the week, the National Bank of Ukraine bought $ 228 million on the interbank foreign exchange market. At the same time, the central bank did not sell currency on the interbank market. So the NBU continued to buy currency on the interbank market, the bank increased it compared to last week ($ 15 million) 15 times. This was reported by the NBU.
In total, since the beginning of the year, the NBU has bought $ 1,904.70 million on the interbank market and sold $ 197.00 million. The balance of interventions is $ 1,707.70 million.
As previously reported, the savings of Ukrainian citizens outside the banking system are estimated at $ 30-35 billion. The Chairman of the National Bank Kirill Shevchenko gave the following assessment
The new Tesla factory in Berlin may release the first electric cars next month. CEO Elon Musk stated this.
Speaking at the plant, Musk said he hoped to get the green light to begin production in the coming weeks. The last consultation on public concern about the plant ends on October 14, after which the German Ministry of Nature Protection must decide on the possibility of producing cars.
The Ministry of Economy in the Brandenburg government estimated the chances of approving the start of the plant at 95%.
Musk said production at the plant would be 5,000 or “hopefully 10,000” vehicles a week.
“It will take more time to achieve large volumes of production than to build the plant itself,” he added.
As you know, in Germany, some locals and environmental groups are protesting against the construction of the Tesla plant.
In China, two more developers are unable to repay their debts: Fantasia Holdings has been unable to repay bonds worth $ 205.7 million, and Sinic Holdings is uncertain about the repayment of $ 246 million in bonds, the BBC reports.
The day before, trading in Evergrande shares was suspended on the eve of “an announcement containing inside information about a major deal.” It was then reported that the company plans to sell a larger stake in one of its divisions.
Now, two more real estate companies are facing financial problems due to lack of debt payments. In particular, Fitch Ratings downgraded Sinic Holdings ($ 4 billion in revenue) after it said it had missed interest payments and amid uncertainty over the $ 246 million bond repayment due later this month.
In turn, the luxury apartment developer Fantasia Holdings ($ 3 billion in annual revenue) failed to repay $ 205.7 million worth of bonds, reducing the market value of dollar-denominated bonds in China by almost 50%.
Chinese media write that the Hong Kong real estate company Hopson Development is going to buy a 51% stake in Evergrande Real Estate, for about $ 5 billion.
“The potential agreement will give the debtor developer such a necessary monetary investment when he tries to raise funds to make payments to customers, investors and suppliers,” the article said.
According to the WSJ, Fitch Ratings downgraded Fantasia to CCC-, reflecting an extremely high risk of default – Fantasia missed another bond payment, which Fitch did not previously know. The agency has now said the incident “calls into question the transparency of the company’s financial information.”
Telegram Messenger registered more than 70 million new users against the background of a large-scale failure of the social network Facebook and its services. The founder of the messenger Pavlo Durov announced this in his Telegram-channel.
“Telegram’s daily growth rate is an order of magnitude higher than normal, and in one day we have received more than 70 million refugees from other platforms,” he wrote.
Durov noted that Telegram continued to work for most users of the messenger. However, some users in North and South America may have encountered lower speeds than usual, because millions of people from these continents began to register with Telegram at the same time.