It’s Time for Tajikistan to Become a Startup Nation

22 June, 2021

Alif Sarmoya, a fin-tech startup, came on to the market in Tajikistan six years ago. The company started as an organization that brings financial, retail, corporate, and private banking services to people using

informational technologies. It was launched by three young Tajiks educated in the United Kingdom and United States. Today the company boasts over 250 employees and is expanding regionally. At its core, Alif

Samoya’s business is a revolution in the Tajik banking sector. The company wants Tajikistan to go cashless, and provide the technological infrastructure to achieve that ambition. In addition, the company is also contributing to the development of the country through the launch of Alif Academy, where it teaches youth skills such as coding and programming.  

Tajikistan, a landlocked country in Central Asia, depends economically on remittances from labor migrants. Brain drain is a major problem. The local business environment is also challenging. Nevertheless, Tajikistan is witnessing the growth of a bottom-up, grassroots high-tech startup culture. 

Of Tajikistan’s 8.9 million citizens, an estimated 70 percent are below the age of 30. Technology and globalization are changing the mindset of the country’s younger generation. Social media, online education, international travel, and global awareness are increasing the younger generation’s interest in innovation and technology. 

For Tajikistan to fulfill its potential it must develop its human capital, boost access to financing, and tap into international networks.