Gari Akhoyan, 36, started his accounting company to give young people an opportunity to change their lives, just as Anush Mathevosian did for him by providing a fully funded scholarship that enabled him to to study accounting and finance at the Armenian State University of Economics back in 2001.
The now Founder and Director of DG Consulting currently employs 40 people—all of whom live in Armenia. Among them are students and new graduates. DG Consulting provides accounting and financing services to 150 entities, including international organizations, embassies, consulates, and construction companies, among others.
“I started the business with my friend, Davit, in 2012. It was certainly a challenge, but it helped me to overcome difficulties with patience because I saw the bigger picture. Now, I advise my colleagues and employees to always be persistent,” said Gari who, apart from this company, also owns a car serving center and a brokerage firm, which combined employ 16 people.
Gari candidly notes that one of the most gratifying experiences of his student years was meeting with FAR upon receiving the Anush Mathevosian Scholarship, and personally meeting Anush Mathevosian in 2002. He said he also enjoyed the different volunteer initiatives he participated in with other scholarship students.
“As part of the program, we used to visit seniors living at Vanadzor Old Age Home and we did it with pleasure. It was like an excursion. We used to clean the facility, the garden, and hang out with seniors, learn their stories. It was a very positive experience,” he mentioned, adding, “It was 10 of us who received the Anush Mathevosian Scholarship between 2001 and 2006, all meticulously selected students who later proved to be worth receiving the support because many of them have established their own companies or advanced to higher positions in their careers. We met with Mrs. Mathevosian twice, in 2002 and 2004. She was such a humble person. She was so excited about the meeting and the fact that she was helping many students.”
Gari and his family didn't have the resources to pay for university (about 350,000 AMD or 675 USD per year) and loans were not generally given for studies. If not for FAR’s scholarship, Gari said he would have most likely had to forgo a university education. “I would have gone straight into the army and I'm not sure as to whether I would have actually continued my education afterwards,” he said.
Gari was 24 when he started working in an accounting company after fulfilling his mandatory military service. A year and a half later he founded his own. “I try to encourage my employees to take risks, get out of their comfort zone and do their best. I try to give them a chance to advance in their careers and expand their knowledge and skills by paying relevantly high salaries,” he said, which is something he took from Anush Mathevosian.