An honest interview with Hovsep Patvakanyan

From doing a PhD in Economics to publishing a book about inflation forecasting models; From International Economic Expert to Founder of European Youth Parliament of Armenia and finally from a university lecturer to a very good friend for many people; Hovsep Patvakanyan is a real role model for many young people for his successful carreer, hard work and optimistic view of the future.

Very recently he published his first book “Inflation forecasting: how much should we care about external factors?”  in Saarbrücken, Germany. For this he received 1st Krikor Artzruni Award by Armenian Economic Association, endorsements from professionals at Central Bank and Ministry of Economy.

We decided to have an honest interview with Mr. Patvakanyan and besides talking about his new book, we discovered some interesting facts about him. Here is the result:

 

Your favorite:1976992_10204665637235793_4052327755494859462_n

  1. Country – Italy
  2. Place – Procida island
  3. Movie – The Cloud Atlas
  4. Song – Dave not Dave – Cold Blood
  5. Color – White
  6. Book – Why Nations fail? – T. Acemoglu
  7. TV show – Game of Thrones
  8. Quote – It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than to be on the top of one you don’t.
  9. Food – Ravioli
  10. Animal – Horse
  11. Politician – Lee Kuan Yew

 

  1. Do you consider yourself as a successful person?

Certainly yes. But successful in terms of people I had a chance to work with, friends who surround and support me on every step of my life, enthusiastic students I have a chance to teach. Because after all, your achievements and success have no value if they don’t imply a positive impact or are not shared with those who matter most.

  1. What is the biggest achievement in your life? How did you reach it?

In terms of professional achievements, that would definitely be the PhD degree in Economics obtained this year and subsequently, the book published. Something I was looking forward to since 2007 once I entered my Bachelor Studies and since then set the path to reach out a higher step in the academia ladder: that included studies at Stockholm School of Economics and Central European University, working in Armenia and abroad with organizations such as Jacobs, Cordova, Associates, OSCE, International Visegrad Fund, etc. and last but not the least, too much of efforts to do things differently and changing long lasting paradigms. My personal achievement though, would be setting of the EYP foundations in Armenia and creation of a grand family of young leaders which I now observe from the side growing and thriving.

  1. It is said that failures are the inseparable part of the success. Do you agree with this or not? How did you overcome your failures?

They lie in the core of every success, how otherwise one would value his/her achievements. I believe many people recall their childhood with nostalgy and a smile because of exactly this, back then they were not afraid to fail, to fall, to tear, to make mistakes, because that is how they eventually learnt to do things. How I deal with failures? I accept them, but do not adapt to them. After all, the brightest ideas and initiatives come out when people are down and don’t see a way out, don’t they?

  1. As one of the founders of EYP Armenia, you see the organization becoming more and more famous among Armenian youth. How do you see its future?

 

I see it bright and bold. The ultimate goal would be to include EYP as obligatory program in the high schools just like the case is with Sweden, Norway and other developed countries who pay a proper attention to non-formal education.

  1. What is your secret ingredient of happiness?

Travelling. Ararat. People. Humor.

  1. Tell us about your book that has been published very recently: “Inflation forecasting: how much should we care about external factors”? How did the idea of writing an analytical book come to your mind? How long does it take to write the book?

Well, the idea of the book came in 2013 once I entered my PhD program since I wanted to make the results of my research available to many people given the actuality of the topic chosen. Ultimately, the book was published in August of 2016 in Germany under Omniscriptum trademark and is already available in all online platforms such as Amazon, Ebay, Morebook.de, etc. The main results of the work were for the first time presented at Armenian Economic Association in June, for which it received Grigor Artzruni Award and, furthermore, peer-reviewed at University of Bonn. The book covers a wide range of actual matters for the Armenian economy: to which extent it depends on the remittances from Russia, how the world prices of food stuff transmit onto the domestic prices in Armenia, how much the Russian monopoly on gas costs Armenian population and which layers of the society (geographic and income) suffer the most from the gas price hike, measurements of the export losses after joining the Eurasian Economic Union due to the Central Bank monetary policy, what inflationary trends to expect in 2016 and 2017, etc. Shortly I’ll characterize it  as a thorough guide on how oil and gas prices, world commodity prices, remittances and other external factors affect the inflation in the country.

 

  1. Where we can get a copy of the book? Any particular places in Armenia or elsewhere?

The book presentation will be on September 24th, 19:30 at _mg_1679Mantashev Hall of Elite Plaza which will be followed by the sales of the book, the event is open to everyone. Also the book will be available in Bureaucrat and Bookinist bookstores. Apart from bookstores it can be purchased in Amazon, Ebay or other online platforms.

 

 

  1. You are going to donate all the gathered money from your book sale to the Ghevondyan family from Gyumri. Why did you choose this family? Tell us a little bit about your decision.

 

I’ve never been to Gyumri before last year and when I visited it I was amazed by the great potential it has in terms of becoming a touristic, IT and educational hub for Armenia. I got to know many people from Gyumri, got to hear many human stories and wanted to be helpful somehow. With the help of my friend Gor Torosyan from Gyumri, I got to know about the story of Ghevondyans family: unemployed parents, 3 underaged sons lacking even stationery to go to school and a daughter suffering with epilepsy with no funds to get a proper medicare. Hence, was the decision to help those people with the funds raised at the book presentation.

 

  1. What are your future career plans? Where do you see yourself after ten years?

I see myself settled in Armenia with a managerial position in a social enterprise or an international organization engaged in boosting development in the regions in Armenia.

  1. How would you describe yourself in one word and why?

Dreamer. Many of my close friends and family keep telling me that I refuse to see the reality, and instead see how things would or should be. But, if we don’t see how things can be One Day how else we can reach that “One Day”, right?

Interviewed and posted by Diana Ghazaryan


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