An Open Letter from Our CEO - Katalon for Ukraine Program

An Open Letter from Our CEO - Katalon for Ukraine Program

As I reflect on the past year, amid a pandemic and social unrest, I am proud of our community’s ability to band together and respond with agility, leadership, and compassion to assist our employees, partners, investors, and customers.

By now, you all may be aware that the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has reached a historical level. Millions of people have fled the country, and countless more are desperate for a safe place. With people and nations reaching out to help across the globe, the BOD and I believe that we need to join our effort and offer the Ukrainian people a small helping hand.

With this background, I am announcing the Katalon for Ukraine Program with 2 components:

1 - Katalon will directly provide a corporate donation of $50K to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Learn about the IRC initiatives here;

2 - *Katalon will provide free licenses to striving Ukrainians working in this challenging environment;

() Details: Katalon will provide a free license to customers who are Ukrainian citizens or who currently work on Ukrainian territory upon receipt of registration information sent to: community@katalon.com.*

Time and usage: unlimited time and usage until further notice.

For us, acting in this manner is not just an individual responsibility but should also be a fundamental part of the fabric of our society of humans.

We want every stakeholder in Katalon - our employees, partners, investors, and customers – to understand that we are on a mission to be both contributing to the success of our clients and a responsible member of our community.

We can’t solve the enormous challenges facing us by ourselves. But our contribution along with other like-minded individuals and organizations can and will make a difference.

Vu Lam

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I applaud this initiative and would like to associate myself with its intent and purpose. :clap:

As Sara is aware, I had asked a question, privately, of her, @vu.tran, @vu.le and @Coty about this matter a little while ago. Only Sara replied, saying there was an announcement due. As a result, I held off posting my question publicly.

With this from Vu Lam, I am disappointed to see my question is not addressed. Here is the salient part of my question form my original message:

I don’t know what stance Katalon or Vietnam are taking with regard to Russia. I am neither comfortable or willing to knowingly “help” Russia or Russians in any way. This is not a political stance, this is a moral stance, in my view.

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I will never held to speak what I am thinking.
I am fully supporting Ukrainians … however, let us look at the other side of the coin.
As I mentioned in a certain post, due to the vanity of ‘some’:

  • the entire world it is economically affected
  • Russian civilians are suffering too. Not yet obvious for anyone but soon will get worse.

The world is at this moment into the second “Cold War” and the effects are already visible for those who know how to read the signs.

ref: Can I pay from Russia?

Just saying …

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Russian civilians are undoubtedly suffering from this needless war. There are those who’ve gone out into the streets and put their lives at risk to protest against it, too. These people are against the war, yet still impacted by it, are also innocent casualties of this war.

Organisations do not want to be associated with, or be seen to support an oppressive totalitarian regime (well, at least when they escalate their actions to going to war / unambiguously and actively committing war crimes).

One of the intents can be, is where organisations withhold or withdraw access to Russian civilians and organisations, is that by impacting Russian civilians too, is the hope that they will become motivated enough, care of how they are being impacted, and all due to their leader’s actions (and any or all of those who support their leader’s actions), to try and put an end to it. Some situations are sometimes best ‘resolved’ from within.

People can also choose not to want to support any business that supports Russia / Russians, because it can be perceived that they don’t know where the money trail ends. Are they supporting, by proxy, Russia’s war efforts? If so, you can understand people’s hesitations against doing so (where this unclear).

Katalon and other organisations providing aid and support to Ukraine helps to provide humanitarian aid to a country clearly suffering tragic losses on a daily basis, plus having their societies ripped apart. So, any support that people can provide to the people is a good thing.

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Well, unfortunately this is the intent of the economical sanctions imposed to Russia.
However, for this to have effect, few factors have to be considered:

  • it takes a lot of time until the effects are clearly visible for all civilians
  • the oppressive regime in place (the fear factor)

I am an EU citizen working for a multinational company, US based mainly.
I have Russian colleagues, very skilled engineers. Ukrainians too.
Due to the situation, our company had to take actions, impacting all of them and all of us.
For those US based and/or having accounts in banks outside Russia, they may be lucky.
However we have also cases where they work remotely from home or simply they have only accounts in Russian banks.

So … the situation is very complicated.

At the business level, I have to follow the EU and US decisions in place.
But such are at the company level to decide.
I don’t know where Katalon LLC business is registered but I have the feeling they don’t have to ‘obey’, it is at the corporate level or government level to decide.

On the other side, I am speaking from the position of a free minded person in an open community, where we speak ‘engineering’, not political or economics.
No matter Katalon products are not ‘open’ to my taste (one day may be), we are here to help each other, for the freedom of speech and for the freedom of thinking.
No matter the citizenship, race, religion, gender or the regime in place.
We are all engineers.

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As a side note, I do not expect from the Katalon staff to have a public position on this matter (the Russian civilians case)
Because … yeah, it is tricky and whatever is decided can put the business in a delicate position.
I am just expressing my thoughts and if I will see similar cases as the one referred, I will just advise the OP to contact business support.
It is at the business support team to figure out if they potentially offer ‘proxy support’ for a given company or help certain individuals.

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I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for sharing your feedback on this post. This type of situation is always difficult and very public. I really appreciate seeing your responses and opinions.

I cannot officially speak for the company but can say from my personal experience as a community manager and human- I want to help people when they need it. Leaders make decisions and we have to do our best to adjust to them and carry on.

Thank you for being civil to each other and us. This is not easy.

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Thanks, Sara. But seriously, I beg to differ:

Have to? I worry that that would place me on the slippery slope ending with “I was just following orders”, which, legally, is not (or very rarely) a defense for any behavior, war crime or otherwise. Better to adhere to Thomas Jefferson’s advice, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent” and, ultimately, stand behind Thomas Paine’s simple statement, “The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government."

While others less fortunate than us are forcibly relocated into the hands of their oppressors, I implore you (and yours) to rethink your stance.

Now is not the time for adjusting to tyranny and just carrying on.