Valentine Hrytsenko, CMO Ajax Systems: “Our new Ukrainian plant employs more than 1,200 people and produces 550,000 devices monthly”

Founded in 2011 in Kyiv by Aleksandr Konotopskyi, today Ajax Systems is the largest manufacturer of security systems in Europe. Last year, the Ajax Systems team grew to 1700 people, entered 10 new markets, and surpassed the mark of a million users. In February, Forbes Ukraine recognized Aleksandr Konotopskyi as the year’s entrepreneur and received a “Strategic Thinking” award.

Despite the war, all global challenges, and after the first quarter of the year, Ajax Systems started sales in North America and Australia, opened the plant in Turkey, and kept growing significantly, planning to surpass a milestone of 650 000+ devices next month.

The company is a perfect combination of engineering creativity and modern marketing, as well as the team’s resilience and high-level management.

We asked Valentine Hrytsenko, Chief Marketing Officer at Ajax Systems, how the company overcame the wartime challenges, where the team’s new frontiers are, and what it means to be a “made in Ukraine” brand on the global market.

TechUkraine: Ajax opened several new markets during wartime. Where are new frontiers, and how did the team launch them?

Valentine Hrytsenko: Ajax Systems has always considered itself an international company with headquarters in Ukraine. We have been growing exponentially since 2015, and at the end of the previous year, we set geographical growth as one of our main goals for 2022.

In times of war, business and team relocation, as well as global semiconductor crises, we managed to fulfill our half-year goals and started the expansion into the markets of the New World, North and South America. Having received the FCC and IC certificates allows us to grow Ajax’s presence in markets where the 915 MHz frequency band is used.

We have already launched sales in new markets like the United States, Canada, Latin America, Mexico, and Australia.

Before entering a new market, our team does a tremendous amount of work. Thus, to reach the USA, we adapted the hardware, reinvented the radio technology, expanded the software capabilities at all levels, and tested, certified, and prepared the supply chain and production.

To scale the product globally and develop, we primarily involve local expertise. In Ajax Systems, we firmly believe that local professionals have the best understanding of the market complexity and specifics, its growth opportunities for Ajax, and clients’ and partners’ needs. Ajax Systems develops local teams in the strategic markets of Spain, Italy, the UK, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa, and other countries.

This ‘local expertise’ strategy helps us build trustworthy relationships with local clients and grow fast.

TechUkraine: Which countries and regions are the core priorities for scaling further? Why? 

Valentine Hrytsenko: Ajax is available in more than 130 countries worldwide. There are not so many left, right?

This year we focus on growing our business in the markets of the New World, such as the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, and Mexico. These markets are extremely competitive, and we have ambitious goals for Ajax’s growth there.

TechUkraine: Ajax Systems has recently announced a new plant opening in Turkey. Was it a planned step or just a forced action because of the war in Ukraine? 

Valentine Hrytsenko: Ajax plant in Turkey was our strategic step planned long before the war. The main reason for opening our first plant abroad is to diversify and scale our production facilities.

With the new plant and its capacity, we will strengthen our growth in Europe and New World markets, which is the core of our business strategy.

In choosing the region, we considered a combination of factors:

  • the availability of manufacturing professionals,
  • infrastructure,
  • the free economic zone conditions,
  • the level of taxes,
  • the quality of contractors,
  • and proximity to our major markets.

The Turkish 8300 m² plant will produce the entire lineup of Ajax devices, duplicating the current production in Ukraine. We expect to produce at least 150,000 devices per month.

Ajax Systems is a global player, so it definitely won’t be our last production facility abroad.

Ajax System team at SmartSD SST, Netherlands
Ajax System team at Expo seguridad, Mexico
Ajax System team at SmartSD SST, Netherlands
Ajax System team at SmartSD SST, Netherlands

TechUkraine: How does the team overcome resources and logistics challenges?

Valentine Hrytsenko: Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, our biggest challenge has been to ensure that our people are safe and our own and partners’ businesses work as usual.

It was a stress test for our agility and resilience.


  • First, we have relocated our employees and their families to safe regions in Ukraine and Europe. We also had to move Ajax plants which were all located in Kyiv. It took more than 180 trucks to relocate our manufacturing facilities and stock of finished goods. With the significant efforts of our fantastic team, we’ve managed to do this in record time.

Our regular shipments to partners were renewed on the 9th of March.

  • In a month, we ultimately resumed the existing manufacturing and launched everything from scratch in another, a safer region in Ukraine. Ajax Systems continues shipping to the partners from its European logistic hub.

Today, our new Ukrainian plant employs more than 1,200 people and produces 550,000 devices monthly. And the plan for next month is to surpass a milestone of 650 000+ devices.

  • At the same time, we always positioned ourselves as a software company, not a standard hardware manufacturer. We don’t invest in buildings, but we invest a lot in software, so we were quite ready to launch new production facilities within a very short period.

Our Cloud is based on European Amazon servers, and the Ajax cloud system has continued working stably despite the war. The uptime remained at the same high level of 99.99%.

So, all this showed our partners and customers that they can rely on Ajax as always.

TechUkraine: How has communication and partnership with the international community changed during the last months?

Valentine Hrytsenko: We understood that our clients and partners would worry about the stable work of Ajax security systems. So, from day one, we openly communicated with our international community about the relocation plans, software resistance, and continuity of service for customers.

All our partners showed incredible support, faith, and confidence in our product and company overall, which was truly inspiring for us. With the loyalty of our distribution partners and installers, Ajax Systems has maintained market share and seen substantial growth.

I should emphasize the priceless help from partners in their orders, support, timely payments, and assistance in finding equipment and humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian army. That is extremely valuable to us.

TechUkraine: Ajax is represented in numerous global exhibitions, promoting high-level products “made in Ukraine”. Tell us more about branding, Ukrainian tech identity, and impressions by the audience based on your previous experience.

Valentine Hrytsenko: Ajax is not a typical security brand. People usually imagine the security market as boring, uninteresting, something about ugly detectors, code programming, etc. But Ajax and its marketing totally differ.

We’ve turned difficult-to-understand equipment into the most convenient and sexy product that users want to buy.

Our R&D is a team of professionals where everyone contributes to creating world-class devices. So every engineer is motivated and understands its impact on product development.

Today, the engineering team of Ajax Systems is made up of 500 people. That is the core of our success.

When developing the concept of our systems, we took Apple and Tesla as a basis. Namely, I’m talking about

  • the highest level of user experience,
  • an intuitive interface,
  • excellent performance,
  • continuous improvement,
  • expanding the product range,
  • stylish design, and packaging.

The creative approach is in every step we make.

Ajax is a combination of engineering creativity and modern marketing.

TechUkraine: What is next for Ajax?

Valentine Hrytsenko: While opening new business verticals and developing new devices and technologies, we expect to be the best on the market. We don’t measure success just by the number of SKUs. We aim to disrupt the industry with every device we develop and set the benchmark for others.

This autumn, we are going to impress the world with a new dimension of Ajax devices.

I can’t reveal all the details, but it will be something beyond security.

We create a single Ajax ecosystem bringing innovations to the home experience of our customers. And I’m sure these products will drive the industry and get Ajax to world leadership.

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