A Repat from Iran Boosting Medical Tourism in Armenia
Love for the homeland, consciousness of the existing needs in Armenia, and the collective diasporan spirit that seeks to reconnect with the people of this soil and create something of its nature urged Yvette Danial to realize her life-long dream of relocating to Armenia.
Born into an Armenian family in Urmia, Iran, she studied Chemical Engineering at the Sharif University of Technology. Later, she did a master’s degree in Biochemical engineering at the National Polytechnic University of Armenia, studying remotely. She worked as a product manager, later promoted to the CEO at Iran-Ararat Production Co. Afterwards, she joined NARGAN Engineering Co. as a project engineer in petrochemical industry projects.
Growing up in the diaspora made her realize that the preservation of the Armenian identity is a day-to-day commitment. “I come from a patriotic Armenian community that always cherishes personal growth, education, and more importantly our national values,” she says thoughtfully. She co-founded Tevanik Charitable Organization in Tehran. The organization delivers humanitarian aid to Artsakh and strives to build connections between Artakhtsis and Armenians around the globe by supporting local businesses, carrying out educational projects for children and women and various other projects.
Yvette Danial eventually made the big move to Armenia in June 2021 while the blueprints of a business uncommon to the region were being developed. Medway Medical Tourism Co. embarked on its mission in November 2021 with Yvette taking over as the CEO. Medway offers memorable medical journeys to those who wish to receive high-quality and affordable medical treatments of any kind in Armenia. Whether plastic surgery or psychotherapy, Medway comes up with the best medical suggestions to meet the needs of its applicants. On top of that, it takes away the hassle of unpleasant medical treatments by opening a door for them to discover Armenia. From sightseeing trips to rejuvenating hot spring baths to ensure a speedy recovery, medical tourists can make the best out of their stays in the country. So yes, the medical journeys can be memorable when the local language is no barrier as the tourist has an interpreter, the accommodation is already booked, their preferred doctor is waiting for them, and the extraordinary adventures become the cherry on top.
A group of Armenians from the diaspora initially worked on the business plan. Then, Yvette’s leadership experience gained from years of working for reputable companies in Tehran made her the right candidate for the CEO position. Danial stresses the importance of collaborative initiatives like this which involve Armenians from around the globe. “The presence of the diaspora brings a different work culture to Armenia which can be beneficial for the country. Moreover, the collaboration with the locals causes the differences to disappear gradually,” she explains. She appreciates the relationship she has built here with the locals. “Everything goes smoothly with them,” she continues.
The project now does more than bring Armenians together. Gaps in the Armenian market and the population of doctors outnumbering the current demands of the country became the main grounds for the start of the project. “We have a lot of qualified young doctors with proven knowledge and practice. Medway provides a platform for them to be known at an international level,” explains Yvette. The influx of medical tourists can make a great impact on local clinics and hospitals. As for tourism, the company strives to present a positive image of Armenia, thus attracting more and more tourists.
Much as any business, Yvette and her team have taken on challenges. Despite smooth relationships with the locals, the team has been expecting more support at a governmental level. “It’s not only about tourism, but it is also a source of revenue for the health care facilities,” says Yvette. She believes that joint projects with different organizations can open up more opportunities and dialogues, eventually leading to improvements in various sectors of the economy.