Krasnodar, 5 February. Today our interviewee is Oleg Zharko, Chairman of the Southern Regional Committee of the Association of European Business (AEB).
Q.: Because of the pandemic, the business sector has experienced a rouse. Which companies found themselves in the peak risk area, and which ones proved to be more stable?
A.: Obviously, the situation differed in different sectors. But it wasn’t just the industrial attribution that mattered. Different companies working in the same industry had been prepared differently; they had had different experiences, different underlying strengths and maturities of business processes, etc. Speaking about members of the AEB and its Southern Regional Committee, it is worth noting that most of them had had a very long history and working experience behind them – a hundred years or more! And since then, they had successfully overcome lots of international and national crises, including ones caused by pandemics, wars and other calamities. Due to that, I would like to draw your attention to the following important factor. The current crisis became a catalyst for many already existing processes and tendencies. Simply nobody had expected that it may come so soon. We did understand and speak that we were living in a fast-changing world. And that success of a business depended a lot upon the preparedness to face, accept and manage these constant changes.
Q.: How would you assess governmental support measures rendered to the business community during the period of self-isolation?
A.: State support was rendered, first of all, to small and midsize businesses, to private entrepreneurs, which was quite fair. Members of our Committee are mainly large companies. For big businesses, it is important that macroparameters of the Russian economy, consumer demand and stability of the national currency should restore. What business always needs to succeed is economic and regulatory stability and predictability, and exclusion of the growth of fiscal and administrative loads. All these are key factors for favourable business climate.
Q.: What difficulties did you face with when organising remote work, and how did you cope with them based on the AEB companies’ practices?
A.: As far as I know, remote work was organised quite smoothly in all our companies. It happened so due to several reasons. One of them was high level of digitalisation. Another important reason was high level of competence, qualification and motivation of our employees, their ability to work independently with hardly any control. Of course, it was a result of the company’s corporate culture and many years of selection and development of their staff. I can give you an example of my company, DANONE, where three out of the nine Global 2030 Goals are dedicated to our employees and joined under the title “Our model of confidence,” and one is formulated as “Commend creation of the new future to DANONE employees.” Such system of interrelations between the company and its employees lets us efficiently settle all tasks, even in difficult conditions of pandemic. This is why our employees are firmly convinced that they are protected, and that their Company will maintain all measures of their social support, regardless of where they currently work – at home, in office or at a production site.
Follow our news on Facebook