Career Story: Volga Marketing GmbH

August 16, 2016

Global Executive MBA alumna & alumnus start a marketing company in Vienna.

Founders and managing directors

The company, Volga Marketing (CEEsam) GmbH was founded by two alumni of the Global Executive MBA: Svetlana Kokurina and Iain Coles.

About the company

Volga Marketing with its headquarters in Vienna and additional branches in Russia provides customized marketing services and innovative business solutions for European companies willing to enter Russian and CIS countries markets. The agency is also a team of experienced professionals with marketing, cross-cultural expertise and an entrepreneurial mindset. Its mission is to help the clients meet their business challenge with unique marketing tools that change the competitive environment.

Company development implies an international expansion strategy. Therefore, Volga Marketing enables its clients to go international being aware of local peculiarities while possessing global marketing expertise. The agency guarantees a high quality of services also due to a wide network of suppliers in CEE and CIS countries area.

Moreover, closely cooperating with businesses in certain areas and having links with government institutions, Volga Marketing offers complex support in finding attractive partners and developing the partnership in overseas markets.

Personal insights

Svetlana Kokurina on self-employment and the MBA

I wanted to improve my managerial skills by learning scientific side of management on the one hand, and get an insight in different business practices across borders, on the other hand. If speaking about knowledge, practical applicability and network, the MBA of the WU Executive Academy really offers great opportunities. The curriculum of the program is structured as to give the participant all necessary tools to succeed in business tasks however difficult they were.

For example, preparing our company’s business plan I used the requirements and structure given to us at the EMBA course, while performing the Virtual Team Project. It gave me an opportunity to put theory into practice by taking lessons I’ve learned from EMBA courses in strategy, international marketing, international management, as well as entrepreneurship and incorporating them into a business plan that is grounded in the real world. Also, I had the chance to refine my presentation skills by presenting our capstone project/business plan in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota.

Iain Coles on self-employment and the MBA

It felt as times as though the program was designed specifically with entrepreneurs as the target group. An entrepreneur needs to have a completely holistic understanding of the business and its challenges. This course stimulated thought and provided knowledge in a very broad range of business areas covering all of the management skills required to start and grow a new business. In addition, the residencies in the program gave a strong emphasis to the need to understand and give weight to business and social cultural differences. I am sure that the experience and discussion of these differences and how they might be exploited led directly to our idea to set up a business that directly addresses these cultural differences by assisting multi-national companies to understand and successfully market their products in the Russian speaking world.


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