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To the Top of Baumit Russia: With Hard Work, Consistency and the Right MBA

March 20, 2020

What an MBA can do for a corporate career

Can you, please, share with us your career development until now? What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?

For the last 17 years, I have been working for leading construction materials companies. Up to my current position, I went through all the stages of my professional career at such European market leaders as Henkel (Germany), Rockwool (Denmark), Murexin (Austria), where I received an excellent schooling and extensive experience in various business areas, from direct complex B2B sales to managing a large production enterprise. Shortly after completion of my studies at WU, I received the offer for the position of General Director of the Russian division of the largest European company, Baumit. Baumit is the leader in Europe in the production of high-quality cement building materials, e.g. facades, adhesives and plaster systems for various construction applications. This is a large company with a turnover of more than 1.2 billion euros per year, active in 25 countries, represented in Europe by more than 50 powerful plants. In Russia, we operate a factory in the Moscow region, two production facilities in Belarus, and have a well-developed distribution network for our products in all regions of our country. It is difficult to name at least one significant construction site on the territory of Russia, where certain Baumit construction solutions would not be used.

Did you originally want to pursue a different career? If so, what made you change your plans?

From the very beginning, I was following my current career path. I have a very good economic education, including my 1st MBA at a Russian university; now I have received a degree at WU. So, I am rather consistent in this way.

Which 3 most important experiences in your life have led you to where you are right now?

My experience has shown: a high-quality education and academic background can be a key to professional success. Hard work and consistency are “must have” topics as well.

When you think of the most talented high potential in your company, what 3 pieces of advice would you give him to live a successful and fulfilling life?

Everything is very simple here. Decide on the tasks that you set yourself. Select the main actions to be done to reach the tasks, taking into account all possible factors that affect your decision. Just make the decision and GO for any important step in your life, do not be afraid of difficulties and you will succeed. Don’t make life too complicated, just think and act.

What is your secret of success as a leader?

Trust the team, talk with people, track the targets

What has changed in your career because of your MBA degree? How did the program support you in reaching your career goals? What concrete career opportunities have opened up for you?

After the training, my understanding of sales and marketing became complete and acquired a complete, finished form. I received a huge block of knowledge on modern digital technologies and platforms, which, together with a very advanced course on statistics, gave me an excellent understanding of the value that data on processes, customers and products have for any business. It has become easier for me to see the full picture of the business, as well as to clearly understand the relationships and impact of our Russian business on the activities and financial statements of the BAUMIT group in general. After the course at WU, I began to look at many things and processes more broadly, not closing in on a narrow professional or country framework. Regardless of your chosen specialization, you will get very serious knowledge across the entire range of macro and microeconomic disciplines, excellent project experience and teamwork experience.

As far as the workload is concerned, how did you manage an MBA next to a demanding job and your family life?

As I was working for an Austrian company headquartered near Vienna, it was a little bit easier for me to manage all these things. I could combine the learning sessions with meeting my Austrian colleagues and still being involved in the daily business operations.

What do you consider a “great luxury”?

Time and freedom.

What was the last book/movie you really enjoyed?

I have finally coped with "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. It is hard to put the plot of that enormous novel in a nutshell, but its tone and spirit are dazzling; it captures your attention from cover to cover, and it has no less than 800 pages. By the way, the movie based on this book is much weaker than the original.

If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

My son. I would like to look at myself from the outside to understand whether I am a good father or not, what my child expects and what he does not get enough from me.

Wordrap

I can laugh about:

Myself. Easily...

My funniest/most exciting travel experience was:

The trip to Asia I took with my family this January when I missed the first connection flight and the next 2 flights were cancelled. But finally I got home somehow.

I could not live without this app on my smartphone:
I am rather old-fashioned so I can live even without the cell phone itself.
You can always find this in my fridge:

I would like to say "good beer" but need to state that it is milk for the kids.

I would spend my last money on:
I hope not to face such a dilemma, and I do my best to avoid it. To be serious, life has taught me that there is one thing that is worth all your money. It is my family's health.
10 years ago I thought:
That I had already missed the best time for my MBA in Europe.
Today, I know:
That studying at the WU Executive Academy was one of the best chapters in my life.

Read more interesting career stories of our students and graduates here.

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