In Belarus, it’s sometimes difficult to move up in state owned or local companies and it can be difficult to understand how to get from one role to another. But in Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC), it’s different, it’s very clear.
At the very beginning, I expressed my wish for a challenge and the chance to grow. I was told that my life would be full of challenges at CCHBC, and they have kept that promise to me.
I started at CCHBC 15 years ago, and I can definitely say it’s possible to build a successful career based on clear objectives.
We are known for having many of our leaders starting at entry level positions, which shows there are no barriers and no limits for real performers. Nikolay Borovskoy, Country Procurement Manager, Belarus
While I was still a post-graduate student at business school, I was thinking about my next step. At the time CCHBC was the only famous international company in Belarus, and everyone knew the trucks and the products. I sent a letter to the HR Manager about myself and my career intentions, looking for the opportunity to develop myself and add value to a big project and a big business.
I was offered a temporary position, working on a project training employees, recruiting and assisting the HR manager. I was then asked to stay on and within a few years I was promoted to HR Manager.
I worked as an HR Manager for a number of years before I was asked to take on the challenge of running a juice plant.
This was a big challenge for me because I had never been involved in the management of a production facility, but it was a massive chance for me and I jumped at it.
Then I got the opportunity to become Procurement Manager within the procurement function, which requires technical capabilities with sophisticated systems and processes, but I said yes in one second. It came with new challenges, new successes, and new mistakes, but I become so much more capable for the future.
In all of Belarus I don’t know any other company that can provide these opportunities. At CCHBC we don’t have limitations, and you can make such a difference. I think making a difference is easy when you develop your people. Not necessarily in sitting down and saying let’s discuss your development, but more through on the job coaching and encouragement. It is really good when you learn something on the job because you have the chance to talk to true experts in a specific area.
We didn’t get to where we are by accident, though. Our leaders show that to achieve amazing things we must be taking on new challenges all the time.
When I started we had a very hard-working culture which I jumped at it because I was really trying to develop and there was a strong team spirit. All of us as a team working for big things and this culture of excellence is exactly what motivates me. I think all people like sport or competition. We have the feeling of a big game every single day, and for me personally this is motivating.
What makes this desire for excellence particularly motivating is that we use it for good. We practically established Corporate Social Responsibility in Belarus. When we did our first major ecological project, related to Co2 emissions, everyone wondered where the commercial reason was. We had to explain that there was no commercial reason, that we were doing it to benefit society. Soon a lot of local companies started to follow suit, but we were the groundbreakers. We built a culture that other companies followed. As a biologist by training, being part of a company that uses its power to make its footprint as minimal as possible is very rewarding for me.
We are truly number one here, and I am really proud to work for a leader in the industry. But thinking about all of this, I am most proud of my journey. There are so many new situations and a lot of new challenges ahead of me. It’s not finished yet!
So, if you want freedom to shape your role and inspire others, why not lead our teams?