"We put in a lot of effort to develop our people. But we don’t push people down any specific path or programme, we encourage them to be curious. There are great opportunities to grow here, which is different from other companies. Through CCHBC there are opportunities to move to other countries and explore other business units."

Traian Nechifor joined Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) in 1995. He started out in sales in Romania and has spent most of the last 22 years working as a Business Developer and Sales Supervisor in the Operations department. In 2008 he moved to Bucharest and this opened up new opportunities for him. Now as Country Manager of Moldova his role involves finance, marketing, sales and supply chain but he most enjoys working with, and growing, young people. He tells us about his time at CCHBC and why investing in young talent is so important for the Business.

Why do you think CCHBC is such a special place to work?
We truly care for our people, and that really shows. Our passion for excellence is everywhere, from leaders to entry level staff. Underperformance is not tolerated, but we work to build people up, not tear them down. We have values that I am very proud to talk about and working at CCHBC has taught me to be authentic and caring with all our People.

There are a lot of challenges and you need to deliver, but it’s amazing because you learn a lot and none of my days are the same. I used to be quite shy, but now I am very visible and vocal. I give public speeches. Traian Nechifor, Country Manager, General Manager Moldova

You’ve been at CCHBC a long time, what makes you stay?
I have appreciated every day, even though I have had so many here. It’s not easy. There are a lot of challenges and you need to deliver, but it’s amazing because you learn a lot and none of my days are the same. I used to be quite shy, but now I am very visible and vocal. I give public speeches. I have had the opportunity to visit many countries to collect best practices, inspire others and explore opportunities.

This kind of personal growth is common at CCHBC. What are the ways in which growth and learning is encouraged?
There are so many tools and programmes in place to learn, and lots of different types of leaders to learn from in any role. Leaders are extremely visible. Every day is different and there are different approaches to learning. Our business is quite complex, so you must stay adaptable and eager. I know each day I will learn something. Today I am talking about go-to-market strategies, tomorrow I will be talking about something else.

What advice would you offer to someone starting out at CCHBC?
I am one of the trainers in a programme called “How to Develop Young Leaders”. They all want to know how to be a manager, how to be a leader, how to combine strategy and decision-making. I would say that if you come to CCHBC you can grow extremely fast and progress quickly toward leadership. It’s up to you, but it’s there for the taking. I’d recommend that they explore and identify opportunities, and act on them. I am very interested in the young generation. They are different to me, they want things faster than me and I think I can help them balance their ambition.

We have worked hard to cultivate an interdependent leadership style, which means that ideas can come from anywhere, rather than a dependent style which is similar to the traditional top-down approach.

How do you think CCHBC maintains its leadership position in the industry?
There are three aspects: the direction of the company, alignment and commitment. We have worked hard to cultivate an interdependent leadership style, which means that ideas can come from anywhere, rather than a dependent style which is similar to the traditional top-down approach. This brings ownership and collaboration. We delivered great results this year, but we don’t rest on our laurels. We are putting in our own stretch KPIs for next year without being told by leadership. We don’t encourage mediocrity and we’re not content with ‘average’ at CCHBC.