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Investor's opinion

Question (Q): Dear Mr.Kucukozdemir, please introduce your company which you represent.
Answer (A): I am a General Manager at company FoodFestival. The job is based on establishing an e-commerce business. It is mainly focused on integration of fragmented restaurant services into one online market place - internet portal in Kiev for online orders. Conducting marketing and operation activities are also integral part of the job.

Q.: Why did you consider invest in Ukraine. Which new opportunities did you anticipate?
A.: First, I came to Ukraine in 2006 as a Country Manager in the Sales Department. I was impressed by the fast developing market, friendly people and atmosphere inside a country. Honestly, I didn’t see such opportunities in my native comparatively much better developed Turkish market that I found here. Ukrainian market looked like not cultivated land for business. It is 46 millions of potential customers, geographical location between Western market and Russia, furthermore close to my country. My first thoughts were that you could start almost any business you wanted without a tough competition. That time I made a conclusion for me to start my own business here.

Q.: Which difficulties or obstacles did you face entering Ukraine?
A.: I’ve educated and worked in Sweden and Turkey, so expected to see more or less European approach to business in Ukraine but was completely wrong. Ukraine is “another world” that I had to discover and continue discovering. Soviet past influenced a lot on Ukraine. I found completely different mentality, bad knowledge of English by people, hard and changing legislation. First year in Ukraine I felt like had my first year in the University or even at school. I should have taught my employees (and frankly speaking even partners) very simple things on my opinion like how to carry on customers, to offer quality products, be responsible, honest etc. However, I learnt a lot and discovered one important thing – seek expertise before enter a market in an alien country. That will help you to shed valuable insight on the market you are exploring and you will not step on the rake. I’ve got a very interesting experience in Ukraine and found that business environment is slowly developing.

Q.: What would be your advice to other companies interesting to invest in Ukraine?
A.: On my opinion 3 major issues should be considered before entering into Ukrainian market:
1. The dynamics of the market.
2. The procedures of conducting a business.
3. To find a reliable local partner that can consult, assist and adapt your business idea to Ukrainian realities. As for me, definitely, YesBusiness is that company.

Q.: How do you forecast the development of business in Ukraine in the current year?
A.: The last global economic recession and political instability in Ukraine were very painful and influenced a lot on the demand and market in general. Ukrainian currency devalued by nearly 50 percent, GDP dropped on around 15 percent in 2009. However, nowadays, we observe stability in politics after elections and growing of the economy. As a result International rating agencies revised Ukraine's Outlooks to Stable from Negative, IMF is going to recover cooperation with Ukraine in the nearest future and UEFA made a final decision about 4 host cities in Ukraine of the European football championships in 2012. Thereby, on my opinion, we can expect increase of the foreign investments in Ukraine in the nearest future and fast growing of the economy. Definitely, nowadays Ukraine is a very interesting to invest for future.

If you have any questions you can contact Mr.Aykut Kucukozdemir by email.

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