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Evguenia Stoichkova (The Coca-Cola Company) @StartEvo: “I prefer to be fired for a wrong decision than for no decision :)”

Published on March 30th, 2012 by

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Daca este sa faci un sondaj in randul tinerilor, referitor la “Care este cea mai aspirationala companie din Romania unde sa lucrezi?”, procentul cel mai mare o sa fie directionat catre Coca-Cola.:) Intrucat unii din noi au lucrat 5 ani de zile in aceasta companie minunata, am zis ca e musai sa ii filmam si pe ei, ca sa ne inspire prin exemplul personal.

Asa ca am fost la Evguenia Stoichkova, seful The Coca-Cola Company pe 4 tari, sa o intrebam ce a insemnat pentru ea evolutie personala si sa ne dea cateva sfaturi, care au functionat si in cazul ei. Deasemenea, ne-a spus si ce o intereseaza cand angajeaza pe cineva (foarte interesant!). Asa ca va invitam sa urmariti discutia si sa invatam cu totii din experienta ei. 🙂

Evguenia Stoichkova

 

 

Cateva franturi din interviu, ca de obicei…

Evguenia Stoichkova: I’m Bulgarian and I’m Franchise Operations Director for The Coca-Cola Company Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Albania.

It was an interesting journey getting here. I’m an engineer in geology. Very different of what I’m doing right now.  […] The first difficult decision: after the communism system collapsed, my prospects for future were not very clear.  I went to a competition for studying abroad, organized by French Government. […] I spoke very little French, but I decided to risk it. I went to that competition. Somehow I qualified. 🙂 I was very surprised.

I studied in France for a year, in economy. I re-qualified. From there I entered the marketing area. I had little marketing education but I had a lot of willingness to change things. 🙂

One big learning: I saw an opportunity and I took it. This paid out pretty well.[…]

I entered in Danone, when Danone entered in the country. I started as trainee; I ended up as a Marketing Manager. I went for 3 years to work in Russia.

One big learning: take the risks, go for it.

I didn’t know the outcome. […]New experience, new learning, which were paying back […]

I’m a fan of Coke. I’ve been invited to an interview at Coke. I passed 7 interviews. It was very difficult to take this decision, but I took the risk. I joined Coke as Marketing Manager for Bulgaria. And gradually I started to progress.

[…]

 

StartEvo: Did you had a smooth ride? Or you had bumps on the way?

Evguenia Stoichkova: For me it was a smooth evolution. I took decisions without knowing the final outcome. […] Initially,  I really wanted to go for the pure marketing career. Then I changed.[…]

For a year I work for a customer project. I am very open for new things.

 

StartEvo: When you were at the very early stages at the career, when did u earned the first 100 usd?

Evguenia Stoichkova: I worked as a student. I was working as a waitress and barman.

My career is split in 2. 10 years in Danone. 8 year in Coke. I’m quite a loyal employee

 

StartEvo: What was your driver?

Evguenia Stoichkova: The most important thing: I had a lot of energy and I wanted to do something interesting. The most important thing was the motivation and if I like what I do. […] I would not change the job for money. This is one of my principles. Maybe is not the best one :).

 

StartEvo: Please give 3 advices for people at the beginning of the career that worked in your case:

Evguenia Stoichkova:

  1. You need to know what do you want. If you don’t know, it’s not a big drama. But at least an idea.
  2. You need to be open and take risks.
  3. You need to believe that this can happen.

A lot of people started with the mindset: I am not good enough, I’m not educated enough, I am not capable enough – this is the wrong start. U need to have the belief that can happen. Facts are facts, but you need to believe. Try. Try again. […]My initial education was not signaling the direction where I’m going.[…] There is nothing that is impossible to do if you put the energy and the forces behind.

 

StartEvo: What type of books do you read?

Evguenia Stoichkova: I read a lot for relaxation. I like Science Fiction. “The Guide of the Galactic Hitchhiker”. I like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle.

I like professional books: self learning books. “Managing the brand YOU”. Very interesting insights. You need to make a brand of yourself! […]You need to understand what is your unique selling proposition. And display it.

When I recruit, I look for behaviors much more than education and knowledge. I can teach people, but i cannot change the personality.

Also I am looking for people that are smarter than me and often I look for people different than me.

 

StartEvo: In your evolution, u had a moment when ethic played an important role.

Evguenia Stoichkova: […]I never compromise on my ethics. People tried to propose me things, especially when I got higher.[…]

This is a part of your equity. This is not changeable. Doing what is right versus what is easy.[…]

I really support my team. In big companies, succession is important. You have cases when you have to support the bosses or the team. I am supporting the team, even it’s harder. From this point of view, I am not a very politically correct person. 🙂 This is a smaller problem, versus not doing the right thing for the business.

 

StartEvo: Closing sentence?

Evguenia Stoichkova: From the decision making perspective, as a manager I prefer to be fired for a wrong decision than for no decision 🙂

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