Caucasus Business Week offers you an interview with Anano Korkia, head of PR and Marketing Department at PASHA Bank Georgia, where she talks about her work experience, successful projects and a meeting that has made important changes to her professional career.
What is your profession?
I graduated from Georgian Diplomatic Academy, where I studied international relations. I continued my studies in Turkey and got my Master’s Degree from Istanbul University, faculty of social sciences. I believe that my student years in Turkey have taught me a lot and this period particularly was when my working skills actually started to develop. I remember working as an interpreter between Georgian, Turkish, English and Russian for various companies, observing and exploring the negotiation processes of utterly diverse companies and people.
It was indeed a very interesting process for my professional development. Since graduation I have taken various trainings and courses such as Project Management, Finances for Non-financial Managers, Neuromarketing and others; I also attended numerous local and international seminars on marketing and the related fields which all together combined with the gained work experience brought me to the point when I can say that my profession is: marketer.
What about your first job?
I had several part-time jobs in Istanbul during 2006-2010, most significant of which were with diamond producer companies (from India) that were supplying Turkish jewelry market. I also worked for an English textile company for several months; we were supplying Marks & Spencer outlet centers with stocks from factories around the world: from Turkey, Italy, Egypt and other countries, including even Georgia. My responsibilities were to find relevant stocks, to negotiate prices and to ensure logistics. I remember once I got a sample of an item from a textile company in Georgia (in Ajara) and the label said “Made in Georgia”.
I got so excited and happy about it, I even took a photo with my phone and suddenly I noticed the surprised faces of my Turkish colleagues, they could not understand what was so special about that label, they were so used to seeing labels saying “Made in Turkey” that it took time for me to explain to them that seeing an item (and especially of an international brand) produced in Georgia was something really rare.
However, for some reason whenever I am asked about my first job, I think of my first full-time job in Georgia. It was at an advertising company, Stromboli, and I was very lucky to have a supervisor who was very competent in this field and who taught me a lot. My first account was MobiPay and it was a very interesting process for me as we were doing everything from the scratch. From Stromboli I went to Silknet, then Bank Republic and it has been two years since I work at PASHAH Bank.
You first success.
It is hard for me to identify my first success. There have been projects that I have initiated and/or executed throughout last years that I am particularly proud of and that have had positive feedback from the company management as well as other stakeholders.
Most of the successful projects and activities are result of teamwork and I think I have been quiet lucky to have worked together with really great colleagues throughout my working experience.
Project that you have implemented and are proud of.
I cannot fail to say it again that every project that I have worked on owes its success to a team. The latest project that I am really proud of is MEETING ROOM – cycle of business conferences. The project aims to bring together participants from various industries providing a platform for sharing ideas and best practices as it relates to raising the capital for various projects in respective industries.
I would also distinguish Spotlight Marketing Library Initiated by PASHA Bank. The project is supported by Tbilisi Mediathek and Spotlight. Marketing Library was launched in 2015 and it represents one comfortable space with the professional literature in Marketing, Branding, PR and other related fields that are available for everyone interested in these subjects. We have been working on this project for a second year in a row and it has generated very positive feedback, we have so many readers by now that we really did not expect.
In 2016 we added quiet a long list of new books on marketing and we plan to continue doing so as the interest from young marketers keeps rising and the up-to-date and trendy literature is not so easy to find in Georgia. Together with my colleagues, especially Diana Tigiishvili, I am really proud of this project as it actually serves a common good and professional development of people interested in this field.
The field where you would never work.
I think I would find it hard to work for medical field. Whenever I get in touch with medical institutions I always tend to think that this is something that I would either be unable to do or that I would find it very hard.
What factors make a person successful in your field? Besides knowledge, what special personal characteristics are required?
At certain extent I think it depends on the company you work for. There are companies that contribute to one’s growth more than some others. For example, PASHA Bank is definitely the kind of company that invests in the professional development of the team. It also supports new initiatives and ideas, which is a very important factor for success. This is exactly how you accomplish certain projects and activities that eventually result in the company’s and the person’s mutual success.
On personal level, I strongly believe that being responsible and hard working helps a lot in all fields. In our field I would underline probably creativity, organizational and analytical skills, open-mindedness and contacts. And also, I think that correct application of gained experience is something that contributes to person’s success in any field of work.
Interesting episode from your business life that have changed your life.
Work is a quiet substantial part of my life; I spend large amount of time at the office, basically like most of us who work at commercial companies. Therefore starting a new job actually means a change of life to me. As an interesting episode that changed my life I can name one unplanned meeting – I remember I was at a presentation in National Bank of Georgia, where I met my old colleague, who told me about the opening at PASHA Bank.
I was not really looking for a new job at that moment but somehow it all continued in a way that I found myself in an interview, then writing a case and then another interview and eventually getting an offer that turned out to be interesting for me. So, basically that one meeting brought certain important changes in my life and definitely contributed to my professional growth.
Without this profession, who would you be and where would you take efforts?
I think I would be occupied with my initial choice and would apply what I studied for my BA and MA in international relations. As a student I worked as an intern at the Parliament of Georgia at the Department of International Relations for a full year. For several months I was an intern at the Consulate General of Georgia in Istanbul. I remember I was quiet interested in this field too and most probably I might have continued development in that direction if I had not taken the path I took.
Where do you see yourself after 20 years?
That is quiet a difficult question. If you would have asked me that same question 10 or even 5 years ago, I would probably not have been able to tell you that I would be here today.
It isn’t as though I don’t have a plan but life is really full of surprises and most of the times you just have to be prepared to accept changes that are beyond our control.
I am very optimistic about my future and I am sure that in 20 years I will remain to be a person who is happy with her life. But then again, it is hard for me to say where exactly I see myself at the age of 50. Hopefully, somewhere around.