EBA Personality: Maksym Dyminskyi
- Let’s begin with an introduction of yourself and an overview of your company. How do you position your company on the market?
First of all, I’d like thank you for the opportunity to introduce our company and express our vision on future goals. About me personally, I graduated from the Ivan Franko University in 2000. The first years after graduation I spent working in service and since 2003 I’ve been with the production industry. I joined SE “Sorensen and Haahr” in 2008, nine years after the company was first established. At that time we were only a wood manufacturer and only dealt with wooden products. Like many other companies, we struggled just to survive through the 2008-09 crises years when we lost a lot of customers. But thanks to the cooperation of the sales and production departments, we managed to find new customers and began to launch new products. Today we are the biggest producer of paint stirrers in Europe, one of the biggest producers of mink boxes and adult cages for the mink industry in Scandinavia, and certainly the largest producer of these products in Ukraine. We also sell a special fraction saw dust that is used in the mink industry.
- Do you have any plans for expansion? What are your growth ambitions?
Our sales department is located in Denmark and represented by CEO Jorgen Haahr. He’s an unstoppable manager that is always in search of new products and to increase current volumes, and is constantly working on developing our company. At the same time, production is Lviv fills all the orders and produces our top products and services on the market. Since 2009 alone, we’ve increased turnover by 4 times. Two years ago we began to sell mink boxes for Ukrainian farmers and this year we nearly doubled turnover in the local market and are working on developing this area in the next few years. Our Ukrainian customers are very influential firms in the fur industry and we are proud that they chose a Ukrainian company as a supplier instead of some Western European company. We don’t like to limit our goals; our ambitions are to increase capacity every year and to continue to add products.
- What are your top priorities for the next 12 months?
Every company wants to become the leader in its product line and we are no exception. For the next 12 months, as in previous years, we want to supply the best service and top products to our customers. We continue to work on improving our product all the time by listening to clients and making improvements. Today we are acknowledged in Denmark’s mink industry as a company that delivers the best product on the market. In the next 12 months we plan to amaze our customers even more.
- Which business sectors present the most interesting investment in today’s Western Ukrainian market?
I would argue that any business sector can be profitable from being located in Western Ukraine. Production companies prefer to be in this area since it’s close to the border; the abundance of educated young people in the area benefits the IT sector; and overall the lower salaries in the region makes any company here more competitive. We also shouldn’t forget that as Lviv becomes a natural European city, its infrastructure improves every year and more and more people want to come back here. At the same time, some new companies might fail in this district, but I generally see their problems as lack of proper local management and, as a result, their bureaucracy doesn’t give them time to become successful.
- What is the most important management lesson you have learned?
I was fortunate enough to have some very good trainers along the way. Every time a new challenge threatens to stop me, I remember a lesson from one of them: “a winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.”
- Would you share your business success story with us?
Many young people that are just starting out working only chase the goal to earn a good salary and then they stop struggling. I did it the other way; for the first 10 years I worked to gain knowledge and salary was not important for me. I worked as many hours as I need to ensure the company was successful. Success is when your company begins to grow, when you go into production, or when you come into the office and people respect you. Success is not having a large bank account. Success is respect.
- The EBA focuses its action on 7 paths to economic development: fighting corruption, the court system and land reform, currency regulation, VAT refund activation, customs procedures simplification, and eliminating technical barriers to trade. Which one(s) do you foresee as the most important and why?
Our company joined the EBA in 2005 and today it has become one of the most influential organizations in Western Ukraine. There are no state bodies which would challenge it. We, Ukrainian directors in particular, are very thankful to the EBA team for their constant work on making our country better and for helping us to solve issues when it’s impossible to do it alone. Every year we see a reduction in bureaucratic procedures, but the most important thing the EBA has done is change the authorities’ way of thinking – they now respect business. Each of the above points is important and every company struggles with each of these problems at different stages of its development. We need to continue to work on solving these problems in our society.
- In your opinion, what can be done to improve the attractiveness of business investment in Ukraine?
Speaking about production companies – land reform. Investors are not willing to invest serious money without having the land, even it is only a rental agreement. Another issue is the absence of buildings that can be purchased for a reasonable price. Some officials think that if they have access to the sale of state real estate or land that they have to earn something on top of it; this attitude prevents investors from coming here and the practice needs to be stopped immediately. General corruption is another problem, as each controlling body sees its function as a money-taking organization. The people that work for these organizations are quite reasonable, but there is not adequate state funding for them, so they need to survive in this way. But one thing is that every visit from them costs money; the other is that you need to spend a lot of time with them. There are no one-day visits. If you have an inspection, it will involve you for several days.
- Do you have any advice for someone that is looking to be successful in business?