Back in 2006, I found my calling.
Upon graduating from university in 2005 and having worked in various sectors, I made a strategic decision to continue my development in marketing.
In the summer of 2006, I became a marketing director for the Russian-based restaurant holding Uley Catering Group. I was 22 years old. On my first day at the company, I organized a meeting with the owner, Oleg Bardeev. I began to ask him serious questions about the company’s strategy: "Where are we going?", "Where do we stand versus our competitors on the market?", "What is our strategic goal, in numbers?", "What is your vision of the company?". On that day we set an ambitious goal of increasing the company’s turnover within the next two years. We achieved that goal in the first year. In the second, we exceeded it.
Strategic planning and trend analysis of sales, competition and market potentials, as well as forecasting various business scenarios, have always been my passion. After presenting a clear strategic goal and the way to achieve it, as well as defining the mechanics of raising revenues and profitability, it is much easier to design an efficient plan of action.
Over time it became clear that beyond my affinity for marketing and business development, the food industry appeared so close to me that I soon realized it was my natural vocation.
In September 2009, I joined a great team at the US-based pizzeria chain Papa John’s as marketing director and two years later was promoted to director of strategy and business development for Russia and the greater post-Soviet bloc of countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It was one of the most interesting periods of my life. I was engaged in the development of a sub-franchise of one of the largest global brands and even brought it to a new international market, opening a Papa John’s in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku.
In 2013, I was invited to lead marketing for the brands TGI Fridays, Costa Coffee and American Bar & Grill at the Rosinter Restaurants. It was an invaluable experience, working with real professionals, concepts of various types and sizes, and, most importantly, with a huge geographical scale, not only within Russia and the CIS, but also in Europe. That phase of professional activity enabled me to formulate a personal mission: to help companies and brands to grow, bringing real benefits to expanding businesses.
In 2014, I founded my own consulting company, Like4Like Positive Communications, and a year later published my first book, "Battle for the Guest: Strategy and Tactics of Restaurant Marketing" that has become an industry bestseller.
I am happy that 15 years ago, I found my calling.