Open Borders - Wacker Chemie AG


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Open Borders

For months Kiev has dominated world politics. The Euromaidan protests and the crisis in the Crimea are touching people around the globe. The three young employees (all in their early 30s) at the small WACKER office in the Ukrainian capital, meanwhile, are carrying out their work as normally as possible.

The Kiev WACKER team (from left to right): Stanislav Kiriatov, Olena Melnychuk and Alexey Amirkhanov) hope for open borders between the Ukraine and Europe.

The Sales office in the Ukraine which has been operating since 2008 used to fall under Moscow. However, in the next few years, the country wishes to modernize its infrastructure, particularly in the construction industry, and its energy supply, which has been dependent on Russian gas deliveries to date.

Sales manager Alexey Amirkhanov is confident that there is great potential for the young team. “Most customers are smaller, local companies, so Ukrainian sales people on the ground are a great advantage,” explains the chemist. “We can communicate with our customers in Russian and Ukrainian, for example.” Amirkhanov adds that there is no local competition. His customers are very open to new ideas. One thing he is certain of: WACKER will benefit from the necessary construction and modernization measures.

Alexey Amirkhanov hopes that the Ukraine crisis will soon be history. He eagerly awaits a free trade agreement with the EU. After Russia, Germany is already the Ukraine’s most important trade partner. “Open borders to Europe are important,” he says. His colleague Olena Melnychuk hopes above all for a better life for her compatriots. “And if things improve for the country, it will also be good for WACKER,” she adds.

Besides their work in the Ukraine, Amirkhanov and his colleague Stanislav Kiriatov also support customers in other CIS countries. Their market extends as far as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, covering four time zones and more than 4,000 kilometers. This is why the two are on the go for most of the week.

A short while ago, the WACKER sales office moved premises. Now it is next door to a German consulting company. Melnychuk is happy about the new neighbors. Previously, she was often alone in the office. Today, she can always share a coffee break or have lunch with someone from the auditing company.

Twice a week, however, Olena Melnychuk is not in the office either. On those days, she avoids the long commute with the metro and works from home. Here she also has company for lunch – her two-year-old daughter. Since it is almost impossible to find daycare for young children in Kiev, most mothers stay at home for three years. Olena Melnychuk wanted to go back to work sooner. She is grateful to WACKER for the generous home office policy.