Would you be brave enough to start a new life in a different country?
Imagine: you receive an opportunity to establish, develop & lead a new division for a company you work for. Sounds incredible, right? But what if it’s 5 348,2 km away from your home? Would you still go for it?
ALEKSEJ KARŽICKIJ did. In the summer of 2016, he was working as a commercial director of GARANT SUPPLY, then he received an offer from GARANT GROUP shareholders. Same summer, Aleksej and his colleague moved to the Canary Islands (Las Palmas, Spain) to open a new supply division – GARANT LAS PALMAS. Soon, after 2 months, his family moved to live there in the Canary Islands too. This month the company celebrates its 5th anniversary! We spoke to Aleksej about his experience.
What difficulties did you face when opening a company in the Canary Islands?
Initially, we faced difficulties in choosing suitable premises for our activities. Since it is an island, the development is very dense, construction is limited, there are few options to choose from. It was also difficult to find the right personnel, given our specifics of work, knowledge of Russian, English, Lithuanian and Spanish was very important. So, I was very happy to have help from my wife Julija. With her 13 years of experience in accounting, she helped to form the accounting department, which she later headed.
Tell us about your team now?
Now we have 10 young and energetic workers, professionals in their field, who speak 6 languages, 4 of them are used for communication every day. They are constantly improving and making a huge contribution to the development of the company.
How do you spend your leisure time with the team, are there any common hobbies?
We try to go out with the whole team to play paintball, bowling, go-karting. In the future, we plan to sail to the neighbouring island to the Aquapark, which is considered one of the largest in Europe.
What local peculiarities do you encounter in your daily activities?
After all, probably the local communication. Here all issues are resolved verbally, whether it’s a state institution, bank or just a supplier. Everyone needs to talk face to face, other means of communication such as telephone, internet, the mail is not very effective here. Many cups of coffee are drunk all the time (laughs). Of course, this way you get to know and adapt to the local system faster.
What was a surprise for you in the Canary Islands?
I think it's the rich presence of holidays (smiles). Holidays are an integral part of life in the Canary Islands and are divided into national, regional, local, each island or city separately. There are also carnivals and a variety of local festivals.
What is unacceptable in the Canary Islands?
Probably give up dessert in a restaurant (laughs). I'm kidding, of course. Canarians have a big sweet tooth and therefore, for them, at least it looks strange when you refuse dessert after a hearty dinner.
We are incredibly proud of Aleksej (and his team) for the work he has done with the GARANT LAS PALMAS division. His drive motivates us to face challenges, catch opportunities and constantly seek improvement.
A big thanks to Aleksej & Julija for sharing this success story and providing us with the pictures.
Best of luck with future projects!