Successful Business talked to Margarita Maksimenkova, CEO of Vitemo Holding Limited. Vitemo is an international holding company that for the last 13 years has been investing in a variety of businesses across Europe.
Margarita, could you tell us about how you got to work in the business sector? How did it all begin?
My success story began in 2008, when I became the head of the international financial reporting department at the Moscow office of a Cyprus company. That was the heyday of the international standards integration into Russian holding structures. Being a specialist in the Russian standards, I retrained to also include the international ones in my skillset, and soon began to successfully apply my knowledge and skills in practice.
Back then, I saw my specialisation as too narrow while the desire to understand business processes as a single mechanism only increased my attention to business structures. Having received the technical education at the Moscow State Open University and graduated from the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, I successfully completed a two-year course at HULT International Business School in London, New York, San Francisco and Shanghai under the Executive MBA programme. It has radically changed my perception and view of business management, leadership qualities, the efficiency of work and interaction within working groups and the structure as a whole.
What is key to your success? What brought you up to the CEO position?
In the fast-paced business industry, an idea always has a priority. An idea generates solutions and underpins the future strategy and concept of the enterprise.
The ability to solve various problems and successfully cooperate with external and internal stakeholders gives particular value to a candidate. My key to success is the support that my proposals, endeavours and results receive from the management of the enterprise and my team. To successfully cope with tasks, one must know the business environment well and keep up with the times, upgrading their competencies. For example, the LLM International Business Law programme at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Cyprus, which I am currently pursuing, helps me expand my knowledge and acquire new skills – this time, in law – for better business process management in terms of concept and efficiency.
What principles distinguish a woman's approach to business from a man's?
Women's way of thinking differs from that of men. It is for this purpose that corporate governance establishes a mandatory 25% share of women for the Board of Directors members: women have a unique way of analysing information and make decisions. It is widely believed that while men base their decisions on logic, women tend to turn more to intuition. In my opinion, the approaches can be identical; the differences stem from individual abilities. The number of women leaders is growing globally, with Russia leading the way. In our company, leadership roles are mainly assigned to women who, on a daily basis, successfully make business decisions in their areas of responsibility.
How can a young, aspiring woman in an executive position maintain a work-life balance?
To feel satisfied with the work process, one needs to act with desire, drive and dedication. In most cases, work becomes our integral part, and it is difficult to distinguish it from personal life. What can help is effective time management, intensive team work, positive and friendly attitude. These tools facilitate time management, hence the issue of balance is successfully solved.
Do you have a long-term goal?
As a woman, my goal is to build a loving, close-knit family, continue doing what I love, and balance my family and my favourite work taking time to grow personally, communicate with interesting people and search for new knowledge, trends and directions in areas that interest me.
What would be your advice to businesswomen reading this interview?
A person is truly happy when they find and pursue their calling. It can be a career, a family, or hobbies. Striving to accomplish things, any woman should remember that she has been created for love, beauty, harmony and balance. Any business approach and principle that includes these components will certainly lead to success and prosperity.
Vitemo Holding Limited
Tel: +357 97 70 8881
Linkedln: Margarita Maksimenkova