Head of Manufacturing, Operations, Nigeria
"I joined British American Tobacco Ukraine team in Prylucky as a Management Trainee back in September 2002, and since then I had a chance to work in almost every function of Operations. I then went on an international assignment to Nigeria in March 2014 with the purpose to obtain new experience in another market and to share my own.
"I am the Head of Manufacturing in Nigeria, whereat, beyond the Operations processes, I’m also responsible for coordination of the Quality Assurance and Engineering departments. Upon arriving here, I had three main objectives to tackle. The first one was to improve product quality, secondly to reduce leaf tobacco losses, and the last but not the least was to increase equipment efficiency. The key success factors were, for me, the proper team performance objectives setting, focus on crucial key performance targets for the factory and, most importantly, improvement of team motivation and belief that there’s no limit of excellence; there could be found the best ways to improve and achieve outstanding results.
"I’ve got a young and energetic team. Speaking about differences between the teams in Ukraine and Nigeria, I was amazed by how similar in characters and temperaments are the people that we recruit to BAT in the different countries of the world. The equatorial climate in Nigeria was the most difficult for me to get used to – it takes time. As for the rest, I’ve adapted rather quickly, primarily thanks to the fact that the company provides favorable conditions and needed support. I’ve also always felt support from the family, friends in Ukraine and new friends in Nigeria.
"If I stay in Ibadan, the city in which I am based, I find myself free to spend time in the modern center located at the factory premises. It’s equipped with ping pong tables, football and volleyball fields. In the evenings, I often play tennis, train at the gym, visit the polo club where I ride horses and read a lot of news from Ukraine. On the weekends, I sometimes drive to Lagos – it’s a large metropolis located 140 km from the factory. First, I thought that I wouldn’t know what to do with my free time; however, I manage to plan my time efficiently and with fun!
"Every international assignment means new culture, new people, and new responsibilities. It’s always a challenge which is a powerful tool of development and self-improvement."