Blitz interview with Vitalii Bulda, CEO of Robert Bosch Ltd.
LDaily: What are the main indicators for the first half of 2019?
V. Bulda: By the end of June, the company has exceeded its sales in comparison with the same period last year.
LDaily: How employees influence the company’s success? What tools do you use to monitor the employees’ efficiency? What are you doing with those who are not much involved in the process? Do you help them to find inner motivation?
V. Bulda: We are a trading company that sells both manufactured goods and engineering options. So, the mood and competence of our employees, as well as their ideas, are the engines of our success.
We evaluate the effectiveness of employees according to the degree of achievement of goals, which are clear both for an employee and for a department head.
If an employee is not involved in the process, this is a manager’s mistake – he/she has chosen a wrong person for that work or the employee’s profile does not meet the responsibilities. There is no universal solution, but in most cases, the solution can be found through sincere communication, if two parties want to find it.
As for the internal motivation and its increase, lots can be said. Still, in my opinion, the main issue is that employees should understand not only what they are doing, but also why they need to do it. This simple principle changes the attitude towards work and is a powerful motivating factor.
LDaily: Tell us about your plans for the next 3 years. Are you going to invest in Ukraine?
V. Bulda: Our plan is quite simple, namely, double-digit growth every year. Speaking about investments, I can say that we are constantly investing in Ukraine through the training of experts and the introduction of new technologies. With the help of our equipment, the energy dependence is reduced, the level of safety is growing, construction is carried out faster, the industrial complex receives reliable hydraulic equipment, country’s car park is in constant motion, and domestic work becomes more attractive.
LDaily: What problems does your business face while operating in Ukraine?
V. Bulda: Ukraine is not unique in comparison with other countries in doing business. The same questions: the impact of digitalization and new technologies, the migration of distribution channels and decision-making centers, a fundamental change in the principles of communication with the consumer. In short, Ukraine has problems, like any other country.
LDaily: Do you feel the changes in the business climate during the existence of the company on the Ukrainian market?
V. Bulda: Certainly, Ukraine is changing along with the rest of the world, and over the last 26 years of the company’s existence, we have overcome many challenges together. Changes occur all the time, but I can mention the main thing that has happened over the years. Ukraine has become more open, gradually getting rid of Soviet rudiments and de facto becoming part of Europe.
This is a very difficult path, but all of our neighboring countries have passed or are passing it, so now it is our turn.
LDaily: Have you encountered corruption in your sector?
V. Bulda: All 26 years of activity in Ukraine, we are constantly working to ensure that all possible problems, including those with state agencies, are solved only in the legal field.
LDaily: How can the change of power influence the company’s activity? What do you expect from the new power? In your opinion, should the power interfere business?
V. Bulda: On the one hand, the authorities through their institutions set the rules of the game for business, using legislation and tax policy, but this is its direct function. On the other hand, business taxes are a source of direct revenues to the budget, so achieving a compromise between government and business should be a priority.
LDaily: What, in your opinion, prevents a business from fully operating on the Ukrainian market?
V. Bulda: You can put this question to business in any country, and you will finally get the same answers, namely: legislation, taxes, a target market, a labor market, and uncertainty about economic and political development.
There are things we cannot influence, so let’s focus on how to use the current situation in favor of the business.
LDaily: There probably were mistakes during the existence of the company. Do you work on correcting them? Who helps you deal with this?
V. Bulda: Mistakes and failures are part of life, and it is impossible to progress without them. However, most likely, they are a powerful driver for the following victories and successful decisions. The work on mistakes is painful, but it is the most useful part of the activity. By the way, people discuss your mistakes more eagerly than successful steps.
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