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INTERVIEW WITH STANISLAV STOROZHUK, BUSINESS DIRECTOR NEW HOLLAND AGRICALTURE UKRAINE & MOLDOVA
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC),
Wash, D.C., Wed, Feb 19, 2020
Stanislav began his career at one of the largest agricultural machinery dealers in Ukraine. Today, he holds the position of Business Director New Holland Agriculture Ukraine & Moldova at New Holland, a global agricultural machinery brand, part of CNH Industrial, a global leader in the capital goods sector with established industrial experience, a wide range of products and a worldwide presence.
New Holland offers a huge selection of easy-to-operate tractors, harvesters and handling equipment for over 80 product lines and 300 different models.
Stanislav has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Agrarian University of Ukraine and has been a top-class specialist in the Agro sector for over 20 years. Stanislav has considerable experience in administrative management, implementation of internal investment management, and planning & sales development for agricultural machinery.
We met at New Holland’s office in Kyiv. When you enter the New Holland offices, you will be met by a sign bearing New Holland’s company motto — “Let’s get it done.” This philosophy mirrors New Holland’s business in Ukraine: Less talk, more action, being close to customers.
How many years has the company been present in Ukraine?
We have been operating in Ukraine for almost 22 years. I myself personally have been working for CNH Industrial since 2008. In CNH Ind. I worked for different brands of the Group but now I work only for New Holland Agriculture. We are strong in harvesters, and we rank first in new harvesting techniques. We sell only new techniques and we have ranked number 1 in harvesting technique in Ukraine for 8 years.
What are the most critical problems you have faced while in your position?
I really don't interpret any situation as a problem, and I did not face any serious issues. I was always fine. ‘Issues’ that can be solved are not really problems at all. In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing us now is the land market: how it will all work, who will get access to land, what the pricing approach will be, credit lines, whether foreigners will be able to own land, etc. Many questions remain unanswered now, and so we don’t yet have full clarity on all these issues now. This is the biggest challenge facing us today. Farmers are interested to buy new technique from us but most of the delays surrounding their decision to make a potential purchase are due to the various uncertainties surrounding the future of the land market. Ukraine is harvesting more and more crops each year. As I see things, as the market changes, clients will change as well. If so, we will have small farmers and they need a different kind of technique. Big agro holdings that manage 10,000 hectares and more need a completely different kind of technique than small farmers.
What is the size structure of your clients?
New Holland entered the market too late. Big agro holding worked with other players. We started with small farmers. The crisis of 2008 helped us a lot in this sense. In 2008, investment in big agro holding came to a halt.Small farmers started to purchase technique and they helped New Holland to enter the market. Today we are strong in medium-sized customers. We work with big agro holding as well. So, about of our clients are medium-sized farmers (1,500–10,000 hectares).
How would you describe your management style?
I would not describe it in any particular way. I never thought about this question before. I graduated from the National Agrarian University and completed my postgraduate studies at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. When my team at New Holland has a company meeting, I want everyone to know our plan for the next month, quarter and year.Everybody is given a right to comment.I don’t have any style.When I hire staff, I always hire people who are better than me.
How big is your office in Kyiv?
We have only 8 people and they do a great job.They are very effective. We work through the dealers. Each dealer has his own team and they do a good job servicing our clients. We have 8 dealers including Moldova market.
What qualities do you consider necessary to be a good leader?
You need to listen to people.People always have useful advice how to work and you need to see how you can use this advice. Every person has his own ideas.
What key challenges and threats does the industry face today?
Aside from the land market I should emphasize the financial support from the government to agro producers, I mean cheap credits, compensations, etc. We work with leasing companies and we provide some compensation as a manufacturer, but we do not work in the financial services sector. I wish the government could support agro producers – they need to be more independent.
What is the company strategy to win over customers?
We have only one strategy - to adjust to market conditions. If there will be a new land market, our strategy will be changed as well as the product list. As I see things today, the market will change slower than most people thought. We have a lot in common with the EU market but there are some differences as well. For example, in Europe they have ecological levels TIER 4 and TIER 5. We don’t have such regulations, but our government wants to implement similar initiatives.
What is the role of technology in this battle?
Technology is changing our lives and technology is a very crucial factor in our strategy. Today we sell a lot of tractors with navigation, and our company developed tractors that can be operated without an operator. You can control up to 10 tractors on your tablet with an average navigation error up to 1 inch. In our company we have a separate department that deals only with satellite navigation. Today we provide our clients with access to navigation free of charge and this is one of our competitive advantages. CNHI group is a top player in this expertise it has software that can control 10 machines online.
Who are your competitors?
Competition is made by few players we can say that we as CNH Industrial Group we are one of the leaders.
What do you think your customers love about your product?
They like technique itself. CNH Industrial invest a lot in technological research, and we try to keep up to date with cutting-edge technologies.Today our technique is doing not only one operation, but it can also connect with other machines, tractors and harvesters.There are many very good options. Our technology allows clients to maximize their profitability, and this is what they like most about our product line.
What’s your favorite product?
I like harvesters the most. We have excellent quality harvesters. All our products are good, but I am particularly fond of the CX8.80.
What’s your 5-year plan?
We have only one plan: To remain the market leader.
Do you have a story that inspires you? Does your business have a story to tell?
I like the way New Holland enters the market, fighting against big players and reaching immediately the trust of the customers When you see how a new brand starts to overtake the market, it’s a very inspiring feeling. When people tell you that something is not possible, but you take the chance and go for it anyway – this is very inspiring. Another inspiring aspect of our company is that we don’t have any rigid internal boundaries – if you have an idea, you will find the support you need.
What is your best advice for anyone in business?
You need to love what you do. If you love what you do, you will achieve good results.