Global Excellence Awards 2018

Acquisition International - Global Excellence Awards 2018 73 30 Acquisition International - Issue 5 2018 The Amber Beverage Group (ABG) produces, bottles, markets, distributes, exports and retails a comprehensive range of spirits and wines of almost 500 brands. We spoke to CFO, Jekaterina Stu ģ e as we explore the secrets behind the company’s success. eadquartered in Luxembourg, ABG operates on a global basis and boasts production and distribution companies in Russia, Mexico, Australia, the Baltics and the UK. In her position as CFO, Jekaterina focuses on improving the efficiency of the company and is always helping the company to adapt accordingly to the daily advances that arise in the distribution sector. Jekaterina starts off the discussion by describing the biggest challenges she has faced since taking on her role in the company. “Thinking of how and what to change and do differently gets done quickly. The main thing is to implement it afterwards, and this stage is the most complicated, especially when it comes to making people believe that they need these changes. The hardest part is convincing them to see them as something positive and not as a threat. However, this is a very interesting process and something I enjoy greatly.” Featuring as AI’s Most Influential Female CFO 2018 within Latvia, there are many aspects of ABG’s achievements which are the result of Jekaterina’s work. The variety of her work and her ability to build a strong team on financial basis has also seen ABG recognised as AI’s Recognised Leader in Alcoholic Beverage Distribution within the Baltic region within 2018. However, Jekaterina is quick to praise her team of experts, all of whom contribute to cultivating a working atmosphere in which staff all are motivated to provide their best work. Acrucial aspect of both Jekaterina and her company’s success has been the combined expertise and knowledge of each individual, and the fact that different departments have worked together in order to produce fantastic results. Flexible and adaptable, the team at ABG are able to switch from their day-to- day tasks in order to participate in important projects and move together towards achieving important goals. Having made significant strides since Jekaterina took up her position, the Group is now actively acquiring companies across an assortment of countries, and is moving to establish itself as the leader within the industry. This is perhaps more striking, considering there are not many Latvian companies who have such a broad view of investment across the globe, and is something Jekaterina and the management team are proud of. Moving to expand and grow, ABG will continue the expansion of its Group and, being a member of the management team, Jekaterina was involved in Company: Amber Beverage Group Contact: Jekaterina Stu ģ e Address: 160 A. Caka str. Riga, LV-1012, Latvia Phone: 00371 293 311 61 Website: The Leader in Beverages and Beyond H 1805AI12 several local and international acquisitions that helped ABG to become not just the Baltic market leader, but also establish strong international presence. Within the competitive food and drink industry, it is now not possible to grow just organic, and every company, including ABG, need acquisitions in order to take Leading role on Global market. Interestingly, as part of her role as CFO, Jekaterina believes in her approach of being very hands on, and this enables her to get her message across to her fellow employees. At ABG, individuals are not seen as employees, but the company sees everybody as a member of one big team. There are always smarter and more innovative ways to reach goals and it is part of Jekaterina’s job to find these and it is something she enjoys. When approaching a project, Jekaterina thinks up many ideas and initiatives, which at first may appear impossible, but these challenges are soon turned into opportunities. Contributing the performance of the business, the firm has a goal to deliver excellence in everything it does, and to the company, this is not just a slogan, but a belief. Currently, with the food and drink industry presenting many new avenues for companies to explore, Jekaterina is constantly looking for the next gap in the market, which will present financial opportunities for the Group. One major trend that the team at ABG has noticed is the increase in consumers looking for healthy drinks, as they look to choose beverages with lower calories, lower sugar, and those which are made from natural ingredients that can be easily enjoyed in a variety of drinks. In her concluding comments, Jekaterina believes that the ever evolving nature of the industry is what excites her the most. She states no workday is ever the same, and that every day presents a new challenge. It is this ambition, desire and dedication which has led to her being named as AI’s Most Influential Female CFO within Latvia in 2018. “In view of the overall ambition of the group, there will never be a quiet time in our life. There is always something to achieve. As soon as things seem to be running smoothly, you come up with new ideas on how to do something else differently.” “Ultimately, I am the person who sometimes disturbs the peace; I am the one turning the crank of change, because I like improvements and advancement. I could not work at a routine job, I need forward movement.”