Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023

44 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023 Jun23021 Best International Recruitment & Business Development CEO 2023 (Central Europe): Linda Hnatova Starting as a personal agency, CONCORDIA Agency has evolved and adapted many times over the last fifteen years. As CEO and Founder, Linda Hnatova has thrived in an environment that is notoriously dominated by men. We spoke to her to find out more about her approach, achievements, missions, and drive. perating, at least initially, in the shipping and logistics space, CONCORDIA Agency was changed through the crucible of the COVID-19 pandemic. As were many. For Linda, there was a recognition that changes were inevitable, an adaptation to mould to the unique – though sparse – opportunities the global market offered when everything else became so uncertain. Linda begins by explaining more about that time, and the period immediately after: “Our company started as a personal agency. We were doing services for shipping companies in the cruise industry, including recruitment, consulting, lecturing, mentoring, personal audits, and training. During the pandemic, the cruise industry changed a lot and we had to be flexible to go with the flow. Our clients are companies across the international market.” “There’s strength in being yourself. Be feminine, be good hearted, be whoever you are. We are born as originals, do not change yourself into a copy.” Presently, CONCORDIA mainly mentors and helps to develop new startups. It offers support to business companies so that they can thrive. Working across such a spread of industries, sectors, and markets, it might be hard to see how, firstly, CONCORDIA Agency has achieved its success and, secondly, how Linda has driven that O success where so many would have failed. On both counts, Linda understands the importance of establishing a robust network of partners and clients. The product and services and approach can change, but a reputation and brand can speak volumes. “I have to say it is not easy for women to rise in this kind of business,” says Linda. “I’ve created some great business relationships since the very beginning when we started cooperation with some river going companies. On the other side, once you get a name and respect on the market it is very strong and I see how important women are in business, often coming at issues with a different perspective. A lot of strong and successful companies have strong women front and centre on the team.” She continues, “The biggest achievements in my career are the people who we helped to grow from the beginning and now we see them as successful businesspeople. I am proud of them! We got the Recruit Rank Award a couple of years, and our recruiters became the best on the market. We also created the ‘Top Cruise Employer’ in 2014 where we appreciate the best employers on cruise ships. Personally, my biggest achievement is that I did not give up during COVID. We always need to keep going, even small steps.” To go back to what we mentioned earlier in the piece, it’s interesting to see how this perspective of ‘always moving forwards’ and changing what doesn’t work comes into contrast with other business leaders who often tout a determination to ‘weather the storm’. Linda knows that sometimes you need to change, need to evolve, and experience a dramatic paradigm shift within the business to ensure enduring success. “I would advise to not give up when things look hard; after each storm comes the sun. To listen to your intuition, which is extremely important,” Linda adds. Ultimately, the future also looks to bring further change, new adaptations and waves to ride towards further development, as Linda concludes in her closing comments. “I see visions – new ways to be conscious each second and present in the moment. We have greener ways of being on the horizon, and we are bringing that to other companies and clients too. My goal is to bring better education with a focus on thinking critically. Education and experiences are changing the ideas we had before. With a thorough education and being informed, we will reach the right decisions for those who have the power to decide, change, and lead.” Company: CONCORDIA Agency s.r.o. Name: Linda Hnatova Web Address: