Interview with new CEO of Avenston

Today we are talking with Viktoria Petrovich who is the new CEO of Avenston LLC. We will discuss her plans and view of the future company’s activities. 

 

Dear Victoria, please, tell us about your professional experience before working in our group of companies.

My 20 years’ professional experience has always been associated with the construction and development of land plots. It is probably difficult to describe it briefly into the frame of our interview.  I have held senior positions in surveying companies, state-owned enterprises and private construction companies, managed development projects in various fields as agricultural, industrial, commercial and individual house building. As Deputy Director of State enterprise of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine collaborated with public sector, NGOs, State Research Institutes, Ukrainian and foreign investors. I have always been interested in  environmental preservation during the land development, took part in complex and interesting projects, so possibility to work in Avenston group of companies was a great challenge for me. 

What is your opinion about the prospects of Ukrainian market and which sectors of economics will be the most attractive in the next few years?

Despite the Covid-19 outbreak and administrative difficulties, Ukrainian market remains an attractive investment destination for numerous reasons: the country has a large internal market, proven agricultural potential, energy and mineral resources and a strategic geographic location, making it a transit hub and a gateway to Europe and Eurasia. Taking into account the opening of the land market  scheduled for July this year, large-scale infrastructure projects of the state, I suppose that the agricultural, transport and logistics, IT, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors of the economy will be the most attractive in the next few years,  both for foreign investors and  for Ukrainian companies.

I would also like to emphasize separately adopted in the parliament the draft law №4167 as for CO2 emissions. It establishes the conditions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial production, introducing integrated permits for emissions, as well as fines and penalties, which the supervisory authority may impose without a court order. The European Green Deal has presented Ukraine with difficult decarbonization targets. Therefore, in the next few years, activities related to reducing the carbon footprint in goods for export will become quite popular. 

Why have you decided not to focus on the solar PV industry?

As you know, despite the assurances of the Head of Government about full-fledged launches of the energy market, our green energy industry is still in a state of uncertainty. Questions remained  concerning the implementation of foreign investment plans in Ukraine and the construction of new capacities. Unfortunately, problems, such as the outstanding debt owed to renewable energy producers, incomplete and irregular payments under the green tariff remain unresolved in Ukraine. Green energy industry needs clear and long-term commitments from the state. In order to stabilize the renewable energy market, the state must fulfill its obligations towards producers and investors. But this does not mean that we are leaving our main direction. On the contrary, this year our engineering department was significantly expanded and transformed into a separate company, Avenston Engineering LLC.  A strategic decision to diversify the business was made in 2019. New directions of the group’s activity have been launched – Avenston RE Hub and Avenston Agro. But only now, taking into account the needs of the market, we decided to concentrate on co-investment projects and new directions.

What will be key activities of Avenston for next 2-3 years?

The last year for each type of business has become an exam of adaptability, the ability to find ways and make quick decisions. Avenston was no exception. But these challenging times open up new opportunities.

Therefore, in the next few years, we plan to work on development projects in the field of warehouse logistics, agriculture and industrial facilities. It is important for us to maintain an ecological approach in this activity, using energy-saving technologies and green energy solutions. Also, the key tasks are stable financial performance during periods of economic downturns and a constant increase in the company’s assets due to an increase in the volume of work.

Does the company have any interesting projects in new directions you have mentioned before?

Yes, we are working on a project for the construction of an innovative warehouse complex with an office center. This complex will be located close to the planned new ring road. What is important, the design and construction of this building will be carried out taking into account energy saving technologies. 

What goals do you set for the company?

As I said, this year we plan to pay special attention to development projects. In the nearest future, we plan to add agricultural and industrial projects to the existing portfolio. We also plan to complete the above mentioned project, while we are realizing it on our own and today we have enough of our own financial and technological resources for its successful implementation. However, we also invite partners and investors to participate in our projects, they can join at any stage, since we are always open to new ideas and interesting tasks.

The long-term strategy plans are to enter foreign markets, diversify the portfolio, attraction of investments and application of innovative technologies in Ukraine.

Your final thoughts?

The global pandemic, the economic crisis and the crisis in solar energy in Ukraine pose us great challenges. But when the team consists of professionals, where every employee is an innovator, intellectual, creative person, if the company has a system of work that catches any useful ideas, combines with existing solutions and creates innovative approaches on their basis, with this attitude, any challenges turn into real successful projects. As a new СEO, I would like to wish our company ambitious and interesting projects that could reveal our full potential.