Doing Business in Ukraine During the War
Small family business, based on the export of manufactured products and relied on the imported materials. Our model of being is under giant pressure.
On 24th of February our mailboxes were silent. It can not be described by words, how the feeling of a general social pain is paralysing all aspects of humans. We were busy doing backups for the most valuable data we had and providing our banks and other access data to reliable people in other countries. No one was thinking about the revenue levels or campaign performances. Everyone was focusing on getting to the safest places and staying together with our beloved. That morning we realised: nothing will be the same anymore, big challenges are coming.
Next couple of weeks will be remembered as a logistics crisis:
Finding a way to export anything from a country with active military actions was a giant challenge. I’m not even talking about the fact that our logistics partners had only male drivers, who were not allowed to leave the borders of Ukraine. All the aspects of international relationships were put on pause. And when the transporting companies adapted somehow to all that ban, terms of all deliveries increased from one week delivery from the UK to a month and a half.At that time we had a couple of incoming parcels with components for very time-sensitive orders. And the pressure was growing and growing… I will always remember that desperate feeling, when any efforts do not give any results.
Romana, Business Manager
Even though the Ukrainian government made small Taxes reductions for some business units, we were continuing to pay the full rate. Supporting Ukrainian heroes, who are fighting against a giant aggressor for us is not a topic for a discussion. It is an act of social responsibility. We understood the sense of the responsibility for our employees deeper too.
We had many orders from abroad at a final stage of production, some of them even packed and waiting for loading, when everything got frozen and the road around our city I normally drive to work every morning became one-way: East-West. Russian army didn’t even get close to western Ukraine where we live and operate but the threat of missile strikes is still here every minute with us.
My first challenge was to ship ready orders, then finish the ones in process as soon as possible. Local orders got suspended so we had the team partially freed up which did not really help speeding up. Everybody was in stress and productivity was almost cut in half. Mistakes couldn’t be punished because I felt myself not efficient too, so had one production failure that later needed to be replaced.
Somehow logistics came back to operation and everything began to move. Most businesses suspended their work for about a month, at least while ours was working every day.
Next challenge was getting new orders we had spent months on quoting, discussions, preparations. Understanding customers’ concern about the war me and our agent had to spend long hours in explanations and persuading. Luckily most of those orders were from UK where both people and politicians are Ukraine’s closest allies. So they proceeded with orders, as well as Swedes. In the third month local Ukrainian orders recovered slowly.
We are not on last year’s level of revenue at the moment but everything keeps moving, people keep working and the salaries and taxes keep being payed. Let’s hope this all will make us stronger.
|Oleh Zavadsky, CEO|
Our team is continuing to develop new designs and to produce our mastered chandeliers. As the practice shows, we are now able to dispatch all the orders in time without prolonging manufacturing time. Even more, our faith in peace is so strong, that we recently invested a comparatively high amount of money for unit modernisations.
We are tremendously grateful to our customers, that even during the darkest times, you are supporting us. You are placing orders as usually and you are not hesitating to give us a query. We appreciate your highest level of trust…
A giant thank you to our UK agent Keith Trickett. He was the one to stand for us in debates and he is the one, continuing to connect us with customers every day. Our partnership with Mr Trickett has gone beyond the borders of "business only" years ago.
We want to express our gratitude to Schöler Crystal Austria for their personal help and indulgence with delayed payments.
At first we survived the consequences of russian "liberation" in form of post-communiest era. Now with the great support of our partners and suppliers we will survive this open aggression too.
Be brave like Ukraine.
Your Zavadski LLC Team.
Stay strong. Our prayers are with you and and all of Ukraine.