OXANA KOLOMIETS: “Can business and trust go together?”
Lina: It is difficult to interview friends and ask them questions – you already know almost everything about them and you cannot always be objective.
Oksana: Yes, it’s difficult, I understand you. You can imagine how difficult this interview is! To make it easier for both of us, I propose to simply talk about us, about our lives, our work on the island and our friendship, and pass it through the prism of the real hero of the occasion – your magazine, which turns five years old. By the way, congratulations!
Lina: Thank you! You are probably one of the few who witnessed the development of the magazine from its very inception to today’s cover, which bears the number five.
Oksana: Yes, I remember, it was a promising start! If I am not mistaken, there was no other high-quality, monthly magazine at that time in Cyprus. And the niche was that it was free, and the potential Russian and English-speaking audience was ready to accept your product. Frankly speaking, all of us who came to Cyprus for various reasons, from completely different countries and cities, miss the perks of the ‘mainland’ – with the availability and variety of magazines and books. I think that an important result of your work is that you made other Cypriot magazines rise to an acceptable level, introduced an element of healthy competition, and we all benefited from this. By the way, do you follow the development of your competitors, their successes and failures?
Lina: On our small island it is difficult to remain in an information vacuum. Of course, I keep track of similar products from competitors – but basically, what I want to understand are trends, to calculate what will be interesting to the reader and what topics are important for my audience, so that I can produce content as impartially as possible about all the innovations and ideas. Premiere is not only a publication about entertainment, travel and beauty. There is also a Premiere Business magazine that comes out separately. And in business, as you know, there is no room for error. Therefore, I follow trends, highlight interesting legal aspects, and interview business people, lawyers, and politicians.
Oksana: Yes, it seems to me that the second magazine is such a curtsey towards your successful business history in Russia, from which you just came to Cyprus on vacation and ended up staying here. But the entrepreneurial streak, drive and desire to do something even more significant, clearly, never ceased – and you returned to what is closest to you: to create, in the broad sense of the word. I think that a business magazine in this format was a pioneer in Cyprus, and probably still remains a project with nothing else quite like it.
Lina: You’re right, on this we are similar. Both of us would be bored of just enjoying the island, the sea and the sun. We need a field for activity, or even better – uncharted land! Your company “Aurora” – you call it a ‘family office’ – is also a pioneer, right?
Oksana: Partly. Although family offices are far from a new format for providing services, both in Cyprus and in the rest of the world. However, my own vision of a family office and the main idea of this business, which I convey to clients and partners, as I now understand, is unusual for Cyprus. In this, I am probably also a bit of a pioneer.
Lina: Tell us why you do think your company’s mission is unique?
Oksana: It is unique in its obviousness. My ‘family office’ is not about asset management, not about solving corporate problems, not about making a profit from activities. First of all, it’s about trust. This is a factor that permeates all areas of life and makes our world alive. If we lose confidence, we exacerbate any crisis. To overcome the crisis and to resolve the issue always means to restore mutual trust with partners, colleagues, friends and family.
Lina: I cannot disagree – lack of trust is seen on a global scale lately, not only in Cyprus. Do you have a way to overcome the loss of trust or even betrayal in life and business?
Oksana: I don’t think there is any other way but to understand, forgive and be grateful for the experience. The painful moments associated with betrayal teach us to be smarter, more careful, more generous. I always thank my opponents for new knowledge and skills because overcoming the difficulties created by those who want the worst for you makes us improve and become the best versions of ourselves – professionally, at least. You know, the Japanese have a saying: “Fall seven times and rise eight times.” Very motivating!
Lina: Your approach is similar to the function of a peacemaker, a negotiator, but how does this fit with your business practice?
Oksana: My clients are, first of all, people who trust me and whom I trust. They trust me so much that they can, for example, disclose their assets, so that together we can find a way to protect and increase these assets for their children and grandchildren.
Or, for example, if disagreements arise between shareholders, partners or – in a more complicated scenario – between partners and relatives at the same time, there has to be trust. What can you do without trust if you need to gather all the participants at the negotiating table and find the right words, arguments, and focus not on the conflict but on a positive result? The work of a ‘family office’ with a client, family or company is always a unique process. It has a beginning – the day when we get to know the client – but there is no end, because a family, a company or a business is like a living organism: it grows, changes, sometimes gets sick, recovers, experiences ups and downs. We support our clients both in sorrow and in joy. And, by the way, we learn a lot from them ourselves, such as wisdom and business culture.
Lina: How did you come to such a personal, or even intimate, approach to working with clients?
Oksana: I also asked myself this question – why do I have such a personal approach with my clients? I think it’s because I really wanted to be a doctor. In general, I think it would be good for all business people to take the Hippocratic Oath. That there was not only “do no harm”, but also “do not steal” of course. The Aurora team and I are a kind of family doctors. Correctly structured activities of client’s companies – starting with the approval of the corporate charter, the appointment of reliable directors, the involvement of expert auditors – all this prevents problems and disputes in the future. If difficulties nevertheless arise, our company has in its arsenal all the capabilities of highly qualified lawyers, consultants who can solve the issue by analogy with medicine – conservatively, gently, or in the last case, surgically, if this is the only possible and acceptable way. In general – and this may seem strange – I like it when our regular customers disappear from the radar for a while. This means that they are doing well and are enjoying life. I like it when clients come to our office for coffee, as if they were visiting friends, simply because they were passing by.
Lina: Yes, I also noticed that I come to your office for coffee and friendly gatherings, while business issues are solved on the phone or by e-mail.
Oksana: I think in connection with the anniversary of your magazine it is your turn to invite me for coffee. And also to gather your entire team of friends and like-minded people together so that we, by the forces of collective mind and spirit, can wish you good health, personal happiness and prosperity to your favourite brainchild – Premiere and Premiere Business magazines and the entire Premiere Media Group.
“Family office” services :
- family assets management, inheritance plans
- corporate management and legal support
- taxation advice
- immigration solutions
- higher education advice, universities selection and tuition arrangements
- fine arts consultancy and auctions arrangements
- charity projects management
Cyprus, Paphos, 8010, Konstantinos Kanari str, 30
00357 97719924, 00357 99779133