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Evguenia Stoichkova (The Coca-Cola Company) @StartEvo: “I prefer to be fired for a wrong decision than for no decision :)”

Published on March 30th, 2012 by

Daca este sa faci un sondaj in randul tinerilor, referitor la “Care este cea mai aspirationala companie din Romania unde sa lucrezi?”, procentul cel mai mare o sa fie directionat catre Coca-Cola.:) Intrucat unii din noi au lucrat 5 ani de zile in aceasta companie minunata, am zis ca e musai sa ii filmam si pe ei, ca sa ne inspire prin exemplul personal.

Asa ca am fost la Evguenia Stoichkova, seful The Coca-Cola Company pe 4 tari, sa o intrebam ce a insemnat pentru ea evolutie personala si sa ne dea cateva sfaturi, care au functionat si in cazul ei. Deasemenea, ne-a spus si ce o intereseaza cand angajeaza pe cineva (foarte interesant!). Asa ca va invitam sa urmariti discutia si sa invatam cu totii din experienta ei. 🙂

Evguenia Stoichkova



Cateva franturi din interviu, ca de obicei…

Evguenia Stoichkova: I’m Bulgarian and I’m Franchise Operations Director for The Coca-Cola Company Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Albania.

It was an interesting journey getting here. I’m an engineer in geology. Very different of what I’m doing right now.  […] The first difficult decision: after the communism system collapsed, my prospects for future were not very clear.  I went to a competition for studying abroad, organized by French Government. […] I spoke very little French, but I decided to risk it. I went to that competition. Somehow I qualified. 🙂 I was very surprised.

I studied in France for a year, in economy. I re-qualified. From there I entered the marketing area. I had little marketing education but I had a lot of willingness to change things. 🙂

One big learning: I saw an opportunity and I took it. This paid out pretty well.[…]

I entered in Danone, when Danone entered in the country. I started as trainee; I ended up as a Marketing Manager. I went for 3 years to work in Russia.

One big learning: take the risks, go for it.

I didn’t know the outcome. […]New experience, new learning, which were paying back […]

I’m a fan of Coke. I’ve been invited to an interview at Coke. I passed 7 interviews. It was very difficult to take this decision, but I took the risk. I joined Coke as Marketing Manager for Bulgaria. And gradually I started to progress.



StartEvo: Did you had a smooth ride? Or you had bumps on the way?

Evguenia Stoichkova: For me it was a smooth evolution. I took decisions without knowing the final outcome. […] Initially,  I really wanted to go for the pure marketing career. Then I changed.[…]

For a year I work for a customer project. I am very open for new things.


StartEvo: When you were at the very early stages at the career, when did u earned the first 100 usd?

Evguenia Stoichkova: I worked as a student. I was working as a waitress and barman.

My career is split in 2. 10 years in Danone. 8 year in Coke. I’m quite a loyal employee


StartEvo: What was your driver?

Evguenia Stoichkova: The most important thing: I had a lot of energy and I wanted to do something interesting. The most important thing was the motivation and if I like what I do. […] I would not change the job for money. This is one of my principles. Maybe is not the best one :).


StartEvo: Please give 3 advices for people at the beginning of the career that worked in your case:

Evguenia Stoichkova:

  1. You need to know what do you want. If you don’t know, it’s not a big drama. But at least an idea.
  2. You need to be open and take risks.
  3. You need to believe that this can happen.

A lot of people started with the mindset: I am not good enough, I’m not educated enough, I am not capable enough – this is the wrong start. U need to have the belief that can happen. Facts are facts, but you need to believe. Try. Try again. […]My initial education was not signaling the direction where I’m going.[…] There is nothing that is impossible to do if you put the energy and the forces behind.


StartEvo: What type of books do you read?

Evguenia Stoichkova: I read a lot for relaxation. I like Science Fiction. “The Guide of the Galactic Hitchhiker”. I like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle.

I like professional books: self learning books. “Managing the brand YOU”. Very interesting insights. You need to make a brand of yourself! […]You need to understand what is your unique selling proposition. And display it.

When I recruit, I look for behaviors much more than education and knowledge. I can teach people, but i cannot change the personality.

Also I am looking for people that are smarter than me and often I look for people different than me.


StartEvo: In your evolution, u had a moment when ethic played an important role.

Evguenia Stoichkova: […]I never compromise on my ethics. People tried to propose me things, especially when I got higher.[…]

This is a part of your equity. This is not changeable. Doing what is right versus what is easy.[…]

I really support my team. In big companies, succession is important. You have cases when you have to support the bosses or the team. I am supporting the team, even it’s harder. From this point of view, I am not a very politically correct person. 🙂 This is a smaller problem, versus not doing the right thing for the business.


StartEvo: Closing sentence?

Evguenia Stoichkova: From the decision making perspective, as a manager I prefer to be fired for a wrong decision than for no decision 🙂

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