Exceptional leaders find the courage to lose sight of the shore to discover the new oceans. Such leaders constantly seek growth, exploration, and innovative solutions. Anastasia Kuzmenko started her career in Ukraine, but at the age of 23, she courageously challenged herself to travel abroad to the UAE to put her knowledge to the test. As the VP of Marketing & Communications at IEC Telecom Group, Anastasia is systematically increasing the brand value of the IEC Telecom Group within the satellite industry by scaling up marketing communications worldwide. IEC Telecom is empowering communities with satellite communication solutions.
In an interview with CIO Look, Anastasia shares her journey and contributions to the satellite communications industry through IEC Telecom Group.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at the Company. What challenges do you have to overcome to reach where you are today?
Since I had to start from square one in a new country, I take much pride that I grew from an Operational Executive in a local events agency into the role of VP of Marketing & Communications with an international organization in less than nine years. I am still in awe that I found the courage to leave my hometown despite good career prospects and the comfort of having family and friends around. I had to relearn everything from professional norms in the UAE to ways of socializing in a multicultural environment. I would happily repeat it all over again. This journey has not only provided me with fantastic opportunities for professional growth but also made me a better person.
Tell us something more about the Company and its mission and vision.
IEC Telecom Group is one of the leading international satellite service operators. Renowned for supplying highquality satellite-based solutions to customers for more than 25 years, IEC Telecom delivers efficient end-to-end voice and data service and enables digitalization for the maritime industry and remote units on land (where GSM coverage is not available). Its portfolio includes many satellite products (from handsets to VSAT services), solutions, and value-added services. IEC Telecom Group has offices across eight countries: Denmark, France, Kazakhstan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, and UAE.
“We keep you connected beyond limits” is more than a motto; it’s a strategic vision that is deeply rooted in the corporate DNA. IEC Telecom Group is committed to going the extra mile. Instead of offering ‘one size fit all’ service packages, the global team takes the time and effort to define technical requirements for each case and subsequently delivers cost-effective solutions that aim to resolve project-specific needs.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in the industry through your expertise in the market?
In my journey with IEC Telecom, there are quite a few accomplishments about which I feel excited. IEC Telecom used to have a diversified marketing communications system, whereby each office defined a strategy of its own. Undertaking a global marketing role, I set an objective to centralize communications and develop a strong internationally recognized brand with unified positioning. In four years, IEC Telecom’s marketing infrastructure has undergone many changes, including rebranding, launching global PR campaigns, developing thought-leadership through exposure at leading conferences, and expanding our digital presence.
IEC Telecom has received international appreciation within the satellite industry, and we are especially honored to be awarded by Thuraya Telecommunications (one of the major global Satcom operators) for the “Best Marketing Campaign” twice: in 2021 and 2018.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
There’s a famous quote from the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: “All for one and one for all!” This is the way we treat each other at IEC Telecom Group. The company is built on a strong feeling of belonging and mutual support. I believe this is one of the key drivers of our success.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
Today, ‘being online’ is a basic requirement. At IEC Telecom, we’re committed to transcending the basics and bringing cutting-edge technologies to our customers to ensure not just operational continuity but a thriving enterprise that is way ahead of the competition.
Over the past five years, we have invested in the development of specialized applications that are optimized for the low-bandwidth environment. Specifically talking about videoconferencing, it’s facilitating corporate communications and staff welfare.
During the pandemic, it became inherent to a new range of smart services in telemedicine, e-learning, and remote maintenance. We were especially thrilled to bring on a state-of-the-art solution, OneAssist, to the market, which empowered field workers to conduct multi-party video calls over a head-mounted device and resolve 80% of their technical concerns over remote access.
If given a chance, what change would you like to bring to the industry?
At IEC Telecom, we believe that Satcom can bridge this digital divide to empower communities with education, public services, and corporate development, aiding tremendous growth in developing regions across the world.
What, according to you, could be the next big change in the industry? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?
At IEC Telecom, we’re gradually shifting our focus from the material world of hardware to the virtual space of smart apps and digital services. We believe this is crucial to success in an ever-evolving business landscape that is being defined by adaptability long into the future. We’ve been observing two significant trends in connectivity – (1) the increasing number of Satcom players will lead to an oversupply of satellite services, thus, earmarking airtime as an essential element of the communications infrastructure, and (2) the Metaverse is the near future, not just a futuristic concept, increasing the demand for ‘always-on’ connectivity.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for the company?
The power of IEC Telecom as a brand is growing. In less than four years, we’ve scaled up our marketing communications from region-by-region to a truly global scale. I wish to further advance in the Satcom industry, be able to engage industry influencers, and bring to life effective ESG projects, serving communities while ensuring the sustainable growth of our business.
What would be your advice to budding women entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the industry?
First, stay up to date with industry trends as key leverage. It is particularly essential in the marketing world, where losing momentum can leave even the most seasoned professional behind the competitive curve. Second, step out of your comfort zone. Print advertisement is fading away, giving way to paid social media ads. The latter, in turn, will lose the battle to new ways of marketing promised by the Metaverse. Progress is fluid. Dare to experiment, yet do it wisely.