Eng. Valeri Mektupchiyan is the founder, majority owner and executive director of the Speedy Courier Services Company, which has been on the market since 1998. He is an entrepreneur with years of experience, founder and owner of Omnicar BG – exclusive representative of Exxon Mobil and Eneos for Bulgaria, and Omnicar Auto – dealer of Renault, Dacia and Nissan cars in Bulgaria. He is a co-owner of Dragomir Winery Estate.
Valeri Mektupchiyan is lucky to be a successful entrepreneur. People say that it is inherent to him to experiment and look for the innovative. That he is not afraid to make mistakes. He says himself that at the dawn of the democratic changes, he started a business to provide for his family. And he assures that everything that can be said about him is a side effect of what he does, and mostly of the fact that he works, with great pleasure and curiosity. The founder of Speedy was invited to share his experience at the annual meeting of the Bulgarian branch of the international business networking organisation - BNI. Here's what he said in response to the entrepreneurs’ questions:
How do “Side Effects” Come
I have achieved
everything with a lot of work. Unfortunately, there isn’t a more eccentric
answer to the question of how I succeed in business. I work with a lot of
people, younger than me - they are active, energetic, they have an opinion, and
this charges me. When we do something new, we must be charged with great
amounts of energy, and also a huge moral and emotional resource. Then, we have
to wait for three years to see if it works. Real life doesn’t always look as
beautiful as in presentations. When three years pass, and we see that the
figures begin to correspond to our expectation, at least two more years are
necessary to achieve stabilisation. But if, by the third year, things don’t
work out, my advice is: Break up! Of course, this should not be done in an
arrogant way. If you have admitted your mistake, you should be ready to bear
the consequences. After the fifth year, the real project begins, and only after
the tenth, sweet and ripe fruits are produced. That is how “Side Effects” come.
What Is That Thing Called Luck
My son loves to say that I was lucky. This is a reason for a deep discussion between us on how well you should prepare yourself at school. I'm convinced that if you've learned your lessons well, luck can strike you. Luck is an interesting thing. It is born in the first seven years. That is why, as parents, we have to pay more attention to our children and give them the chance to receive more from our experience, knowledge, culture, relationships. The backpack we've filled in the first seven years is always with us afterwards, and we can’t take it off our backs.
How did Speedy Appear
We created Speedy because we needed courier services ourselves. In 1989, things changed, the institute that gave me a scholarship was closed. With the education I had, I had to choose - either to go abroad or remain here where there was no need for engineers. The cars were the only thing we were familiar with, so we turned in this direction. But they break down and we had to fix them.
We started a
business with auto parts and faced a logistic problem. There was no Internet at
that time, but the catalogue trading system existed. In order to exchange
parts, however, there had to be a network. One of the first networks was the
shop at the train station, through which goods were delivered. The large
logistics companies did not carry out internal deliveries. We waited in lines,
and later on, we appointed a person to deal only with the receiving and sending
of boxes with spare parts. There wasn’t another more civilised way and we said
we would do it. In the beginning, an express line between the four big cities
started, but it turned out that this was not enough and within a few months, we
opened 25 points without even understanding the courier business. Queuing was
over when its alternative was found.
What Is Business Success
Work, work and patience - this is my definition of success. It is very boring. Work is a prerequisite, content, foundation, build-up, everything... Results should not be an end in themselves. We need to know what we do and why. At our latitudes, there is always more than one way to do something, and here, we usually start from the second.
The result of the
well-oriented efforts is extremely important. There are two types of people –
some who come to work, and others who come to do their job. There are different
ways to measure the amount of work done, although the best measure is the inner
feeling that you like something and it brings you satisfaction.
Who Has a Chance
The French President Emmanuel Macron was criticised a lot for his reply, but I do approve it. He advised an unemployed young agronomist to change his field of activity and simply cross the street to find a job in a hotel or restaurant where people are needed. The young people today have a huge choice and far greater chances than we did before those nearly 30 years when there were huge disturbances.
Motivation - User’s Manual
Employees are motivated by a good salary. And I tell them that half the salary is for coming to work and making some effort, and the other half is given for results. That is why it is important to have a system by which people can be properly assessed. We introduced a weekly work assessment after the monthly assessment started to appear too optimistic and resembled a wall newspaper.
Motivation is related to the creation of clear rules. Years ago I learned that a piece of the pie should be given to everyone on the table. By no means of equal size, but there must be a piece for everyone. And the subtlety to motivation is to show the way to the larger pieces. They are not due, they have to be worked for.