Interview to Georgiy Sheyko
About Georgiy Sheyko
Georgiy Sheyko is the general director of Sumatra LTD (TC KOSMO). Sumatra LTD is engaged in the sale of drugs, perfumes and cosmetics and owns the trade chain TC KOSMO in Kyiv. Since 1994 Sumatra has been developing very dynamically to become one of the leading retail chains in Ukraine; it includes both pharmacies and drugstores. In May 2013 the chain consisted of 124 trading units. Mr Sheyko’s experience and interest in the pharmacy business has allowed him to establish a unique system in which KOSMO products are in great demand.
CPC Team: What is a source of motivation for you?
GEORGIY SHEYKO: I devote myself to work that arouses my interest. Foremost I’m motivated by the process of building business systems—medicine is just a by-product. Primarily, it is crucial to establish a system on the basis of which the product would be in great demand.
CPC Team: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
SHEYKO: A pilot!
CPC Team: What books or films inspire you?
SHEYKO: Different books inspired me at different times. The book The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas was inspirational at first. Later, the works by Dale Carnegie played a significant role in my life. In general I find inspiration in business literature, which helps foster success.
CPC Team: What country/city do you like most, or have you always wanted to visit?
SHEYKO: I would like to go to Australia and Venice. I’ve been to different countries, but most of all I liked the US, particularly Seattle. The city impressed me with its nature a lot.
CPC Team: What has been the most successful decision you’ve made in your life?
SHEYKO: One of the most successful decisions I’ve made recently was to reconsider logistic concepts. It was important to realise that a pharmacy is a place where people come not just to satisfy their needs, but—first and foremost—to solve their problems.
CPC Team: Who is the person you admire most, and why?
SHEYKO: I do admire Steve Jobs for the way he did business. He created the product, having generated the “blue ocean”.
CPC Team: What, in your view, is the secret of the great success of Sumatra LTD (TC KOSMO), particularly compared to other international pharmacy chains in the US and Europe?
SHEYKO: It is hardly possible to compare. Sumatra’s success was possible through some important factors: first of all, our striving to expand our range of products. Second, we always try to adjust to each specific location; for example, if there is a maternity hospital nearby, we try to correspond to the needs in this realm. Third, our employees were not trained simply to sell our products, but to help customers solve their problems as much as possible.
CPC Team: What international trends do you see happening in the next ten years, and which will be relevant to the Ukrainian pharmacy business?
SHEYKO: I think that the general trend towards the expansion and development of insurance medicine will be prominent in Ukraine in the near future as well. We should also expect an increase in the number of pharmacies not only in cities but also in villages, where the situation with medical services in general is very critical. Sooner or later, Ukrainians will learn to use preventative medicine in order to keep their health in good condition. Therefore, dietary supplements, mineral waters and the like will gain more popularity.
CPC Team: Is there anything you can’t say “no” to?
SHEYKO: I can´t refuse the requests of my children. I love them very much.