In Corona times: Third virtual manager training program successfully completed

Azerbaijani and Georgian managers take first steps towards cooperation with German companies

Zhala Mammadova, Director of Sales and Quality Control Department of the wholesale company "Optima" from Baku, is grateful for the opportunity to complete her business training online. With her and her family suffering from Covid-19, she lasted the full nine weeks, sometimes even following the virtual trainings and meetings with German companies from the hospital. In this way, she did not miss any of the content, even though she would of course have preferred to exchange ideas with the other participants in person at the GICON®-InTraBiD training center.

Despite the special circumstances, in the end all 19 executives considered their participation in the BMWi's "Fit for Partnership with Germany" program in March and April 2021 a success for themselves. With an average rating of 3.6 on a four-point scale (4 = best score), all considered their personal goals within the program to have been largely achieved.

Promising business contacts in all areas

The Azerbaijani and Georgian participants, for example, held their first hopeful talks with potential German partners, although small and medium-sized German companies from  the edge of the Alps to the North and Baltic Sea coasts in particular are currently very busy coping with the pandemic.

For example, the company IAC GmbH from North Rhine-Westphalia, scientists from the Technical University of Berlin and the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) want to cooperate with Avtandil Kraveishvili. The director and chief acoustics consultant of the Georgian service provider Akustiko from the capital Tblissi wants to work with these partners to raise standards and norms to European levels in his specialist field in Georgia.

Tahmina Huseynova from Pasha Life Insurance in Baku looked for German partners in the program who want to support digitization processes in the insurance industry with know-how. She may have found one in Axxiome Deutschland GmbH in Unterhaching, as the initial conversation and subsequent correspondence showed. And Fardi Hasanli, also from Azerbaijan and CEO of Komart LLC, is pursuing the goal of importing energy-efficient heaters from Oventrop GmbH & Co.KG and offering them to his customers after an online meeting.

Despite initial skepticism, participants summed up that the virtual format had more advantages than disadvantages. For Niko Kululashvili, a travel specialist with the Georgian tourism company Exotours, it even made participation possible in the first place. "I would never have been able to stay away from my company for so long; only virtually was I able to find an optimal balance between daily work and seminar sessions," he says.

Screenshots of the participants during the virtual program