Farid Farhadzade, CEO of Goknur Baku, on the role the firm plays in the Azerbaijani economy and plans for the future.

Farid Farhadzade
Farid Farhadzadeh was born in Baku in 1985. He finished secondary school No 212 in 2002. In 2002, he entered Baku Fire Safety College and graduated from its Fire Safety department in 2005. After this, he entered the Law Faculty of Odlar Yurdu University and graduated in 2008. In 2012, he entered the Public Administration and Municipalities department of the State Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and graduated in 2014. In 2008, he was hired by Goknur and is currently its Executive Director.

Today, Goknur is a prominent company in Azerbaijan and we have grown to employ approximately 300 people at our 2007 plant alone, which significantly increased the size of the company. Our monthly production of cables is 2000 tons, for example. Adding to the list of our accomplishments, we were also the first manufacturer in Azerbaijan to produce KEMA-certified cable, which is a special Norwegian universal certificate awarded for production quality. This means that we are now able to meet the export standards of Europe. Furthermore, we were the first company in Azerbaijan to receive a license from Germany VDE in 2002, which is a laboratory that issues quality certificates. These certifications pave the way for my company to work with large, international corporations, which fits perfectly with our targets for growth. We are looking to play a larger role in the national development of the non-oil sector through exporting our goods on the international market. We have plans to export our products to Europe for the first time, in addition to our usual export partners of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Georgia. In the past, we exported $17 million in cable products to Turkmenistan.

In the production of cables, we only use high-quality raw materials that are known for their excellence, such as RUSAL aluminum. We also use copper from the largest government-owned producer in Uzbekistan and receive PVC and technical materials from Borealis, a European company. We use these specific materials to maintain our exclusive focus on the quality of our products. To keep our staff highly professional and capable of carrying out complex works, we invite special teams to hold trainings at our company. These trainings are specifically designed to keep our staff informed of the high skill levels that our international certifications demand. In this capacity, each month we organize a training meeting with the staff and the technical department. We have also invited certain people with important positions in major companies to come in to offer training to help us meet our organizational needs. These trainings ensure that my employees are working at the peak of their abilities.
As part of the Baku Electrical Group, we played a central role in the successful implementation of the 2015 European Games in Baku. We were responsible for providing electricity to all of the stadiums in the Games, which included all generators, cables, and switchboard panels. We were the main contractor for the electricity and the installation of cables for every stadium involved in the Games as well. As a result of our work, this event was held at the highest level and was met with massive international acclaim. Thus, we played an integral role in the national hosting effort of the European Games.

Goknur is growing significantly and we are looking to have exports boost our company operations to the extent allowed by the wider political and economic environment. As an illustration of our significant growth, our factory today stands at 35,000sqm after completing a 15,000sqm upgrade. As stated, our main priority is to increase our level of exports. To this end, we will remain open to serious foreign investment opportunities from international companies. In particular, we are looking for strong partners from highly professional European companies to help us organize our exports. We look forward to working with European companies and believe the resulting experience would be very fruitful.

Always keeping an eye on the future of the sector in Azerbaijan, our core objective is to become involved in all of the key projects within the domestic market. Above all, we want to introduce a future that is characterized by a marked increase in our level of exports.