THE DRIVING FACTOR

Azerbaijan 2016 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Gudrat Seyfullayev, Executive Director of Synergy Group, on the organization's diversification strategy, agro-business, and its investments and contribution to sports.

Gudrat Seyfullayev
BIOGRAPHY
Gudrat Seyfullayev is the Executive Director of Synergy Group. Previously he held different positions at the Ministry of Taxes and worked as Head of the Financial and Economic Department. Before starting to work for Synergy Group, he was an Adviser to the Minister of Taxes. He graduated from the Industrial and Civil Engineering Department of the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1991. In 2009, he graduated from the Finance & Loan Department of Azerbaijan State Economic University with a specialty in tax and taxation.

Synergy Group diversified its business lines into healthcare and banking in 2015, both competitive sectors in Azerbaijan. What is the value that Synergy Group can add to these areas?

Since our establishment in 2010, Synergy Group has been active in construction, agriculture, ICT, tourism, services, and education. In 2015, we further diversified our portfolio into healthcare and banking. In Ganja, we launched the Ganja International Hospital. Classified as an A+ hospital, it applies the latest international standards in the field of medicine. The main purpose of this multidisciplinary medical enterprise is to provide high-quality healthcare services from highly qualified foreign and Azerbaijani professionals through the use of advanced technology and knowledge. With a 120-bed capacity in total, the hospital currently provides 63 beds to ensure high-quality service and a comfortable stay. This includes 26 single-beds, nine private, and two VIP wards, as well as 26 beds for reanimation and intensive care, post-operative observation, neonatology, and other purposes. In addition to the traditional medical services at Ganja International Hospital, we provide high-tech cardiovascular surgery, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, bone marrow transplantation, and plastic surgery. The outpatient and inpatient capacity of the hospital is 300-400 patients per day. The Ganja International Hospital was also constructed as a smart building. The existence of modern ambulances and transport facilities enable us to provide urgent medical services on the way to the hospital from other cities of Azerbaijan. We believe that the opening of Ganja International Hospital will be an important step to improving the quality of healthcare services rendered to the population of Azerbaijan, as well as neighboring countries. In the banking sector, we are active in this market through the Caspian Development Bank. Based on our long-term vision and strategy, we have provided not only standard financial services, but we have also innovated and created new services. These include our comprehensive payment cards, mobile banking, e-payment methods, and virtual offices, for example. Our portfolio of services serves effectively for both individual customers, as well as the corporate sector. We provide a wide range of loans with a customized approach. At the same time, deposits, payment cards, money transfers, bank cells, and other services are provided at the highest level of quality and based on individualized expectations. As part of our customer care and HR philosophy, we understand the importance of an individualized approach for each customer and we train our employees to be target oriented. Committed to our slogan “Towards a Sustainable Future," we are keen to provide further services with modern technology and know-how.

Synergy Group applied state-of-art-technology at Zayam Technologies Park (ZTP), which provides greenhouse structures for agricultural businesses. Could you provide us with additional information about your contributions at ZTP?

In recent years, Synergy Group has invested heavily in the manufacturing sector. One of our successful subsidiary companies in this field is ZTP. Modern technologies from European and Asian companies have enabled us to produce greenhouse structures with all the internal components. It is important to highlight the importance of this business from various angles. First, our greenhouse system (glass, poly-carbon, polyethylene, and combi greenhouse) is the most advanced and environmentally clean. The steel construction used for the installation of the greenhouse structure is galvanized and protected against long-term corrosion. The production cycle covers external steel parts, as well as the instillation and manufacturing of modern irrigation sparkling systems, dropping, and rain-drop for the farmers. At the same time, specific components for modern greenhouses, such as fan systems, lifting facilities, high-pressure boilers, and humidifying cooling systems are produced. Modern milling, tube bending, tank pipe welding, and metal structures cut under angles are installed in the factory. In addition, the ceiling is designed to withstand heavy snow and winds of 120-130km/h. These statistics prove that our greenhouses are the strongest and most durable in the market. Secondly, thanks to modernization initiatives, we have increased the number of employees at our workshops. Now, more than 100 people are directly employed in various business cycles. It is important to mention that most of the employees are from the Zayam village or Shamkir region. Herein, we contribute to increasing employment in the region, as well as enhancing the social welfare of citizens.Third, a growing trend in the agriculture sector of Azerbaijan is a move toward increased specialization. Using cutting-edge technology, we respond appropriately to the needs of our customers. Currently, one of our largest customers is the Shamkir-based AgroPark. ZTP offers greenhouse structures and installation services on the construction site. Thus, the existence of a full production cycle for the installation of greenhouse structures at Zayam Technologies Park creates room for us to meet the expectations and needs of our customers and creates a comparative advantage in the market.

Synergy Group is one of the local investment companies that is active in sports. In this regard, what is your contribution to cycling in Azerbaijan?

Synergy Group is carrying out a wide range of CSR activities. One of these projects is financing the Synergy Baku Cycling Project, which is the first Azerbaijani cycling team as of 2012. Our main objective is to promote cycling in Azerbaijan as a mode of ecofriendly transport as well as a way to contribute to a healthy lifestyle. We are proud that, within a short period of time, we have achieved high results. For the first time, the Synergy Baku Cycling Project team is composed of mostly Azerbaijani riders. While Maksym Averin and Elchin Asadov are mature riders with many achievements, the younger riders receive benefits and positive influence from the experience of the veterans. This enables our team members to achieve high results. Our team members also received a license for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Furthermore, Synergy Group is one of the sponsors of the international cycling competition the Tour d'Azerbaidjan, which has been organized since 2012. In 2015, the Synergy Baku Cycling team got the first prize in team competition. Members of our team also participated at the first ever European Games. Within this competition, we showed our support for the further promotion of cycling in Azerbaijan and we broadcast the event through various international TV channels. Overall, with continued enthusiasm and support for cycling in Azerbaijan, we are sure that we can enhance the reputation of Azerbaijani cycling in the world.