The Business Year

Adigozal Agayev

AZERBAIJAN - Economy

Corporate Liaisons

Chairman of the Executive Board, AtaHolding

Bio

Adigozal Agayev is an economist-engineer who graduated from the Azerbaijan National Economy Institute’s Department of General Economics in 1983. He started as an Economist in the Accounting Center of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1985, and became group leader in 1987. He then took on the role of Senior Economist and Chief Economist at the Agrarian Industrial Bank in 1989-1992. He moved over to the National Bank of Azerbaijan as a Senior Inspector in the Department of Inspection and as Deputy Director of the Department of Inspection over 1993-1997. Agayev was appointed head of the Department of Control over Credit Organizations at the same bank in 2001, and in 2004 was in charge of a newly established group that brought IFRS standards to the National Bank in collaboration with USAID experts. He joined AtaHolding OJSC as Head of the Finance Department in January 2005, and later became Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board and a member of the Audit Committee in December 2005. At present, he is the Chairman of the Executive Board of AtaHolding OJSC.

AtaHolding OJSC is known for promoting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform focused on the development of culture and sport in Azerbaijan. What are the most important initiatives supported by […]

AtaHolding OJSC is known for promoting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform focused on the development of culture and sport in Azerbaijan. What are the most important initiatives supported by AtaHolding?

AtaHolding is fully aware of its social responsibilities and makes every effort to fulfill its obligations in this area. We have implemented a number of projects in the spheres of culture, the arts, sports, education, and social infrastructure. In general, we view CSR as an important part of our activities. Our objective in everything we do is to create value-added and contribute to the prosperity of our society. In 2007 and 2008, AtaHolding signed agreements to become one of the main sponsors of the International Hockey Federation and the general sponsor of the International Wrestling Federation. At present, AtaSport club operates under the patronage of the holding. AtaHolding attaches tremendous importance to the development of sport in Azerbaijan and promoting the country in the international arena. We have sponsored a number of international competitions and supported Azerbaijani athletes in their efforts to represent the country with dignity. We are proud to say that our holding sponsored eight out of 11 Azerbaijani medalists at the London Olympic Games. In addition, AtaHolding has several long-term sponsorship agreements in the area of corporate social responsibility. On March 21, 2011, on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, AtaHolding commissioned the AtaHolding Center and Marneuli Sport Complex Georgia Azerbaijan in the Marneuli region of Georgia. The holding provides continuous support for the operation of the center, which is already playing the role of a cultural and sports bridge between the people of Azerbaijan and Georgia. Marking our 10th anniversary, we wanted to implement a project that would stand out for its originality and provide support for the social and public agenda of our society. From this point of view, we launched a project, also on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, to have the black-and-white film “Arshin Mal Alan,” which was based on Uzeyir Hajibayli’s operetta of the same name in 1945, colored in Hollywood. The objectives of the project have been to ensure the continuity of the work carried out by AtaHolding earlier and to add value to Azerbaijan’s cultural wealth. The “Arshin Mal Alan” operetta also marked its centennial anniversary in 2013. We believe that the restoration and coloring of this film is an historic event and a fine gift to Azerbaijani culture and the future generations.

As an advanced player in the financial market, how do you think the requirement to increase the volume of registered capital until 2015 will impact how banks operate?

In general, the new registered capital requirement of the central bank will play an important part in strengthening the banking sector and expanding financial opportunities. The high capitalization of the banking sector will make a significant contribution to improving bank services and enhancing the efficiency of assets from an investment point of view. By increasing their capital, the banks should also be able to raise their net profit margins. Bank capital should grow in parallel with growth in all activity types, which will enable the required profitability. In this case, banks would be more interested in investing in the national economy and supporting small- and medium-sized businesses. This, in turn, will encourage companies and entrepreneurs to use financial tools and bank resources more actively.

In addition to tourism and finance, what other sectors is AtaHolding interested in?

AtaHolding successfully operates in the IT and industrial sectors. By investing in state-of-the-art and technologically advanced businesses, we aim to produce high-quality and competitive commodities, substitute imports, encourage the export of local products, and eventually contribute to the socioeconomic development of the country’s regions. In 2012, we started the upgrade of Shamir Poultry, which specializes in egg production. Today, this enterprise accounts for about 10% of Azerbaijan’s total egg production. AtaTechnology, which has set itself a number of goals in the ICT sector, started out as a software company. Its products are intended for banks, major companies, and other organizations. AtaTechnology LLC cooperates with such market leaders as Microsoft, Oracle, Yaz, Netsis, HP, Dell, and Cisco.

“ We are proud to say that our holding sponsored eight out of 11 Azerbaijani medalists in the London Olympic Games. “

What was the impact of the Year of ICT in 2013, and how has it developed AtaHolding’s activities?

The use of cutting-edge communications and IT plays a huge role in the activities of any company, regardless of its specialization. Therefore, the AtaHolding group of companies is trying to apply the latest information technology solutions to its operations. In doing so, we attach special importance to using transparent and licensed technologies. I would like to emphasize in this connection that AtaHolding group is one of a handful of local companies to have signed an agreement with Microsoft. In addition, we are also working to diversify the activities of AtaTechnology. In 2013, the company started to provide additional services to its customers in cooperation with several telecommunications companies. We are currently working on a number of new and interesting projects.

The government provides support for all economic development initiatives, including such large-scale events as the 2015 European Games. How does AtaHolding plan to benefit from these activities?

First of all, let me say that such high-profile events are of particular importance as they promote Azerbaijan as a rapidly developing and modern state. The Games are a wonderful opportunity to introduce Azerbaijan’s unique tourism potential to the world. Besides this, the fact that such international events are held in Azerbaijan breathes new life into the establishment of modern infrastructure in the country. And this is making Azerbaijan a regional leader in terms of the availability of modern infrastructure. All this is important to the overall development of the country. It is clear that the attention of the world will be focused on Azerbaijan during the European Games. The Games will also expand the tourist inflow to the country. Therefore, AtaHolding will make its contribution to the development of tourism as well. The European Games will last for one-and-a-half months, during which a large number of tourists will be living in Azerbaijan. These people will have the opportunity to travel across the country and take advantage of our tourism potential and opportunities. I am sure that foreign tourists assess the services we provide in the tourism sector in a positive light. In addition to this, we intend to take an active part in the large-scale preparations carried out by our government ahead of the Games, and to contribute to and ­benefit from the activities under way. We also hope that the sports federations we are sponsoring will delight us and the people of Azerbaijan with victories at the Games.

How do you assess the short-term development prospects of AtaHolding?

The President of Azerbaijan has declared 2014 the Year of Industry. With this in mind, we intend to further speed up our projects in this area. We will make every effort to reinforce our positions in the financial sector and introduce new financial services and tools to our customers. Also, we will further expand our activities in the sectors of information and communication technologies.

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