The Business Year

Vugar Z. Abbasov

AZERBAIJAN - Economy

Part of the Pie

President, Cahan Holding

Bio

Vugar Z. Abbasov was born in 1974 and studied Finance and Law at the State University of Nakhichevan. In 2009, he received the Tereqqi medal for contributions to regional social and financial development from President Ilham Aliyev. He is the founding President of Cahan Holding.

What would you say were your major accomplishments in recent years? Our group of companies is posting annual growth as we define new goals and work to reach them. Our […]

What would you say were your major accomplishments in recent years?

Our group of companies is posting annual growth as we define new goals and work to reach them. Our factory project is still under development, and we are considering its integration into other major projects. It is a part of the large industrial center in Nakhichevan, where a diversity of manufacturers are located. Construction is underway with an estimated completion date of 2017. Together with the government of Nakhichevan, we recently launched two further large-scale regional projects. One, the Boulevard, located on the banks of the Nakhichevan River, includes an entertainment center, a promenade, and a shopping mall. The second scheme is called Youth Town, which aims to provide several hundred young families with high-quality, affordable accommodation.

In addition to its operations in Azerbaijan, Cahan Holding has offices in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. How does the company benefit from its presence close to its distributors and important markets?

First of all, our representative offices in the countries where we are active provide our partners with the opportunity to get know Cahan Holding better. And, of course, dealing with export/import partners directly yields significant benefits, which reflects product quality. For example, we have a partner, Ceylon, which supplies tea for packing at the tea factory in Nakhichevan. Thanks to the representatives at our Asian office we have selected a superior blend under the Tudor brand, which has gained popularity.

As one of the most developed regions in Azerbaijan, what role do you think Nakhichevan can play in the country’s economic development looking ahead?

Thanks to effective state management policies and the resulting rapid economic growth, Nakhichevan City, the capital of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. In macroeconomic terms, while the world recoiled from the adverse effects of the economic crisis, in 2009 the GDP of Nakhichevan grew by 26% YoY, and by a further 21% in 2013. Meanwhile, the total volume of industrial production rose by over 100% between 1998 and 2013. These figures prove the effectiveness of President Ilham Aliyev’s policies and of those implemented by the administration of the Autonomous Republic, especial taking into account that Nakhichevan remains disconnected from the main part of Azerbaijan.

“ In 2009 the GDP of Nakhichevan grew by 26% YoY, and by a further 21% in 2013. “

Cahan Holding has a staff of over 3,000. What is your human resources policy as far as training and development is concerned?

The motto of Cahan Holding is “strength in unity,” and we do our best to stay loyal to it. I am more than confident that the attitude to work is transmitted effectively between managers and employees. I, and the department heads, remain well informed about people’s expectations and always try to meet them. We also ensure that our staff are well trained in their respective positions.

President Aliyev was voted in for a third term in office in 2013. What do you expect this new era to bring for the business environment in Azerbaijan?

During his meeting with the business community after reelection, President Aliyev made a number of statements related to the future of the business environment. First of all, he reaffirmed his commitment to the economic policy begun by our National Leader Heydar Aliyev. One of the goals of this policy was to reduce the dependence of the economy on oil and gas. Another priority was to pay more attention to regional development. This objective directly concerns Cahan Holding, as one of the major players in the regional development policy. President Ilham Aliyev also repeated his call to all governmental structures for mutual understanding with the business community.

Lastly, what are your most important plans for the near future?

We have numerous goals for 2014 and beyond. First of all, we are going to complete our Boulevard project, which we started in 2013 and aim to inaugurate on May 10, 2015, the 92nd anniversary of the birth of Heydar Aliyev. This project is very significant for the entire infrastructure of the city of Nakhichevan, as it will change the landscape of the Nakhichevan River shore and transform the area into a popular destination, presenting citizens with a quality retail experience and a roster of well-known brands. Another important project is the new industrial center, which is under constriction right now and will be commissioned phase-by-phase by the end of 2015. Then, there is the large-scale construction project we embarked on in March 2014 located in central Nakhichevan to provide young families with high-quality, comfortable apartments.

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