Jun. 9, 2015


 Farid Farhadzade

Azerbaijan

Farid Farhadzade

CEO, Goknur Baku,

TBY talks to Farid Farhadzade, CEO of Goknur Baku, on the company's establishment, expanding its product range, and its work on the European Games.

BIO

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.

What is the history of Goknur's establishment in Azerbaijan?

We were established in 2003 at a small-scale factory where our production ranged from 04kV, low voltage cables to 35kV cable. We were the first company in Azerbaijan to produce large XLP cable, and today we employ approximately 300 people at a plant built in 2007. It has increased significantly in its size. We have had to grow our factory. We were the first manufacturers to produce this special cable, and moreover, the first in Azerbaijan to produce KEMA certified cable; this is a special Norwegian universal certificate awarded for production quality, whereby we are now able to export to Europe, as we meet European standards. We are also the first company in Azerbaijan to receive a license in 2002 from Germany VDE, a laboratory that issues quality certification, which is similar to KEMA. Such certification also paves the way to working with larger companies. For 2015, our first target is to start exporting to Europe. KEMA certification is mainly geared toward electrical products. Now, we are looking at Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Our sales department visited Turkmenistan recently, and we have hosted a guest recently from there. In 2013-14, we realized exports of $17 million of cable products to Turkmenistan. Today, our targeted markets are Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan on the strength of our competitive prices.

How do you train and select your staff?

We invite special teams to organize training for our staff to keep them informed at the high skill level that merits our international certification. Once a month, we organize a training meeting with our staff and the technical department. We do not work with the universities on this as they lack our specific products; however, sometimes we invite special companies to organize training, often comprising people who have worked at major companies, and are therefore able to meet our organizational needs.

What raw materials do you use?

We use high quality raw materials for the cable. For example, we use RUSAL aluminum for its high quality. We also use copper from the largest producer in Uzbekistan, a government factory. And regarding PVC and special technical materials, we use the products of Borealis, a European company. There are a numerous components in cabling, and we exclusively focus on quality.

What projects have you been involved in for the European Games?

We are part of a holding, Baku Electric Group, which, along with Goknur and GBS, is participating in the Games. We will provide electricity to all the stadiums. We have the generators, cables, and switchboard panels. If there are 11 stadiums, all of them will have us as the main contractors for electricity, power, installation of cables, and generators. During the Games, we are confident of our cables and generators performing excellently.

To what extent are your exports boosting your operations?

Our company is growing significantly, and today this depends on the wider political and economic environment. Occasionally we experience imbalanced growth, and are buffeted by We have events surrounding the US dollar and Azeri manat. We have increased employee headcount to 300 at our factory, today with a 35,000sqm area compared to the previous 20,000sqm. Our priority is to boost our exports.

What opportunities are there for foreign investments?

We are open to serious offers, even from foreign companies. We are looking for strong partners from Europe, for example, to organize exports. We like European companies because they are more professional and it would be a fruitful experience for us.

What are your objectives for 2015?

A core objective is to become involved in key projects within our market. Our main target, however, is to increase exports. From now until the European Games, there will be a significant volume of construction that we intend to supply.

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