INFRASTRUCTURE EVERYWHERE

Kazakhstan 2015 | MINING & ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Anastacia Nismelainina, Country Manager of HERMES Datacomms, on the challenges of serving such a large country.

Anastacia Nismelainina
BIOGRAPHY
Anastacia Nismelainina was born in Aktobe, West Kazakhstan. She graduated from Aktobe K. Zhubanov University and joined Hermes Datacomms in 1998. She has worked in the company as Management Assistant, Licensing Officer, Account Manager, and Commercial Manager of West Kazakhstan, and in 2006 she moved to Almaty to take on the role of Country Manager. In 2014, she was awarded the “Glory of Kazakhstan” medal for rendering services to the country’s development.

What is your assessment of the IT infrastructure here in the country and how is it currently serving the energy sector?

It is actually at an exciting stage because Kazakhstan's communications and IT sectors are booming. We used to be a satellite communications provider, and although we never limited ourselves to this area, it was the only option due to the vast nature of the country. There was nothing there and the only solution was to use a satellite connection, so that was our business focus. Now the infrastructure is growing and almost everywhere there is land infrastructure, which brings challenges to our business. That said, we are still dealing with oil and mining companies that operate in remote areas, and the challenge will continue. We found the solution by establishing a solid partnership with the infrastructure holders, like Kaztranscom, which is a great company. There could have been intense competition between us, and perhaps we might not have even survived, but we found a solution with the partnership whereby we resell its services adding value, and we integrate it with the solutions that we have available and sell that package to our customers.

Considering Hermes Datacomms' international operations, what is the importance of Kazakhstan for the company's business?

We have some customers that we consider global, because we serve them in other locations worldwide, as well as in Kazakhstan, and are constituent parts of the global network that we serve. And this is our contribution to the validity of Hermes Datacomm as an international company. We support international customers in Kazakhstan and we provide the same high level of service and the same technology as our colleagues do in other locations worldwide. What makes us competitive in this market is that we are both local and global at the same time, and not many companies can say that.

Hermes has started to diversify and widen the spectrum of its activities, and is set start seeking opportunities in the mining sector. Looking ahead, can you elaborate on the potential of this segment?

We already work with Katco Mining, and now, we see that we can explore and widen our efforts in the mining sector as well. Of course, mining companies have different specifics in their day-to-day activities as apposed to oil and gas companies, but for us the requirements are quite similar with regard to hard-to-reach locations and necessity in reliable, redundant, managed networks, and that is exactly our field of expertise.

What is your strategy for maintaining your leadership position in the market? And what are Hermes' goals for the future?

The market is very competitive. It was easier done 10 years back since there were only a few companies on the market with the same level of expertise as Hermes. Today, the sector works on a different level and to a higher standard of professionalism. Of course there are competitors and, as Kazakhstan companies develop, they know they need to raise the level of their service and learn quickly. In a fast-paced world, you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in one spot, so we have to run even faster to move forward, and that is what we plan to do.