Entrepreneur Ibarat Kurbanova came to Germany in autumn 2009 with the first Uzbek-Kyrgyzstani group. The dairy technologist from Bishkek had established her own cheese product distribution, TEIK Trade, just six months earlier. As many small dairies in the Kyrgyzstani province have few opportunities to market their products, Kurbanova gives them access to supermarkets and restaurants in the capital city, and also advises on cheese production issues and technical matters.
The practice-oriented training was an excellent opportunity for the manager to learn about production conditions in Germany, and she says she was especially impressed with quality management in the food industry. “Of particular note was the production organisation and the cleanliness during inherently unclean processes.”
Her visit to a dairy and cheese company in the Bavarian municipality of Steingaden didn’t only offer insights into local practices, but also led to a co-operation which put Kurbanova in charge of distribution for the fine cheese manufacturer across Kyrgyzstan. Several deliveries from Germany have already arrived in Bishkek.
The small company grew in its first year, with three new employees joining the original team of five. A major tomato paste manufacturer has also entrusted TEIK Trade with its distribution, and future projects include the launch of an Internet shop and establishment of in-house cheese brands. Kurbanowa has already developed and registered two: ‘Bio-Gold’ and ‘Dymov’.
The successful entrepreneur has the following advice for future programme participants: “Prepare your stay in Germany carefully. The fact that my company was in the start-up phase meant that I barely had time to contact companies in advance and led to my not making full use of my opportunities. You should use yours better!”
Name: Ibarat Kurbanova
Company: TEIK Trade LLC Cheese Sales & Distribution, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Sector: Food sector, consulting, dairy technology
Position: Managing Director
Training in Germany: 4 – 30 October, 2009
Training centre: Export-Akademie Baden-Württemberg, Tübingen