“It’s about learning from each other”

2019 was a notable year for entrepreneur Meretmuhammet Meredov. The Managing Director of “Kindi”, a baked goods producer in Turkmenistan, came to Germany to learn about new methods for making confectionary and to find partners for a joint venture. Consequently, he completely revamped his corporate planning.

You recently completed the MP. Looking back, what were the three most memorable experiences?
In all honesty, the Programme exceeded all my expectations and there is a lot I enjoy remembering. There was one time we arrived early for a tour of a bakery. Arriving early to make sure you are never late is just part of our Asian mentality. So, we got there at 9:45 for a 10:00 appointment, only to discover they would not let us in. They asked us to wait until 10:00. I was truly surprised by this example of German preciseness. It also struck me how respectful employees in most firms are towards one another in Germany, even if it is unclear where someone fits into the enterprise’s hierarchy. During a factory tour, we asked some of the staff if not having a supervisor looking over their shoulders impacted workflow and productivity. They told us no, that everyone simply did their jobs even if no one was around giving instructions. Now I really try to instil this sense of individual responsibility into all my employees.

What takeaways from the Programme have you used in your work?
Before the MP, I had a different attitude towards my employees and their responsibilities. The Programme really changed my understanding of management and delegation, and I have made a lot of progress in this area. It is not about focusing on mistakes, but about learning from each other, offering staff support, solving problems together, tossing around ideas and taking the initiative.

Did anything about Germany really surprise you?
I had travelled around some other European countries before and there were a lot of surprises, but Germany kind of astonished me. I really admire the German corporate management style. Systematic, always on time, efficient and open to innovation – all this has made Germany what it is today.

What are your current plans for your enterprise?
Well, the first thing I did when I got back from Germany was work with my staff to draft a tenyear development plan. We objectively evaluated where the business stands now and where we see it a decade down the road. We agreed that everyone should have a very clearly defined role and take responsibility for their area or department. To achieve our objectives, we are also negotiating with a German firm to purchase equipment for confectionary production and talking to them about making chocolate and chocolatecovered biscuits. We are also planning to invite an experienced German specialist from the Senior Expert Service to come to help us structure our baked goods production lines.