From Chief Accounting Officer to Director of Operations for CEE

When colleagues discovered that I would have an interview with the current Director of Operations Olga Malecká, they became curious. They knew about Olga that she was born in Ukraine but the reason why she moved to the Czech Republic was shrouded in mystery.
Olga Malecka

Hello Olga, thank you for taking the time for this interview. And I will immediately ask what interests me most of all. What actually brought you to the field of facility management?

On July 1, I celebrated the 13th anniversary at OKIN. At that time, it was a coincidence, I was contacted by OKIN HR, had several interviews and was finally hired. I did not choose the facility area intentionally. In Ukraine, I joined OKIN as Chief Accountant. For the chief accountant, it doesn't matter if the company is active in facility management, production or any other area.

Then another question arises. How did you become country director of Ukrainian branch?

Initially, I focused on financial work but gradually I became involved in more and more processes. Our first client was a tobacco concern. I was in charge of analyzes, reports and overall evaluation of the situation on the basis of data and communication with the client. Later, I participated in all meetings, audits and quality controls of service delivery.

The directors in OKIN changed, the first 3-4 years were Czechs in charge and then I got the opportunity to run the Ukrainian branch. I think it was also because of my close cooperation with the clients. It was usually me who went to the client because I knew the contract, operation, and details of provided services. And I knew how to work with numbers.

What else contributed to your success? Can you name it?

I always cared about my work. When I saw a problem, I went or helped to solve it because knowledge, consistency and logic are key to every job. We just need to know exactly what we are doing, why and finish it. I was also always curious about how the problem could be solved. In addition, I really like the production of every kind. Whether it is the production of chocolate, bathrooms, car parts or drinks. I like the process of how everything is set up and how it works based on absolute accuracy.

Olga, you speak Czech fluently. Did you speak Czech before OKIN or did OKIN bring you to Czech?

It wasn´t OKIN that introduced me to Czech. I had and still have not only a working but also a personal relationship with the Czech Republic and Prague. I started learning Czech 15 years ago. I always wanted to learn Czech and understand it.

Thanks to Czech, was it easier for you to communicate with OKIN´s headquarter in the Czech Republic?

Definitely, it helped me a lot. But even before OKIN I wanted to know Czech, I always liked Czech. Without realizing that I will one day work for a Czech company.

What did you enjoy most in the position of director of the Ukrainian branch?

Team leadership to achieve goals. Develop the branch together with the team, achieve excellent results and transform the Ukrainian branch into a successful and profitable company. I've also always enjoyed the role of people manager. I managed to build an excellent team in Ukraine. Now I have a new challenge because I am also running Romanian branch. I like helping my team to learn new things, see how those people grow professionally and how they manage their work better and better. Seeing the result is the biggest benefit for me. I enjoy working with people.

Olga Malecka

I know that the Ukrainian branch also offers services that are unique compared to other branches. What are the most interesting ones?

The most interesting and one of the biggest services we provide is seasonal work associated with agriculture and maintenance of agricultural equipment. E.g. harvesters, tractors and logistics. The machines are owned by the client, as well as the field. Our team arranges everything related to maintenance so that the technology works, the machines have fuel and spare parts. The client owns land - in this case corn (a manufacturer of corn seeds) but everything else as human resources and maintenance of the equipment is provided by OKIN. Although we currently provide this service only in Ukraine, we are trying to expand it in other countries as well because we have been successful in Ukraine for 2 years in this kind of services. 

But let's go back to your role in Ukraine and especially to your move to the Czech Republic. What led you to this?

I always stayed in the same position for 3 to 5 years. Then I want to develop further, gain new skills within the company. In 3-5 years, you already know your job well and have fewer challenges. So when I set up the Ukrainian branch so that everything worked perfectly and the result was achieved, I wanted to move on. And at this moment an offer for Director of Operations for all OKIN branches came and I decided to take it and move to the Czech Republic where the position was located.

Now you got another challenge, to lead the Romanian branch and help launching big new projects there.

Yes, Romania is another challenge. I have no doubt that in a few years it will be a strong branch because it has great potential and a great team of skilled people.

I have to ask you. What are your stress management tips? Because I believe that sometimes it can be very challenging.

When the brain is under pressure, you must stop for a while and concentrate on another thing. I'm starting another activity, at least for a while. It's a recipe I've been using for a long time and it works great.

Olga, and when you're not working, how do you spend your free time?

I like sport. Even though it makes me tired it always helps to recharge my batteries and makes me feel good. I like to read mainly detective stories and biographies. Because every human life, even the seemingly ordinary one, is unique and impossible to invent. And my big hobby is also interior design.

What brought you to the interior design?

I like when it´s beautiful around me and thigs are ordered. I like to remake things. Sometimes I just paint them to look completely different. I like the details because they matter. Sometimes I buy a small thing and then I subordinate the whole interior to it. I like to put things together, it´s relaxing.

You have been working for OKIN for 13 years now. What does OKIN mean for you?

Especially people because I like people in OKIN. The team fits me, and I think that we have the same values of life both in the Czech Republic and abroad, so the approach of people is similar. They are responsible, hardworking, honest and open. In addition, it is a company that is loyal to its employees.

You personally, what people do you choose for your team? What is important to you?

I choose people who are like me and work like me. Above all, they must be able to learn something new. They are not afraid, they do not postpone tasks unnecessarily and they do not avoid work. Not only effort but also ability to learn is important. Hardworking, responsible, honest and open. That's what matters to me because that's who I am.

Do you have a dream that you would like to fulfill in the coming years?

Clearly. I know for sure that I would like to have a job like now. That means a job I enjoy. I am a realist and a pragmatic person. I have plans and ambitions and it's always interesting where life takes me. I definitely connect my future with OKIN: new challenges, new skills. I am sure that as a company we will continue to grow and expand to other countries.

Do you have a life motto or something that accompanies you?

I am a very positive person. I know and believe that I can handle everything. Even impossible tasks can be accomplished, of course within reason. I am positive and looking for opportunities, not problems. When I have a problem, I go to solve it immediately and I don't wait for it to catch up with me. I prefer to solve things straight. I confront the problems immediately. Because otherwise we waste time unnecessarily and it can end up damaging our reputation. Mistakes can happen, after all, we are only humans, but we need to admit them and face them. I believe that our approach will be appreciated by our clients as well.