Category Archives: Industry Insights

Kazakh Minister of Economy Shares Insights with Students in a Unique Setting

Astana, Kazakhstan skyline

The Astana skyline in Kazakhstan

By Daria Zarubina, former Regional Director, Russia/CIS

Over these years as regional director I have helped to organize as many as 12 class residencies—when Duke’s Cross Continent MBA (CCMBA) and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) students travel to Russia or the CIS for one or two weeks of in-depth studies about business and culture in the region.

During each of those residencies, the most anticipated highlight of the week—at least from the regional immersion perspective—has been the ‘Global Leader Keynote’ (GLK) speaking engagement. This event is typically marked by an address from a well-known business leader from the region, followed by a unique chance for students to ask questions. There are also lots of guests present and opportunities to network during a meal.


Pharmaceutical Executive Discusses Business and Leadership Strategies

John Connolly - headshotJohn Connolly’s expertise in the pharmaceutical industry comes from a career that has spanned over 20 years. During that time he has progressively gained industry knowledge through roles in sales, marketing, business development and general management at companies that include Pfizer and Eli Lilly. He is currently Vice President Russia and CIS and General Manager Russia at Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Connolly graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Global Executive MBA program in 1998 and currently serves on the school’s regional advisory board for Russia/CIS. He shared his insight into the pharma industry and leadership in a Fuqua Q&A.

Q) Your entire career has been within the pharma industry. What elements of working in that space do you most enjoy?

Firstly, the industry is constantly changing. Personally, I enjoy change and when I reflect back on what the industry was like 20 years ago and today, the industry has changed enormously—from the expansion to emerging markets, to the emergence of biological products, and new models of doing business using new technologies.


Banking Leader Shares Insights into a Successful Global Career

smidaPetr Smida has a deep understanding of what it takes to be a successful leader across the globe. Smida’s career in banking has spanned continents and cultures. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors at Russian-based Alfa Bank, where he served as CEO from 2003-2008. Prior to joining Alfa, Smida served in executive roles at GE Capital Bank and GE Consumer Finance.

Smida spoke recently to students in the Global Executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business while the group was studying in Prague.

He shared his advice on global leadership in this Fuqua Q&A.

Q) You have some very practical advice for people leading global teams. You tell them to be “active listeners.” What do you mean by that and why is it so critical?  

You learn much more by listening than by speaking, not only about cultures but also about a specific person or group of people. The words people use say a lot about them. And because the potential of any organization is the potential of its people, with active listening skills you make better people decisions. Active listening also communicates respect (I hear you) and creates an inclusive and engaging environment.  The practice also means asking questions rather than making statements.


Entrepreneur Talks about Future of IT Industry Across the World

Sergey - Photo editedSergey Glushakov knows what it takes to be successful as an information technology professional and entrepreneur. He worked his way up in the IT industry from software engineer and researcher to executive, eventually co-founding multiple companies.

Since 2007, Glushakov has been managing director of Intego Group, an outsourcing and software engineering provider. Glushakov splits his time between the US and Ukraine with a client base that also stretches into other parts of Europe and Canada.

Glushakov graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Global Executive MBA program in 2011 and currently serves on the school’s regional advisory board for Russia/CIS. He took some time to discuss the future of the IT industry around the world in a Fuqua Q&A.

Q) IT is an industry that is constantly evolving. How do you keep up with the rapid changes?

Success in the IT business is not so much about the innovations themselves – it is about the people who create these innovations. As such, in addition to ensuring that extensive communication is maintained with my clients and the people who drive IT industry from the business side, I try to take a grassroots approach to personal developments and business opportunities by ensuring that I am introduced to the new innovative concepts by the technology creators themselves – the software engineers.


Insights from the St. Petersburg Economic Forum

Daria Low resHow to find the resolve to build the new global economy? This was the theme of the Fuqua’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, held in June 2013.

Daria Zarubina, Fuqua’s Regional Director for Russia and the CIS, attended the high profile event. Here are some of her thoughts as communicated on her Twitter account:

@Daria_at_Duke Brent Wilton @ioebusiness advocates for a better dialog between end users of education [employers] and educators #SPIEF2013

@G20rus Vladimir Putin took part in the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum’s plenary session #SPIEF2013 #G20