Andrii Lototskyi - It is better not to undertake a project than not to justify the trust of the customer

The CEO of the Retail&Development Advisor (RDA) consulting company told how Ukrainian companies and manufacturers can enter the highly competitive European market and how top international retailers are interested in development in Ukraine.
In the YouTube program "Business Surgery", Andriy Lototsky, CEO of the consulting company Retail&Development Advisor, told the host Max A. Wielcz how he motivates the team during the war, why some projects are abandoned and gave advice to Ukrainian brands on what to do before starting to conquer the European market. RAU publishes an adapted version of the material.
- How difficult is it to assemble a quality team and motivate it during the war?
- The RDA company itself has been on the market for over 10 years. I joined it at the end of 2022. All team members are selected according to their values. Everyone perceives their project as their own business. It is very good and does not need to include super control tools. A level of trust gives rise to a proportional level of responsibility.
Regarding the motivation of the team, first of all, you need to feel people, and the main trait of a manager should be empathy. Conditionally, if there were air raids all night, people are stressed and did not sleep, they should not be driven to work.
- Where do you get market analytics?
- The RDA company works with the majority of Ukrainian shopping centers and retailers. We collect information from open reports, buy some, and then analyze what is happening in the market and what are the trends.
We also have a principle - we must be reliable partners. In general, the consulting business is built on trust and reputation. Therefore, it is better not to undertake the project than not to justify the trust of the customer.
There are periods when we have a very heavy workload. And we are forced to refuse some orders. On the one hand, we understand that many orders are profit. On the other hand, everything must be done qualitatively.
- What is happening now with office real estate and logistics?
- Office real estate and logistics are one of the directions, but not the main ones, of our business. We started them about two years ago, but we are not actively developing them yet. The fact is that the coronavirus pandemic has taught everyone to successfully work remotely or combine. In addition, international brands and IT companies left Ukraine with the war. That is, there is a high vacancy in offices, which in the capital varies from approximately 20-30%.
And the main logistics real estate began to be built in Lviv and in other regions of the west of our country. This is logical, because many businesses are relocating from east to west due to the security situation.
- Are you planning to open a representative office in Poland?
- We have such plans in the future. I have a good relationship with Poland. And currently we are developing another direction of the company - bringing European brands to the market of Ukraine, because we also have our own rules of the game. So I came to the CEE Retail Awards 2024 event to get to know European retailers.
- How prepared is your team to work at the same level as Polish consulting leaders?
- The team consists of different people with their top qualities. When we have a project, we discuss and decide who will lead it. There is no authoritarianism in our team. Of course, those who know languages will have additional criteria to get into the team of the European office.
- When opening a representative office in Poland, are you ready to take on the services of those Ukrainian companies that are already working here, but not very successfully?
- No one is immune from mistakes. The task is to minimize them. First, it is necessary to analyze the new market and study its features. Secondly, in order to successfully enter a new market, it is important to find your point of differentiation, which must be turned into a concrete advantage. In other words, in an environment where there are many competitors, you need to find your chip that will be interesting to customers. After the first two steps are successful, the third step is to find a guide. And it is RDA that can help with this.
- How competitive can be Ukrainian operators and appeal to a European client who has a very high user experience?
- They can! There are already examples of Ukrainian brands working quite successfully. Most start online to minimize risk. And when clients start to recognize and advise, they go offline.
- How deep are top retailers interested in development in Ukraine?
- There is no queue. Many are interested, but all with caution. In turn, we constantly tell and encourage people to come to Ukraine. After all, high-quality international brands are an investment and a signal to others that it is possible to develop in our country.