Myron Wasylyk’s Interview with Jack Martin, Global Chairman & CEO of Hill+Knowlton StrategiesMyron talks about his goals as PBN H+K’s CEO, growth opportunities and the impact of tensions between Russia and Ukraine
Jack Martin: This year you became CEO of PBN H+K Strategies and are now based in Russia. Looking ahead, what are some of your goals to help grow the business?
Myron Wasylyk: My primary goal is to sustain and build upon our top position in the markets where we operate. Secondly, my objectives are to continue maximizing the network dividend and keeping our historic focus on strategic communications and advisory work for international clients and national blue chip companies from the region.
PBN H+K’s success comes from our core Government & Public Affairs, and Corporate and Crisis Communications practices. Demand for digital and marketing communications is growing fast. We’re moving fast to ramp up our Digital Communications offering and have already locked in a number of client mandates.
I see our growth coming from sustaining this offering mix and matching it to those industry sectors holding promise in the coming two to three years.
JM: What are the industry sectors that offer the greatest opportunities in your region?
MW: The oil and gas sectors, alternative energy, agriculture, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, tourism and sports marketing to name a few.
In Russia, for instance, the growing travel and tourism industry and retail trade are great sources of our business growth.
In Ukraine, agriculture and food product companies are greatly expanding their footprint internationally and offering us great opportunities.
In Kazakhstan, a truly emerging market, we see lots of opportunities in retail trade, metals and mining, and energy.
JM: What are the effects on the business environment from the tensions between Russia and Ukraine?
MW: It’s a little too early to tell. Obviously, we’re monitoring developments very closely. The current situation calls for our teams in Moscow and Kyiv to advise clients on potential scenarios, options and risk management, while keeping their focus on meeting business and customer demands. Some have put business initiatives on hold and are awaiting greater claritybefore moving forward.
Western sanctions against Russia could potentially impact our clients and therefore our business operations, as could any Russian response. We’re all hopeful for a resolution that benefits all sides. During the past 23 years in the market, PBN H+K has been successful in charting the waters through lots of political and economic turbulence.
I’m confident we will navigate successfully in the current situation as well.