Nadine is multi cultural – with 3 nationalities, American, Portuguese, and Brazilian and born in Austria. She moved to Russia from London over 6 years ago with her husband and children.
“It was difficult to be a foreigner, and a mom in a strange city” says Nadine, a mother of three children. It is already difficult for women to make a career and have a good work/life balance, in a home country let alone in a new one. Indeed, the Russian business culture presumes at least 12 hours working days.
At 16 Nadine left America for boarding school in the UK and then went on to study at the European Business School in London. She has worked and lived in six different countries (Austria, Italy, Germany, England, America, and Russia).
Nadine has experienced the dot.com bubble – she was one of the first employees at beenz.com, one of the webs first internet sites for loyalty programs (something like our current program «raspberry»).
‘It was an unbelievable scene, in 2 years we went from 5 people based in England to 230 people with offices in USA, England, and Italy. We raised over $100 million and then lost it all and sold for $20,000”. After beenz.com Nadine continued her career at Carat, an international media agency.
— It was an interesting time as the media and advertising industry were going through a transformation. In the past it was advertising agencies which used to create and design ad campaigns. Media agencies then would be given the dirty work of buying space in media channels after all the decisions had been made. With the advent of data marketing and customer segmentation media companies had better knowledge of how to reach target audiences then advertising agencies. Within Carat we went through a huge strategic and brand transformation pitching Carat, and media agencies as the leading experts on media consumption and how to best target consumers. Media agencies started dictating which channels to use, not the ad agencies.”
Nadine liked her work , but then moved to Moscow with her husband when her husband was transferred.
Since arriving in Moscow in 2006, Nadine built up a good knowledge of Moscow and Russian. “Any new expat mom coming to Moscow is faced with the challenges – “where can I find a good doctor? Where is the best place to buy organic food? Are there any local kindergartens and schools which also teach english ? Where to go for peanut butter? “Can you recommend a good nanny? Why doesn’t anyone smile? Settling down in a new place is not easy”. After going through all this herself, Nadine and her friends created “www.ChildreninMoscow.ru” a portal to help foreigners with kids to navigate Moscow. The project has now been successfully sold.
Another project that Nadine is working on is CoolCoz (http://www.coolcoz.com). The idea behind CoolCoz is to empower anyone, anywhere to become a fundraiser, and to make charity easy and fun. Currently CoolCoz has had over 226 events in Russia, France, Germany, USA, and Italy and has helped raise close to 2 million Euros. Fundraising events can be done in any format from a home cooked dinner for 15 people, or a ball for 250 people. Anyone can create a fundraising event — for example, hosting a pasta party at home to raise money for Elena’s operation. Attending a dinner cost’s about 1500 rubles, with 10% of the money going for food and the rest — to the charity. The initiator chooses the cause (eg to a particular child). CoolCoz.com — provides infrastructure support, marketing, information and volunteers. The project has gained popularity among both foreigners and Russians. In addition to the charitable purpose, it also helps people find new friends. “We have already had 2 babies born from couples who met at CoolCoz events.”
Now, after the SKOLKOVO Nadine is getting more involved in her family business, EastBanc Technologies, and in growing the business in Russia and Germany and creating a stronger synergy between the US company and its Russian affiliate. EastBanc Technologies is a full service software development company based in Washington DC and Novosibirsk, which has just launched its first cloud computing product «Apiphany». “Its an exciting time with each company expanding rapidly in their own fields”
«SKOLOKOVO helped me make connections between theory and practice. I want to use some of the methods and ideas I learnt in SKOLKOVO and apply them to EastBanc Technologies and CoolCoz. I believe that common sense combined with best business concepts I learnt will help me to be more effective» — Says Nadine.
How did you find your time in SKOLKOVO?
At SKOLKOVO all of us have strong forceful personalities and are accomplished in their own field, and therefore strongly believe and defend their points of view. These are certainly important qualities, without which it is difficult to succeed in today’s world. I remember when I went to school, many of our discussions were closer to a boxing ring rather than a board room, with each person defending their point of view. Sometimes we were so focused on being the Top Dog that we could not agree, or compromise and finish the task at hand.
One important facet that I think we learned in SKOLKOVO was to listen to each other, and work together as a team. Sometimes it is not important who will be the Top Dog, but working together effectively to get the job done.
Today at SKOLKOVO there are more men than women studying, and even less foreigners, at least in the EMBA program. Many studies show that the positive impact of diversity in working groups. It would be great if SKOLKOVO could attract more women and people of different backgrounds into its community.
Nadine talks with great warmth about her family — children, husband, brother, sister, parents. It is such a joy to hear, especially in these days when many business men practically live at work. This is a lesson we can learn from Nadine.
What is the most important thing about Nadine? She is not afraid of adversity, is flexible and can see an opportunity in every situation. She is a good team player and is ready to help and to support good initiatives. As a mother, wife, and a woman she can assess the result holistically rather than getting bogged down in short termism.
To acheive peace with yourself and your environment is more important, than winning at any cost.
I want to wish Nadine good luck from the bottom of my heart, and I wish SKOLKOV to have more students like Nadine.