How We Innovate - with Julia Pavlenko

This time, we’ll be talking with Julia Pavlenko, Director of International Operations at Ukrposhta  – the national postal service of Ukraine. For over a year now, she’s been dealing with the extreme challenges of running a business in a war zone. Get to know her better 👇

About Julia

Julia Pavlenko

Julia Pavlenko is the Director of International Operations at Ukrposhta, a postal and courier service company based in Ukraine. She is responsible for overseeing the company’s international operations, including partnerships with other postal services and logistics companies worldwide and the delivery of international mail and packages.

Julia has a background in business and logistics, with experience in managing international supply chains and operations. She held various leadership positions in the logistics industry before joining Ukrposhta.

Under her leadership, Ukrposhta has expanded its international delivery capabilities and developed new partnerships with postal services in other countries. Pavlenko has also been involved in efforts to modernize and streamline the company’s operations, including adopting new technologies and processes to improve efficiency and customer service. Her role was incredibly challenging within the past year – during the Russian invasion.

Few Questions for Julia:

1. What was your first job, and what was the most important thing you learned from it?  

I was born in a small Ukrainian village in a family of intellectuals, but in times of the great “perestroika” and inflation, I have worked since childhood. In our area, all people collect blueberries in the forest during the season, from morning to evening during the season, 6 days a week.  So, when I was offered to work as a nurse in a hospital during the school holidays, I was happy to wash test tubes and the floor in the laboratory, but it was in the same building as the morgue. The sight was not very pleasant. I clearly understood: I need to study to never have to wash floors for money, never again in my life.

2. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you have dinner/beer with? 

I would be happy to meet the CEO of Etsy, a global e-commerce platform, Josh Silverman. I am interested in the topic of export through e-commerce because it gives income to thousands of small craft goods producers. More than 1 million products from Ukraine are listed for sale on Etsy today! Ukraine is among the top 10 countries in terms of the number of stores on the platform. I would like to discuss with Josh how to further develop this direction. Ukrainians do not need donations; we want to efficiently produce cool goods and sell them all over the world.

3. How do you start your day / What does a typical day look like for you? 

I read my emails as soon as I open my first eye in my bed. We have a crazy CEO (in a good meaning of the word); he always sends messages about interesting new tasks at night.
As Confucius said, “Choose a job you like, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” This is about me. It is not a problem for me to often work 12-14 hours a day. But I like crazy holidays too!

4. What are three apps you can’t live without? 

Facebook Messenger;  MonoBank (best digital bank in Ukraine); Bolt (taxi and scooters rental service).

5. Most influential book or movie? 

“Gone with the Wind”, a novel by the American writer Margaret Mitchell. In addition to the crazy romantic story of Scarlett and Rhett Butler, there is an incredibly strong character of a young girl who, despite the war and economic crisis, found strength and ideas on how to save her home. Every time she faced a problem, she calmly said: “We’ll think about it tomorrow”, and always solved the problem. This is an example of indomitability, creative thinking, and crazy faith that a better day will come after all.

6. The first word that comes to your mind when you think of Poland?

“Польша, дякую!”  – Poland, Thank you! It is indeed the most used word when other Ukrainian people or I talk about Poland. All Ukrainians are infinitely grateful for all the help and support for our country. Now we understand who our true friends-neighbors are.

When can you expect the episode?

The episode will be published on the 20th of April, 2023. Don’t miss it – follow us on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or YouTube, where you can also check our previous episodes!

🎧 Listen to the episode here 🎧

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