They fully became like family to me. Like younger brothers and sisters, who think of you as a friend, a mentor. And so I have the warmest feelings connected with these guys. There were many stories, good ones, like in the graduate school, where the students are older, pregnant girls on their last months of pregnancy, for example, and instead of them, like, their husbands start to attend, and you help them with stuff. They're like "Well she's been checked into hospital, but she has to defend her diploma, what do we do?" All of that stuff. And well, you start to somehow help them, make agreements, like, let's do up the documents like this, but she will actually come at a different time, we'll come up with an assignment for her, because you have to be, like, humane when helping people, what else can you do.
And then it happened, it was about 2 years ago I think. My tipping point happened when I separated from my husband – that was probably this first big step, and I seriously started to think about what I'm going to do next. And I started to look for some sort of opportunities/options, another project, in order to, like, bring something new into my life. And then my friend, Tanya Yakovleva, says: we want to put together a new project Siyai, join us, we'll see if our energies fit. And that instantly just captivated me, everything came together, to this day it all works.
What can you say about Kazan clients?
From what I see – people have a very high level of readiness to get ingrained with the subject of marketing, but the financial resources are not always there. People only just started to understand that between the words 'marketing' and 'strategy', you can put a big equals sign between them. Because marketing is not just about advertising, and about setting up some sort of sales funnel, but a way of thinking: how the company works, how it builds its business operations. And for many it's a very difficult transition point right now, to admit, that as the company founder, it all comes down to you needing to change the gears in your head. Right now people aren't ready for that. You end up having to explain that it doesn't always start with "let's come up with an ad and people will come". And also, many, of course have this "we don't have competitors, we have a unique product".