Last year, we had an uplifting conversation with Anna Koriakovskaia, a seasoned expert with over 20 years of experience in the IT field, and a long-time 1Ci partner and the founder of ANASOFT, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We contacted her recently to learn about her new projects and developments, and here’s what she shared with us.

New business projects and rapid growth

“Over the past year, ANASOFT has ascended remarkably across all metrics. We have acquired the pinnacle partnership status with 1Ci, earning the title of Champion, and witnessed a 300% surge in software sales compared to 2022. The traction for 1C software products is burgeoning, notably among enterprises in the MEA region, which are now leveraging these tools for streamlined business management and record-keeping.

What’s curious, I am hardly involved with any marketing activities—orders are now coming mostly through references and recommendations. That is, people call me saying someone recommended me, and I don’t even know the person they are referring to. Well, this appears to be a market specifics, meaning they will normally go to a trusted provider based on recommendations.

We have a new major project on implementing 1C:Drive ERP for a metal production holding comprising around 20 companies. I believe, at the moment, this is one of the largest projects using 1C:Drive. This project covers two countries: the UAE and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Before the 1C implementation, they had no automation at all, meaning they handled all matters in Excel. Now, they have already acquired about 200 licenses of 1C:Drive and continue to expand their automation adoption. I personally flew to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and assisted with the implementation.

Overcoming challenges

There are certain challenges associated with staff recruitment. In the UAE, to earn a good income, one must put in a significant amount of work, yet few are prepared to commit to this level of effort. Additionally, language barriers pose a challenge; not all candidates possess a sufficient level of English proficiency.

Presently, I handle a large portion of the tasks at ANASOFT autonomously, encompassing sales, project management, and hence, direct management. I engage individuals for specific tasks but still oversee how these issues are resolved. We also have partnerships with some companies that act as subcontractors. 

Moreover, conducting business in the Emirates ideally requires a knowledge of Arabic. The complexity with Arabic lies in its variation across different countries. Initially, I embarked on learning classical Arabic, but have now transitioned to studying Emirati Arabic, as they diverge considerably. The pronunciation of words, intonations, and many other aspects differ. My current focus is on mastering this Emirati dialect, given that classical Arabic is predominantly utilized in formal settings such as media, while the locals converse in their dialects.

Furthermore, having extensive experience working with IFRS and GAAP, I have expanded my portfolio with accounting automation projects in accordance with the OHADA standard, an African accounting standard. The intricacy of OHADA is that it's articulated in French, with no accompanying documentation available in English. Being non-French-speaking, I find myself constantly relying on online translation tools to navigate through it.

On professionalism and continuous learning

Another inspiring thing that has happened over the past year is that I was invited to co-author a book by Joe Foster, the founder of Reebok. Joe Foster is committed to changing the world by creating a movement made up of the most prominent thinkers and doers in a variety of fields. He has brought together scientists, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and corporate giants to educate, empower, and inspire the world. The book “Survive & Thrive” has evolved into considerably more than a simple guide to business success or surviving failure. It has been transformed into a survival guide for life. The book will soon be available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle and Audible.

I believe the cornerstone of my successful career hinges on a professional approach and meticulous attention to detail. When I undertake a task, I consider every aspect of it to ensure the outcome is user-friendly and all possible scenarios are well-thought-out. I am also convinced that achieving success necessitates dedicating oneself wholeheartedly to one's endeavor.

Another pivotal component of success is continual learning. Since our last conversation, I have participated in the Women and Leadership program from the European Business Institute of Luxembourg aimed at female entrepreneurs and also completed the Global MBA program from the University of Manchester in the UK. 

The MBA was an intensive learning program, providing insights into the intricacies of business operations from multiple perspectives, including operational management, marketing, finance, accounting, international relations, business strategy, and negotiations. For me, it was an invaluable experience that enhanced my practical skills and broadened my understanding of international business dynamics.”