Andrii Bulakh, a partner at the Deloitte Ukraine company has commented on the process for selecting candidates for the post of general director of the State Railway Administration (Ukrzaliznytsia) in an interview with the Delo website.

"One of the main tasks of the general director will be creation of a strong team. From a management perspective, it is quite logical for the general director’s team to include people with knowledge of the specifics of the railway industry. Is it compulsory for the new general director to be a railway worker? No, it is not compulsory. In previous years, people with experience in the transport industry headed Ukrzaliznytsia. Is this the key indicators of the efficiency of Ukrzaliznytsia’s operations? No. History and experience have shown that industry experience is not a factor in success," said Bulakh.

According to him, several filters were applied to all candidates.

"The first is managerial maturity. We looked for candidates with sufficient experience in the position of head of a company - at least 3-5 years. This is the period that allows one to see the results of his operations. In terms of complexity and scale, it is very difficult to compare any company with Ukrzaliznytsia, but we are talking about experience of managing organizations with at least thousands or tens of thousands of people. Managerial maturity is the experience that has already been accumulated in management positions in large holding companies," said Bulakh.

"The second criterion is experience of managing change. We have been talking about reforms since independence. One cannot hope that a person with no experience of implementing real, successful projects involving introduction of changes will suddenly arrive and achieve results. It is very unlikely," he added.

According to him, managers that have already shown real examples of improvement of business processes and changes in the operating strategy of a company were initially sought.

"These are all processes that are currently required for Ukrzaliznytsia. These were the two key criteria. For example, some experts from Ukrzaliznytsia did not meet these criteria. Unfortunately, there have been no changes, reform, or business transformation during their time there. If this did not happen yesterday, why should it be tomorrow? This was an important criterion. Then, in the interview stage, when candidates made the longlist, there were already a whole range of questions. Leadership competence was assessed. There were issues related to management efficiency and issues related to ability and the ability to negotiate," said Bulakh.