Tbilisi Hills CEO on School Construction & Education for Achieving Success

Learning and education is the key to success. This was once again proved by the new initiative of Tbilisi Hills Golf & Residences, which, as a company that cares a lot about education/learning all life long, is planning to build a school in the residential complex for its resident families.

It is already a well-known fact that the company offers its customers maximum quality, comfort and innovations; however, its management believes that this alone is not enough, and education and constant development are the main conditions for a successful and meaningful life.

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Anastasija Udalova, CEO of Tbilisi Hills Golf & Residences, to find out more.

“Education teaches people to work hard, and achieve results in school or in any course. The second thing is discipline, to do all your homework and study in a way which shows a good performance in school. And of course, the main thing is that education and learning teaches you to think and to put everything you’ve learnt into your overview for the world, as well as helping you to make decisions based on careful thought and knowledge. Education is a must in achieving higher results. I don’t believe that people who have no education can achieve high results.”

When does a person start and stop learning in life?

People start learning from the day they are born. Everything in life teaches you how to or not to behave. And this goes on until the last day in your life, through school, university and beyond. I’ve never stopped studying, and I enjoy this process, which is why I hope that as far as I can give time for education in my schedule, I will study a lot.

Tell us about your experience and education.

I have Masters in Law and another in Sociology. Now I’m doing my executive MBA in Stockholm School of Economics, and as for my plans, I’m going to start chemistry studies because of the new business which I will start in parallel to Tbilisi Hills, in Riga. What I found out relatively recently is that in learning, the mind brightens; especially when you’re focusing on more than one aspect in life. When you study, you see the things you do for a living from a different angle. The same happens when you meet new people and hear another point of view, another methodology, and you see that you can do it in different way. When you’re working and not studying, you’re just doing it as you know; you don’t make a new impact on it. That’s why learning is a must for business.

What have you learned from Georgian people and what you would like to teach them?

From Georgian people, I’ve learned to be less stressed, because they are very resilient to stress. They’ve taught me to have an open heart, because they are very open to new people. We, as Latvians and Baltic people, are little bit more closed and more reserved: Georgians aren’t. I’ve learned from them how much you can achieve if you meet face-to-face, and I’ve learned patience.

Why do you plan to build a school at Tbilisi Hills?

As I said, education is very important for me, as it is for our shareholders, and we wanted education for the residents of Tbilisi Hills to be more achievable. There was also a timing issue, in order for resident parents and children not to spend time traveling to school and back. Plus, we’re trying to do everything for our residents to make their living here as comfortable as it can be, and of course, their children are the most important part in life. Simply, it’s a must for us to have a school there.

What makes a good worker and what do you value most in the Tbilisi Hills team/your co-workers?

Another thing I’ve learned in Georgia is that resumes doesn’t matter, because people may have a very nice CV, but when you meet them in person and start working with them, it can appear that maybe their education was not so good, or maybe something changed in their lives. Meeting in person and listening to how they speak, and how they act during interviews, is a must. That’s why the team we have now in Tbilisi Hills is like a big family, a family which is loyal, very friendly, super talented, oriented on results, and all interested in doing the best for our residents, because our reputation is, for us, a very important thing. A good worker is always in the process of self-education, as is a CEO who gives good workers an opportunity to change and improve their qualifications. If a worker decides they want to further themselves, say via study, but in parallel stay in the company, my goal is to give them the access to such studies. This makes for happy co-workers.

Who is purchasing real estate in Tbilisi Hills?

The people purchasing real estate here are very ambitious. Many of those who first bought land plots here are definitely happy with a healthy amount of risk, as we started sales two years ago, especially knowing the history of the real estate business in Georgia. Now the situation has changed, but still, we appreciate the risk they took in investing so early. These people are definitely very smart and are good professionals in their businesses. They all have the same values: family, a good environment, a healthy lifestyle (many do sports on a daily basis), and education, and we’ve had a lot of conversations with them about education and what they see in their children’s future lives. A good sense of humor is also a common feature, because we have a lot of nice humorous chats in our restaurant and terrace.

How can one ensure that professionalism doesn’t kill the joy to work and the willingness to learn new skills?

If a person is professional, he can’t kill the joy to work. A real professional understands what Socrates said: “You know that you don’t know.” A professional knows there is still much to learn. If a person wakes up in the morning and says “OK, I know everything about this job,” then it’s time to go and find another profession, because in that profession you are dead; you lost all the sense of challenge. Work you enjoy gives you new challenges every day: you just need to see them.

You read a lot. What is the last book you read that you can recommend to our readers?

I read a lot of books, and I only read them in physical form, because I don’t like electronic books. I tried audio books, but it didn’t work for me so well. The last book I read, which I finished last week, was ‘Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.’ It was a book about Churchill and Orwell’s biography of their lifetime and how they survived the Second World War. And now, I was listening to Orwell’s ‘Animals’ Farm.’ I read it a few years ago, but decided to refresh. What I can recommend to readers, my must-read book, is The Little Prince. This is something I re-read from time to time because it always shows you another angle to what’s going on in your life. Easier reading comes in Fitzgerald’s book ‘Tender is a Night,’ I love it. If we are going for Russian classics, then I would name Bulgakov’s ‘Master and Margarita.’ For the business, the last I read is Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow,’ and a very good book is David Bohm’s ‘On Dialogue.’ And the main thing I can recommend is to read and read more. Because you always have something to discuss with a person who reads books.

01 October 2020 17:02