What do I do for living?
I jokingly say to have family DNA in logistics, I started to support family logistics business at the age of 14 and my passion towards supply chains has no limits. At the age of 17 I moved from Belarus, where I’m originally coming from, to China to study Bachelor degree. Within 4 years of undergraduate degree I learned the world’s most complex language from scratch and opened a branch of family business.
At the age of 22 I decided to continue my professional journey in Germany and joined yacht shipping company. Can you imagine how a 20m luxury yacht is delivered from Europe to Asia without touching ocean waters? Planning and organizing such projects was my daily job! Oh, did I mention that visiting worldwide yacht shows and meeting customers worldwide was a part of a package? After 4 years of glam life, I decided to get into corporate environment. I managed transportation of coffee green beans and supervised teams across 32 countries. I did fly a lot, in 2018 it was 101 flight and 170+ nights in a hotel – I loved it in the begging, but then started forgetting which city I am at, when I woke up in the morning… This is not life one wants to live, so I set to write principles, that since then guide me. Looking back, it was probably one of the most challenging experiences I had: an old school black suit corporate world with quite a lot of women inequality. When I have a self reflection to it now, I’m actually thankful for such experience. Of course, the part-time MBA degree from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, that I did in parallel to that job, also helped me to overcome the challenges. After which, I became a strong leader, who shines and knows her worth.
Later I worked in European biggest online fashion retail store Zalando, making sure that there is enough supply to cover customers demand. Since it was during Covid-19 times, we faced a year-long lockdown and a very high workload, since offline customers turned to online. Keeping motivating-engaging team and still shine bright myself was a probably the most testing self-leadership skill I mastered.
In April 2021 I joined the fastest growing company in the world Gorillas as Global Head of Supply Chain and Logistics, it was a one of a kind experience! I was really proud to see the turn around of the start up into grown up just under 5 months I stayed with the team, and for me it was a time to move to a new adventure.
I met 2 founders of arive in August 2021 as a consultancy interview and immediately felt in love with the idea of delivery best brands (apple, Aesop and all best sellers we love) under 30 minutes. I joined team in October 2021 to lead operations team taking care of supply chain and logistics, stores daily operations and operations excellence, riders operations and ERP systems implementation. I believe there is a bright future for arive and very excited to lead the operations team!
Very truly yours,
ILona B. Schukina