By Margarit Mirzoyan
“Freedom in business is possible.
I have reached a certain level which allows me to decide not to deal with things which I do not want. I have to see and take into consideration the values and incentives of my clients’ companies, otherwise it would be hard to work and cooperate with them on professional level.”
Hayk Manassian is the CEO and founder of IBS consulting with over 20 years of hands-on experience in business management consulting. He has worked in a variety of spheres including retail, finance, pharmacy, construction, but one day he decided to start his own business of consulting. During the years of working in different fields, Mr. Manassian has accumulated knowledge, experience, and competencies, which, unfortunately, could use partially in each new business he entered. There is a need of one certain skill in one business and other skill is needed in totally different business. So in order Mr. Manassian can realize whole his potential and skills he came up with one bright idea to step into one business which is consulting. This field gives a great chance to realize all skills and 100% percent of abilities.“I wanted a work which can have an authentic and long-term positive impact on other businesses as well. That is why I am in the consulting sphere. For me, business was more of a mission rather than a source of finance.”
Mr. Manassian began consulting business in the period of substantial economic crisis when it seemed like that no company or business people would want to allocate money for business consulting service. In the beginning, they would make hundreds of calls from a handwritten list of potential clients. At that time the 95 percent of those people said “NO” to their offers. However, after hundreds of rejections, Mr. Manassian and his partner have managed to get one of the largest and most famous organizations in the country, which invested the culture of business in Armenia.
“In the sphere of consulting it was much harder because you offer none- tangible product and Armenians are hardly accepting advice, everyone thinks that they know everything and it was hard to say that we want to consult you provide you with our advice, etc.
During my trainings which I usually conduct I always say that sales start when the consumers say –NO.
Mr. Manassian was sure from the very young age that he wants to be in business. He saw himself in the role of someone who controls and manages business processes and who are problem solver.
He began working as a distributor from 8th grade. He would buy from the wholesale stores and distribute the products to the smaller stores. This was the time where Mr. Manassian learned a lot of life lessons that became vital and useful both on a professional and personal level. Here he witnesses the daily struggle of the retailers, the depth of the business-related issue. Each day he would see how seller standing in the front row is erasing the previous cost with a black marker and putting a lower one because the flow in that area was very active and the people would buy from the store with a lower price.
“At that time I understood that you have to use your mind because lowering the price is not about being smart and I’ve decided that I want to go deeper into details and understand the psychology of this business.”
Mr. Manassian understood that to have a successful business all he needs is to teach his employees to be kind and respective with the clients and most importantly be honest with them because people tend to choose the store where they are welcomed with a smile and open service.
As a student, Mr. Manassian managed to get a job at Central Bank. He was among the first trainers operating in Armenia in the sphere of consulting. He held a variety of large-scale training in the Central Bank: this was a tipping point in his carrier as he realized that giving and sharing your skills can be self-satisfactory as well. Those training sessions were not about the financial profit.
“I gave and shared and, at the same time, received trust, respect, and interesting questions which would trigger my inner development.”
Having in mind the fast-growing trends in the world, Mr. Manassian realized that skills,approaches and methods were getting old and he had a decision to develop himself and as a professional to continue his education at the American University of Armenia which became a crucial moment in his life.
“I refer to the AUA at almost every training because the university gave me so much that I cannot express with words. During those years, I had a chance to go deeper into this atmosphere and get to know hundreds of amazing people. That is why I say that AUA is my Alma Mater.”
It was interesting that Mr. Manassian decided to apply for the Political Science and International Relations major. In his opinion, the later sciences would put his knowledge and experience on a more global scale. Here he was introduced to the notion of Grand Theory, which could be applied to