The past few years have been huge for Klika, going from a pureplay to a multichannel platform, plus a wholesaler and logistics provider. One of the driving forces behind this business is Leo Zaitsev, the Director of Commercial Operations. We wanted to find out a bit more about Leo, so we asked him 20 questions about the proudest moment in his career, his childhood hero and more.
1. What has been the proudest moment in your career?
In my business career – receiving the 2020 All Star Bash Top Site Performance Award on behalf of the Klika team. Great feeling for our business to be recognised by our peers.
In my career as a dad – listening to my son’s first public speech at his 13th birthday party.
2. What’s your most-used App on your phone?
I can’t function without WhatsApp. I have groups for every occasion, family member, friend, project and team across the entire Klika business.
LinkedIn also gets a daily workout on my phone and allows me to keep in touch with my business contacts, connect with new ones and keep an eye on our “frenemies”.
3. Who was your childhood hero?
As a kid, I played table tennis and trained at the Victorian Institute of Sport, and so my hero at the time was a Swedish 4-times World Champion player, Mikael Appelgren, who had a unique playing style.
Only table tennis players would know who I’m referring to.
As I got older, in retrospect, I came to realize that my parents were my heroes. They had the courage to move countries, learn a new language, adapt to a different culture, and start their lives from scratch.
Something I don’t think I could ever muster up the courage to do.
4. What are three words that would describe you?
Persistent, ambitious and caring.
5. What risks are worth taking?
Calculated ones but without too much procrastination.
6. What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
Get lost in my own suburb. I am “directionally challenged”.
7. You’re at a cafe. What is your go-to beverage order?
Hot chocolate with marshmallows – I will regret it when I’m older.
8. What is your favourite part about your job?
Love seeing consumers use products and brands which we conceptualized and created at Klika to improve their daily lives.
9. How do you define success?
Look back at your life and accomplishments in your senior years and have no regrets.
10. When was the first time you shopped online?
In 2001 I purchased a second-hand book from eBay. It planted a seed, and approximately one month later, I had my first eBay sale.
11. What do you enjoy about this industry?
The interrelation between our industry and technology forces us to continuously evolve, which makes it a fun industry to be involved in.
The support and advocacy the individuals in our industry offer each other even whilst being direct competitors is unlike any other industry I’ve been involved in.
12. What is one skill you would love to master?
To be disciplined enough to “switch off” at the end of each day.
13. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
Time travel. To travel back in time to relive some of the milestones in my life and the lives of my loved ones, especially my kids.
14. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Burgers – calorie and cholesterol free (if only such existed).
15. What was the last thing you bought online?
A pair of runners and the delivery took forever. I suspect they were drop-shipped from overseas, which I wish was made more obvious at the time of purchase.
a. Did you add express shipping?
I don’t think it was an option, but even if it were, I wouldn’t pay a premium for a service which should be included.
16. Is there any advice you’d give your 16-year-old self?
Don’t be afraid to give it a shot. There will be many things you will try before you find your calling in life.
17. What was your first job?
Selling t-shirts with my father at the country markets. Taught me to have the confidence to “hustle” and understand consumers from a young age.
18. Have you ever overcome a fear?
Yes, I had a real “discomfort” of public speaking from a young age.
a. What was it, and how did you overcome it?
Overcame it in my first corporate job, when a big part of my role was to present to our clients.
19. What did you want to be when you were five years old?
A Musketeer. I started reading at a young age, and one of the first novels I read was The Three Musketeers. Was running around pretending to be D’Artagnan for a long time.
20. What is one song that you would request a DJ to play at a party?
Sandstorm by Darude – brings back lots of fond memories of when life was all fun with zero responsibility.
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