Most people just stare blankly at Silvia Dyrcova when she announces that she is PPG marketing manager of international business development for Architectural Coatings, EMEA. So, she tends to shorten it to marketing manager of export. But neither title fully captures Silvia’s interesting role, international responsibilities or remarkable experiences.
Relocating from a Small Town to a Multicultural City
Silvia joined us in 2002 as an executive director’s assistant in Slovakia, and four years later, became marketing manager of the PRIMALEX® and JOHNSTONE’S® brands in the Slovak market.
Then, in 2010, Silvia’s responsibilities grew as she became a marketing brand manager for the Johnstone’s, BONDEX® and newly-acquired BALAKRYL® brands for the Czech and Slovak markets, a position based in Prague, which she held for five years.
One of the most challenging times for me was relocating from a small town in Slovakia to Prague.
After this, she became marketing manager EMEA for the newly created Wood Platform, a product management platform for wood products, before taking two years of maternity leave. It was upon her return that she took on her current role.
So many different roles prevented me from stagnation – it gave me the opportunity to learn new skills and keep myself open minded. I am very grateful for that.
Bringing PPG Products to New Markets
As marketing manager of export, Silvia is responsible for local marketing activities that help support sales growth in various export territories. These are countries where we don’t produce our architectural products directly – including the Baltic, Russia, Ukraine, the Adriatic, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus.
Silvia’s diverse team on an annual business trip in Domzale, Slovenia in June 2019
Our team has to ensure marketing support for all those countries, which means delivering at least 12 language versions of all materials and thousands of translated pages anywhere from stores to websites.
Another challenge for her department is that it is scattered throughout Europe.
Although we only see each other once or twice a year, we cooperate very well. This set-up requires a lot of confidence, trust and independence.
Communication Without Borders
Such international scope means Silvia travels a lot, but communicating with colleagues and customers in other countries is no struggle for her. She is a keen user of the Rosetta Stone app, and has already utilized it to learn local languages.
In my job, I learned that it is possible to make a road trip through almost all of the Adriatic (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia) to visit 15 customers in five days. It is very demanding, though, so I don’t try it often!
She has also learned a lot about local customs. When entering a new market, her team must always respect local values, market needs and competition. But this can present its own challenges and produce a few funny anecdotes.
For example, she accidentally presented a Cypriot customer with a new product catalogue in Turkish and learned the hard way how to pack for a Russian winter!
Silvia with her manager Lubomir Dominak during a business trip in Russia in January 2020
Getting Through the Pandemic with Online Coffee Breaks
When lockdown started, Silvia stayed at home with her five-year old daughter.
She is a very energetic child. Fulfilling job responsibilities and meeting her needs on a daily basis was demanding for both of us.
They managed, of course, thanks to the support of her boss, their friends, and kids’ TV. But, the lack of personal contact with friends, family, colleagues and customers was a challenge for Silvia. Luckily, her boss introduced ‘online coffee breaks’ for informal chats, which really helped to keep in touch with the team.
Although she is unable to travel, which is a big part of her „usual“ schedule, due to local lockdowns, governmental and PPG’s safety restrictions, Silvia is glad to have her old routine back now, and feels safe in the office as COVID compliance is taken very seriously.
‘The Sun is Shining Even When It’s Cloudy’
Silvia believes in staying positive, productive and ready to support others. She is results-driven and loves working out strategies to accomplish her goals.
She loves everything about her job – the variety of nationalities, cultures and beliefs she deals with, her exposure to many brands and products, and her colleagues and customers.
I feel lucky to both have a job I love that also supports my lifestyle.