Leader’s Insights:  Gala Grigoreva

by THEFUTURE.TEAM
Gala Grigoreva

The Future interrogates -kindly- the high management floor

Welcome to the Leader’s Insights, a place where The Future, asks the simplest, yet, the most interesting questions to the executives of well-known companies, startups, and innovators.

Today we talked with Gala Grigoreva, the Chief Marketing Officer at Adsterra. She has over 14 years of experience in global brand marketing, with expertise on many topics.

As a student, she earned a grant to study at the Aarhus School of Business in Denmark, where she gained practical experience at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shaping her career in business support and cross-cultural economic relations.

Over the past decade, Gala has led marketing teams and driven product development in global companies specializing in mobile, web3, and adtech. Her numerous accomplishments and efforts in building the Women in Tech Cyprus community earned her the 20 Women in Tech Cyprus Awards in 2023. She actively advocates for diversity and women’s empowerment.

Gala also serves as a business mentor and workplace happiness coach, integrating yoga practices to promote well-being, resilience, and balance in the corporate landscape. Her multifaceted career reflects her dedication to innovation and creating a positive impact within her industry.

Let’s see what Grigoreva has to say…

1.  Do you remember your first day on the job at Adsterra?

Oh yes! I vividly recall my debut at Adsterra. It was a whirlwind of chatter, coffee-fueled nerves, familiarizing myself with the office layout, and wrapping my head around the company’s structure. Yet, the standout memory occurred two weeks later when I presented the next quarter’s strategy and plan. COVID-19 struck, throwing us into quarantine and presenting an enormous, unprecedented challenge. I had to pivot to remote management, create numerous new procedures from scratch, and recruit fresh faces to forge a unified team in the face of adversity.

2.  What is more difficult: being interviewed to join a team or doing the interviews yourself?

For me, being interviewed is generally more difficult. The pressure to present yourself effectively, manage nerves, and accurately convey your skills and experience in a short amount of time can be overwhelming. Additionally, you often have limited insight into the company culture and the interviewers’ expectations, which adds to the challenge. While conducting interviews has its own set of responsibilities, the personal stakes and the need to make a strong impression under pressure make being interviewed particularly tough.

3.  What do you most value in your employees?

What I value most in my employees is the synergy we have achieved, their diverse views, perspectives, and skills, and their complete involvement in what they do. I give a lot of freedom and demand a lot, which can be challenging for some due to their previous experiences or personality nuances. It’s rewarding to see people changing, growing, and opening up.

4.  Which is a motto/quote you use in your work?

I often say, “Let’s do something we can be personally proud of.” I openly tell my team that they should work hard and be creative to gather all the greatest things for their portfolios, build their professional profiles, and increase their value in the market. Risky? Yes. But I embrace this approach too.

5.  If you were back to the start, what would you advise yourself for a great career?

If I were starting over, I would advise myself not to fear and to focus on thoroughly planning the path from A to B in my career. Being ambitious, which I lacked, and setting clear goals and milestones would have been crucial. Networking with mentors and peers in the field could have provided valuable guidance and support, although it wasn’t as easy and accessible as it is now. This is why I’m so much committed to being a mentor at my workplace and beyond as well as my activity at Women in Tech Cyprus. I understand how much people may need it!

6.  How do you pump up your creativity?

I could argue that getting enough rest is crucial, but thanks to Mom’s never-ending tasks, I’ve discovered a strange kind of creative energy in my sleep-deprived moments! About 8 years ago, I discovered Kundalini yoga and it’s been a game-changer ever since — I even teach it now. It’s like a natural and healthy consciousness-expanding elixir that brings fresh solutions to light. Playing with kids, belting out tunes in the studio, and embracing spontaneity adds to the mix. Travelling to change the scenery is non-negotiable. Oh, and I’ll confess — I get a kick out of diving into horoscopes or tarot videos for some completely irrational fun.

7.    What is a talent you would like to have?

I’d love to have a talent for painting. I’ve tried it for fun and found the meditative process enjoyable, especially as a kinesthetic person. You know, delving into the textures of paints and mixing the colors were particularly satisfying, but I never took it seriously.

8.  How do you balance work and personal life?

I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all work-life balance. It varies for everyone. Sometimes, I juggle early mornings (waking up at 6 AM because of the kids), evenings, and weekends to meet multiple deadlines. Sacrifices are inevitable when striving for goals, as long as it doesn’t become chronic. For my well-being, rare moments alone are a must. I carve out an hour for yoga and meditation almost daily – it’s my mental recharge. On weekends, I reserve one day for doing nothing or trips with my family. The second half of the weekend is open for projects or hobbies.

9.  What are the top five foods you like in Cyprus?

  • Grilled Halloumi cheese drizzled with honey is what I prefer to order at a traditional restaurant.
  • The meat dishes and moussaka at Diamides are simply fantastic.
  • Souvla is a tradition that holds a special place in my heart.
  • Loukoumades, those sweet honey balls, are irresistible treats. I really love them at local festivals.

And of course, the superb Cypriot wines — they’re not food, but I have to mention them here.

10.  Can you name your top five favourite places in Cyprus?

  • The Municipal Garden and the opposite To Theatraki café, right by the seaside, where I get lost with the summer vibes year-round.
  • The Rialto Theater, where I always discover something interesting. Its welcoming and elegant interior adds to the experience.
  • Cyherbia, is a charming place I admire for its unique atmosphere, the passion of its owners, and their wonderful philosophy.
  • The picturesque village of Kakopetria, with its riverside trails, traditional charm, and breathtaking mountain scenery.
  • And of course, Lefkara, renowned for its exquisite lacework and rich historical ambience, always delights me.

11.  Which personality, throughout history, do you admire most?

I really don’t know, as there are many historical figures I admire and countless more I’m not familiar with. Let’s imagine that the most admirable personalities are yet to be born. Hopefully, they will emerge to end wars and solve the world’s enormous problems.

12.  Who is your favourite author/book that helped your career?

“Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business” by Gino Wickman. I discovered it later in my career when I was already established, and it not only affirmed my vision but also provided valuable insights that I’m now applying in my work and business mentoring practice. Another book I’m a big fan of is Erin Meyer’s “The Culture Map,” which has been instrumental in building cross-cultural communication skills and fostering a better understanding of people.

13.  Where would you advise our readers to go this summer?

Stay at home. It’s too hot outside, lol!

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