NAME: Vera Modenova
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @modenovav
JOB TITLE: Chief Operating Officer
MOVED TO THE UAE IN: Currently lives in Budapest, Hungary.
Vera is the COO at Flowwow, a peer-to-peer marketplace for local brands and businesses, operating in 24 countries. She started my journey at 21, handing out leaflets at the exhibition. Over the past 7 years, Vera transformed from an inexperienced student into a COO with a “growth hacker” mindset. Her perseverance and burning desire to help local brands thrive is what drove her to grow the international team from 6 employees to 200, build the customer support department from scratch with a 98% of customer satisfaction rate, and manage operational processes to expand Flowwow internationally, including the recent launch in Dubai.
Here’s a look at a typical day.
Usually, I wake up at 8 am together with my little daughter. She just wakes me up at this time. Being a mother is a full-time job, so I combine my mother’s duties with COO responsibilities. I grab some snacks with coffee, feed my child, go for a walk with my dog, and organise my schedule to plan the day and understand what issues I'm going to tackle. When I became COO, I understood that a C-level position is not for a person who delegates and focuses on their own life, but the one who tackles various tasks regarding the product, data, and team daily. Hence, throughout the day I can keep an eye on what is happening in the customer support department, supervising the developers’ work in the product team as they implement new features.
I am on calls with different teams. It can be meetings with the developer's team on new features, sync with the international team on new seller’s acquisitions, or legal issues regarding the international expansion. What I admire the most – is the number and different variety of tasks. Sometimes you never know what a new day will present to you.
Usually, I a break from calls at this time, focusing on the operational tasks: research, testing, and messaging with the team.
As I am a mother, I also dedicate time to my daughter. For instance, going for a walk is an excellent way to clear my mind, and structure my day. While walking, I always keep in touch with the team, answering questions or discussing projects.
Then, I get back to the calls with my team. It could be product calls, interviews with new candidates, who’re applying at Flowwow, or strategic calls to analyse the previous month and come up with the next steps.
Last week was very hectic for Flowwow as it was a peak sales day – International Women’s Day. Hence, I was helping the support team to communicate with clients and sellers, going over queries. It was a great experience that also gave me food for thought and ideas on improving communication tools.
8 PM: Usually it’s a time for my family - making dinner for my husband, taking a walk all together with my family and our cute corgi dog.
I wish I could say that my day is over but when my daughter falls asleep, I go over the last unread chats and focus on the next day's tasks. It’s usual for my team to see my active status at night.