Evgeniy Prima
CEO expla

Graduated in Marketing from KNEU, with 11 years of experience in performance marketing. Genya assists teams in building strategies for their businesses to maximize effectiveness.


We need plans “B” and “C”. How to start and run a business in Ukraine – expla CEO Evgeniy Prima

Doing business even in times of peace is a great challenge for entrepreneurs. However, in today’s environment, Ukrainians are developing and multiplying what they have created. The war has changed many rules, but strong players find ways to adapt, seek inspiration, make difficult decisions, cultivate motivation, and live outside of work.

Evgeniy Prima, CEO of marketing company expla, will talk about how the war affected his rules of life and business, how to build a successful company, create an effective team, and maintain motivation if you have been doing the same thing for years.

As part of the “Lessons from those who care” project, we asked Evgeniy Prima, CEO of expla, to tell us how his business environment, entrepreneurial habits, and approaches have changed, and how he finds time and inspiration to implement new ideas without burning out.

expla (formerly Cpamatica) is a Ukrainian engineering marketing company that specializes in performance marketing and combines entrepreneurial business approaches with technological solutions. In 2023, the company underwent a complete transformation as it outgrew what it was associated with and its affiliate network over the past nine years. expla invests in teams that work in the social media advertising market.

Backup plans, flexibility and proper communication

In general, there are three main rules that we at expla have formed for ourselves since the start of the full-scale invasion:

  • in addition to the main strategy, you should always have plans “B” and “C”;
  • it is important to be flexible and able to adapt to the changes around you;
  • internal communications within the team are the basis for investing even more time and resources.

First is “with whom” and then is “what”

If you’re just planning to start your own business in Ukraine, assemble a great and reliable team. First of all, find the answer to the question “with whom?” and then “what?”. Without strong people, any great idea has little chance of success. Create a high-quality business plan and forecast possible costs in advance.

In our reality, it is important to understand from the very beginning how quickly and with what means you want to become profitable.

The future lies in value proposition

I think that big money will be earned by businesses that can build great retention, meaning that users will return to a service, store, website, or mobile app for certain values.

Times are changing. I am sure that businesses that make money on the user’s inattention and try to charge money from their card for a “subscription flashlight on a mobile phone” will decline or even cease to exist in a few years. That is, the future belongs to businesses with a value proposition for the customer, regardless of the industry.

Looking back, you have to realize that everything has its own pace

If I could change the past or make some other decision, it would be a faster transition to the current strategic directions (social media advertising, comparison websites) and an earlier launch of R&D, which we came to in 2023.

But even if we go back, I believe that everything should go at its own pace. With almost every new R&D project, we first decided who from the team would be responsible for it, and then we worked together to decide what to invest time and money in.

How to delegate and why micromanagement is not always bad

When it comes to delegation of authority, there are several things that determine the very need for this delegation. First of all, it is time. If I realize that some tasks require a lot of time, it means that they need to be delegated.

Also consider the quality of implementation. If the business needs expertise, then we look for a person. The last hires I personally made were HR BP and Senior Employer Brand Manager.

I can be guilty of micromanaging the first 1-3 months after hiring a person who works directly with me. This is a probationary period and I need to understand that the specialist can perform tasks independently at least as well as they did before. This period also helps to “calibrate” a new employee who has just started working in the company.

How measuring “added value” adds motivation…

When you have been doing the same thing for years, it is important not to lose motivation. I am always inspired by the results of my work when I can measure my efficiency and added value. My main responsibilities have changed over the course of my 9 years in the company, but I always do what I see as my best. Both when the company had 10 employees and when it had more than 100 specialists.

…and what helps to maintain work-life balance

Personally, I take days off from work chats and messengers to relax. I trust my team and know for sure that if something urgent happens, I will know about it. So, I allow myself to take a break for a few days and come back with renewed vigor.

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