Out of the zone and into CCG

Out of the zone and into CCG

Business development consultancy CCG has poached the former director of Kaunas Free Economic Zone to head a new in-country operation

Ugne Unieziute has worked since 2002 promoting the economy of Lithuania’s second largest city as marketing manager and, since 2008, as marketing director.

She has been charged with producing and implementing a new strategy for the Baltic arm of British-owned CCG’s fast-growing global operation, with a remit to expand its  geographical range as well as its portfolio of consultancy services.

Ms Unieziute (36), who is the first director-level appointment that CCG has made outside of the UK, told BQ Baltic: “I’ve had a long experience with the Kaunas Free Economic Zone, largely working with foreign direct investment projects, and I’m well aware of the many possibilities that Lithuania offers ambitious companies.

“With experience comes a natural desire to expand your activities, and I’m ready to enjoy new freedom to apply my skills throughout Lithuania and beyond.”

Unieziute said that CCG Baltic, which has offices in Kaunas and Riga, is considering re-opening an office in Estonia, which was closed in 2005 following a strategic review. She said that she was looking for possible partnerships in Scandinavia to provide “bigger possibilities” to Baltic clients.

“As Scandinavian countries are among the leaders investing in Baltic States it would be a great opportunity to promote our countries with the help of local partners.”

Although close partners on many issues, Lithuania and Latvia often compete fiercely on attracting foreign direct investment. Unieziute said that while Latvia was naturally “less familiar” to her, she joked that they were “now both my countries”.

“Because of the comparisons that investors tend to make between us when considering the Baltics, I am very familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of both nations. While Lithuania is sometimes seen as Western Europe-facing, and Latvia combines this with being a gateway to the Russian-speaking world. There often tends to be healthy competition between offices of the same company in different countries.

“As the director for the Baltic States I can foster more collaboration between our offices and present all three Baltic countries to clients, offering them a better service. FDI is the main driver of economics in the region, and as a citizen of the Baltics I would like our region
to grow.”

She added: “We are the experts in our countries. We speak the language, and we can open any door that needs to be opened. We are a small development agency, and because we’re small, we’re adaptable”.

“We’re not only looking to promote green field projects, but to show foreign companies that Lithuania and Latvia offer opportunities for cost savings.”

Charles Cormack, CCG’s founder and managing director said: “We appointed Ugne because we understand the need to develop our offering within the Baltics to Baltic-based companies and government agencies.

“We want to consolidate our position as a leading business development consultancy in the market, ready to challenge the Big Four [consultancies Ernst and Young, PwC, Deloitte and KPMG], and the obvious and logical step was to appoint someone who had
a proven track record of working at the highest level in and around economic and business development.”

“Over a long period Ugne has shown an ability to work effectively with companies that see the Baltics as a potential destination for trade and investment, having held a very senior position in one of the region’s most successful inward investment companies.

“We had many highly qualified candidates for this post, but she had exactly the mixture of drive, passion and detailed local knowledge we were looking for.

“We’re giving her the freedom to develop the strategy for business on the ground, she’s looking at expansion markets from the Baltic base.

“That includes Estonia where we have been before and she is also looking at relationships in Scandinavia, particularly Sweden.”
Founded in 2000, CCG has offices in Scotland, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Italy, Russia, India, Pakistan.

The Baltic offices are wholly owned by the UK company, which has a majority stake in partnerships in the other countries.

Services include providing internationalisation audits, providing market intelligence and facilitating market access, arranging trade missions and arranging outsourcing deals.
In 2012-13 the company’s turnover was £750,000, a figure expected to double to £1.5m in the current year.

A spokesman for the Lithuanian Embassy in London said: “This appointment is a significant development for CCG who we’ve had the pleasure to work with on trade promotion, education and R&D as well as in attracting investment to Lithuania.

“CCG‘s considerable contribution to organising the Lithuanian EU Presidency events in Edinburgh should also be noted as yet another successful venture implemented by
the consultancy“