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Q&A with Ekaterina Afanasyeva

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Ekaterina Afanasyeva, Co-founder of GST Consulting.

My Career Path in a few words

I started my career as a personal assistant to a VP in a Consumer Electronics trading company in 2004. My proactive and entrepreneurial mindset was soon noticed and I was promoted to a business development manager where I put my efforts into customer research and new opportunities development with my first contract worth $4 mln in 2006. From the very beginning I noticed that new business opportunities lay in active listening to your customers and continuing research of available solutions. I used this principle when as a Head of a Business Unit I developed a product portfolio for an audio-visual distributor integrating solution selling with proven models like the ABC branding and BCG matrix. As a result the new Business Unit reached 20% of the company’s turnover in 3 years. The results proved the worth of my model to the company’s management and I was promoted to the position of Business Development Director. As the Business Development Director, leading multi-departmental transformations, my initiatives were instrumental in doubling the company’s revenue, impacting over 100 employees, and redefining the interaction with our 3000 customers. The transformative power of these strategies has been validated by the substantial and tangible enhancements in operational efficiency, customer engagement, and market presence.

My recent research on remote and hybrid work led me to the development of a 5-factor Hybrid Work Environment model where I put user experience in the center of corporate digital transformation. As much as the user-centric approach often leads to exponential growth in product development, so as the employee-centric approach impacts the results of corporate digital transformation projects.

B2b sales focus on the decision maker as a user which is not the case in reality. People who initiate and budget digital transformation are usually senior level executives. Although their work is impacted by the transformation, they still represent a small percent of the total workforce. If we apply marketing terms to a corporation, senior executives would represent a niche market.


  1. Rapid development of AI leads to exponential growth in productivity. That in its turn will lead to mass layoffs, that have already started in big tech. A fight for AI and rising fears of AI. Education and regulation. Plus, cooperation is yet seen by just a few.

  2. Back to office vs Remote or Hybrid. That’s where technology goes hand in hand with human nature. Although the technology that allows full autonomous work has been there for a long time, people, management methods and regulation are not yet ready to fully embrace its benefits.

  3. Digital Nomads - new lifestyle, new professions. It is not a lifestyle for everybody. Yet technology development allows people to work less = more efficient and thus to have more time for themselves

  4. Coworking and Coliving communities enrich local communities and play their positive role in solving environmental issues (which is complex in its own - there is no magic wand or silver bullet). These are emerging centers of attraction that smoothens the way for remote and hybrid work for both employer and employee sides.

  5. Community building is a rising trend in all aspects of our work and life. So, the demand for different types of events and online community tools combined with content creation is rising.

  6. As an expert in audiovisual technology, I see the rise of awareness of the place this technology takes in customer and employee experience = the central role as it provides the necessary element for us, humans, to fully leverage digital technologies. We still percept information through our eyes and ears - video and audio for remote communication is a necessity.

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