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Meet Maria Kombarova, Brand Equity Lead Milka Europe
What excites me most of all is a big impact I can make leaving a legacy for many years & generations.
“I had diverse experiences leading multiple brands in coffee, chewing gum, bakery & chocolate categories. This is what MDLZ offers as career!”
Thursday, June 30, 2022
What is your current role and what makes it exciting?
I’m leading the Equity & Activations agenda in Europe for Milka - one of the top biggest brand globally!
What excites me most of all is the big impact I can make leaving a legacy for many years & generations. Imagine you have a meeting where top global minds are building brand future strategy, creating Iconic elements like Milka Lilac cow & tasting A LOT OF chocolate 😊 What can be more exciting?!
What has been the most exciting, successful project?
I have a personal attachment to the Well-being & Sustainability stream I’m leading for chocolate in Europe. It’s purposeful, responding to the most emerging consumer trends, being a highly relevant topic withing Mondelēz. I feel confident that we make great progress in making sure people snack right & feel good about their brand/product choice.
What personal qualities or skills do people need to be successful in your position?
Soft skills are extremely important in marketing as you’re playing instrumental role in connecting people around you, acting and making decisions in a constantly changing external environment. Another important element is a hunger for inspiration & creative muscles development. It’s important to keep an eye on industry news, other brand ad examples, global events for creative community etc.
How has your career developed at MDLZ?
I joined Mondelēz 12 years ago as an assistant Brand Manager in Kazakhstan. That can sound as too long, but it feels that I have been working in many companies during this period: I had the chance to get diverse experiences leading multiple brands in coffee, chewing gum, bakery & chocolate categories, expanding geographic scope with 2 relocations, changing areas of responsibility – market/ country-cluster/ region - this is what Mondelēz always offers to employees.
How do you describe the culture at MDLZ?
Mondelēzers make our company truly great place to work. It’s all about culture, attitude & drive! Here you feel belonging to a big family where everyone is ready to support
And finally, what is your favorite MDLZ brand?
My heart is with Trident/Dirol brand! I’d grown up with chewing gum in my mouth – it was part of the Pop culture.
I was lucky to lead the chewing gum business in Eastern Europe - it was so cool to work with younger cohorts (GenZ) discovering their trends, behavior, values. It was exciting to see how marketing campaigns made Trident/Dirol leap from distant number 2 to number 1 brand among GenZ.