Women Leaders Active International
Lana Ilchenko, Active International

Lana Ilchenko

Providing Analysis

Editors’ Note

Lana Ilchenko is a qualified accountant, currently leading the Global FP&A function at Active International. She started her career at Active International in 2003 and performed a large variety of roles in Media and Finance before taking on FP&A responsibilities within the International division and eventually globally. In addition to her professional accounting qualification, she also holds a masters’ degree in international economic relations as well as an M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School.

Company Brief

Active International’s (activeinternational.com) purpose is to transform data into insights, strategy into action, and vision into value. With the entrepreneurial spirit of a startup, and the capabilities of a global corporation, Active continues to redefine what’s possible and turn possibilities into positive business outcomes. Active drives performance through industry expertise, its Corporate Trade Model, and portfolio of companies with a core competency in media, to create and deliver value for leading brands throughout their business life cycles.

Will you provide an overview of your role and key areas of focus?

I’m involved in running the annual budgeting process and producing regular forecasts that show the expected future performance of the business in the immediate term as well as 3-5 years’ time. The main focus is to provide the analysis of business trends and past results, advise on how the company performance can be improved and explore potential growth scenarios, including via mergers and acquisitions.

How does financial planning and analysis help provide customized solutions for Active’s clients?

In the past few years, the department has been focusing on the data that has been accumulated over a long period of time. The analysis of this data provides valuable insights into our clients’ needs which depend, among other things, on the industry they are in, the stage of their evolution as a business and their specific marketing strategy. Having an in-depth understanding of our clients, what has or hasn’t worked in the past and the specific solutions they could adopt, allows us to join them on their journey and become true collaboration partners, helping them succeed and reach their goals.

The global pandemic has impacted all companies and countries. How proud are you to see the way Active’s workforce has shown strength and resilience during this challenging and uncertain time?

A situation like a global pandemic the likes of which has not been seen for 100 years is an unprecedented one to find oneself in, personally and as a business. Even though an event like this and the magnitude of its impact is impossible to foresee, the company was incredibly well-equipped to face it head on. The transition to remote working and eventual lockdown conditions was incredibly smooth, with no interruptions, and huge credit needs to go to people within the company who made it happen. It’s the human side of it that impressed me the most and made me truly happy to be an Activian – from providing means of easily staying in touch and connecting to paying close attention not to just physical, but also the mental wellbeing of everyone. Like everyone else, I will of course be incredibly happy to see the end of the pandemic, but at the same time I am glad I have experienced it alongside my colleagues who showed strength and determination, a relentless and sometimes unimaginable work ethic and, importantly, also offered support and emotional connection. I truly felt that I was and still am a lot closer to my colleagues despite being physically apart.