Salam, Mr.Gasimov. Thank you for accepting our invitation.
Salam. I thank you for your invitation. Pleasure to see you.
We know the war was a new experience for all companies. Can you please share what your company's mood was during this period?
Of course. First of all, I would like to share my position with you as a fellow citizen of Azerbaijan. As you mentioned, this period was fascinating for everyone but also full of worries. When the first news of the war was heard on September 27, the Azerbaijani people were alarmed because the news was quite unexpected. However, from the early days, the government established efficient communication with the public, and everyone was regularly informed on subject and knew what to do. Everyone knew we must be as united and strong as ever and every citizen shall contribute in his way, so the common goal is achieved. Therefore, from the very first days, we knew what to do both as individuals and as an organization. As an organization, we have focused our efforts in two directions. Initially, we thought that every citizen's main duty was to take part in the information war. Of course, this activity was perfectly carried out by the country's leadership at a strategic level. However, the citizens had to carry out this struggle at a more operational level to convey the truth to the world in all communication spaces. Therefore, we were continually communicating within our companies, giving directions to our employees to wage the right information war. Besides, our company directors showed strong strategic communication efforts, given the number of followers they have.
Great, indeed, the information war played a fundamental role, and it is gratifying that you, too, were profoundly focused on it. So what was the second point you concentrated on as an organization?
As our second responsibility, we considered support for both soldiers and war victims. In the first days of the war, PASHA Holding donated 1 million AZN to the Armed Forces Support Fund. In addition, the companies of our Group have implemented a number of socially responsible activities during wartime. For example, PASHA Bank staff visited war victims in Barda and Tartar to support urban and rural residents. Similarly, PASHA Life and PASHA Insurance provided assistance to families living in Barda and Tartar, affected by the Armenian attacks on our frontline regions. Bravo Supermarket chain, in turn, supported those affected as a result of attacks on the city of Ganja. Kapital Bank also provided close support to both servicemen and war victims under challenging situations. Although the state covered all the needs of the armed forces, the bank within its corporate responsibility provided more than a thousand soldiers fighting in Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Hadrut, Tartar, Aghdam, and Sugovushan with hygiene products, warm clothes, sweets, medical supplies, and war equipment by sending them "soldier packages". PASHA Travel, Blue Planet, and other companies of our Group have also been active in presenting "soldier packages” to our glorious army. When the fund “YASHAT” was just established, PASHA Group was among the first organizations to support it by donating 2 million AZN. To be honest, there are many examples, and it is impossible to cover them all, but what I want to say is that all our companies during this period have identified "support for the front" as a critical priority.
It isn't easy to cover all the activities implemented during this period by such huge organizations like yours. What would you mention if we chose the most significant contribution of your Organization during the war?
People. I have mentioned on several occasions before that the most valuable capital of our companies is our people. It is the people who lead the company both forward and backward. More than 100 employees from our financial institutions and more than 500 employees from the entire PASHA Group took part in the war. Like all companies, we were incredibly proud of our employees, but at the same time very concerned for each of them. It is a great honor for us to know that our employees have a share in our country's victory in the Great Patriotic War, and we look forward to sharing these feelings with our people when they are back soon. Victory is never achieved without losses, and, unfortunately, our Group also had losses in this war. Several members of our team became martyrs for their Motherland. I bow before each of them, and I wish patience to their relatives. We will continue to do our best to support martyrs' families and will always try to be with them. However, it is clear that we will always be in debt to our martyrs and their families.
It is true, Mr.Gasimov, that the debts to both our soldiers and martyrs are irreparable. We do bow before them as well. I think their dream would be for the Azerbaijani people to live happily in the liberated territories, to rehabilitate and revive those territories. As a company, do you have any plans in this regard?
The prosperity of our citizens in liberated territories is indeed the dream of each of us. As you know, the country's leadership has announced the activities to be carried out in this direction and the institutions that will actively participate in the revival process. Undoubtedly, these activities will be carried out by the state at the highest level. I think that the restoration of these regions should also be included as an objective in large companies' strategy for the coming years. We, in turn, intend to undertake various measures in this regard. Both PASHA Bank and Kapital Bank will refer to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan for official permission to open branches in Shusha. Branches in Shusha are planned to be opened by PASHA Insurance and PASHA Life Insurance, as well. Additionally, Kapital Bank plans to serve customers by opening new branches in all other liberated regions. At the same time, our Hotel Groups will consider their investment portfolio and estimate the business environment in that region to add value to the region's prosperity. I believe that as a result of our joint efforts, Karabakh will become the centre of the region in the near future.
Thank you very much, Mr.Gasimov, for the exciting discussion.
I thank you very much.