I hire people brighter than me and I get out of their way. - Lee Iacocca

References and testimonials

Melih Mengu

Melih Mengu

Melih Mengu

Client as Chief Commercial Officer, PASHA Bank (Azerbaijan)


Ilham is a truly valuable and trustworthy business partner. As a client, in my role of Chief Commercial Officer at PASHA Bank, I had a pleasure to work closely with Ilham on many executive search projects we had. His contribution was significant in strengthening our management team during those challenging years of the bank’s growth. I had an opportunity to observe Ilham from different angles during many years of our successful cooperation. He always kept impressing me by his professionalism, integrity, openness, balance and trust. He strives to maximize the value for his client, and generate a win-win approach between employer and candidate. He invests time in studying the client’s specific needs, requirements, challenges, business context in order to generate the best possible solution. On the other hand, he cares much for executives by being patient in guiding the right candidates with a genuinely valuable piece of advice. He is open and honest with them in management their expectations from the role, corporate culture and challenges of the future employer. He is attentive to details. He takes into consideration the important sensitive soft issues.

Having lived in Baku for more than 4 years, and due to the nature of my position in the only corporate bank of Azerbaijan, I had a chance to get to know almost all main decision-makers from various important business communities operating in the country: local, Western, Turkish, Russian-speaking countries. I witnessed how high indeed his professional reputation was. As far as I know, Ilham is the most experienced executive search consultant in the region of the Central Asia and Caucasus. He has extensive experience and knowledge in various industries. He had search assignments in a dozen of countries. He is very well connected not only in Azerbaijan but also in the region. Headhunting is not limited to him just with his database or market knowledge. He was successful in placement quite challenging and sensitive positions in other markets too, beyond the borders of Azerbaijan.

He definitely worth every dollar he charges. If company has a critical position, especially, a make-or-break role which the commercial/strategic success will depend on (GM, Country Manager, Head of Sales, etc.) or a market entry or re-entry situation, Ilham’s involvement can be a game changer. I would not save on a search project fee, but rather make sure to get his support to maximize the talent pool coverage to assure the best possible hiring.