I know Ilham since 1996 when Robero became a contractor of BP for providing construction, maintenance and leasing services for our apartments. Robero had a successful cooperation with BP for six years. His decision to leave for Europe in 2000 was a major reason of natural downsizing and final termination of this cooperation. I was in close touch with Ilham during all these years, initially, as a part of a team member of Housing & Recreation Facilities Department at BP, and later, as a Team Leader of that Department. I had a chance to observe him from different angles and in different situations.
Ilham has built and developed the business of Robero from scratch. I witnessed all the phases of this success story. He worked also with other O&G consortiums, international companies and organizations, Western embassies. He always enjoyed an excellent network and reputation. Ilham's role in Robero's growth was fundamental and crucial. It was especially impressive as he started this business without previous relevant experience in this area. Nevertheless, due to his excellent skills in general management, team building, business development, communication together with his personality, hard work, commitment and reliability he built a good company. Ilham is a self-made man. He is a natural leader with entrepreneurial spirit. He is not a typical Azeri businessman for several reasons, but I want to stress two of them: 1) high sense of fairness, integrity and business ethics; 2) his inner qualities and diversified interests in non-business areas (literature, art, traveling) always fascinated me. When he decided to move to Europe for traveling and studies he knew that the business would be significantly damaged without his presence in Baku. Nevertheless, he did not change his mind for many other intangibles, and has never regretted about his decision. Money was never his major motivation. He is highly self-sufficient person with strong values. Success of his novel "Kaply dojdya, zastivshaya mejdu nebom i zemley..." awarded with the Dolgoruky international literary prize of the Moscow municipality says also volumes. I am 63 years old man and have met many people in my life: I have to admit that I always truly admired Ilham both as professional as well as person.
Not surprising that he successfully managed to develop an executive search firm in Azerbaijan, then absolutely new business both for him and the country. Today Pedersen & Partners enjoys high reputation and strong brand awareness in Azerbaijan. Ilham is the best recruiter in the country. He headhunts with creativity and joy. His high emotional intelligence, professionalism, dedication and openness help him to establish constructive relationship with and gain trust of both clients and candidates.
I wish Ilham further success in his professional and literary careers. I am always available for any further clarification or comment regarding this endorsement which I did with great pleasure.