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Gulnar Hasanova

I believe that a real leader should be just as familiar with, and focused on, their human resources as their company’s finances.
Gulnar Hasanova

Leadership and the importance of people

I was born and raised in the beautiful country of Azerbaijan. Both of my parents are financiers, and it was because of them that I decided to pursue my own career path in finance. To this end, I graduated with Bachelors and Masters degrees at Azerbaijan’s State Economic University.   

Managing a successful business takes more than just understanding its finances and place in the wider industry sector. You need to be able to work with people, choose the right team for the right task and ultimately create a workplace culture that ensures staff are fully motivated to achieving your goals.  I believe that a real leader should be just as familiar with, and focused on, their human resources as much as their company’s finances.  

I spent five years working as the Head of Human Resources at Ernst and Young, after which I decided to pursue another degree at the London School of Economics; a Master’s in International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management. To this day, I continue to consult governmental and non-governmental organisations about HR and recruitment, including organisations such as the European Azerbaijan Society.

Reaching the C-suite

Now, after eight years of experience at an executive level, I am now the Chief Executive Office of Gilan Retail Group and a member of Gilan’s Holding’s Board of Directors. As a leader, I am committed to setting an example to all my employees, especially as I am responsible for developing and motivating large teams to deliver the best results for the company. I had always dreamed of studying at Cambridge, so I decided that an Executive MBA would be the next best step for me. Not only would the programme benefit my own knowledge base, but I would be able to impart what I learn with others in my company.  

Ultimately, I now understand that in life, as in business, it is important to make the right decisions, because the next years of your life depend on the very decisions you make today.


Cambridge Executive MBA 2017


CEO, Gilan Retail Group


MSc International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); Bachelor of Commerce and Master Diploma Economics and Management, Azerbaijan State Economic University