Interview with Anna Kuprieieva of Astrum
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Anna Kuprieieva, of Astrum Consulting in Canada. Astrum Consulting, in their own words, “offers a comprehensive range of services specifically designed to support entrepreneurs, corporations, and non-profits as they navigate each stage of development – from idea through exit”. In this interview we were able to discuss Anna and her journey with Astrum and gain insight into her purview of the consulting industry.
Anna is originally from Ukraine and settled in Canada around 10 years ago. Anna has an impressive educational background in law, having received her professional training in both civil and common law. In 2008, after receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and a lawyer’s license in civil law, Anna has been working in the energy and oil & gas industry as a senior corporate counsel, advising on complex, large-scale commercial transactions, M&As, competition law, and multi-party disputes, often involving international dimensions. Later in 2014 she began her journey in this industry in Canada. In 2015 she obtained her Master’s degree in International Law from the University of Ottawa specializing in International Trade and Investment Law. While continuing her way towards getting licensed in Canada, in 2020 Anna obtained the Global Professional Master of Law (GPLLM) degree with a Canadian law concentration from the University of Toronto, known for its strong reputation as the top law school in Canada. Four degrees in the profession of law was helpful in narrowing down the area of specialization that would define her path in creating Astrum as a sole proprietor in 2015, which then became Astrum Consulting in 2018, and eventually, what it is today.
In 2015, while Anna was in the process of receiving her license in Canadian Law, she also decided to work as a consultant in partnership with her colleagues, including lawyers, CPAs, and accountants. This environment is where she could utilize her knowledge and skills, which along with her previous practical experience allowed her to grow as a professional. Anna began Astrum with a narrow focus in delivering business formation solutions for startups. She discussed the importance of nurturing their original client base and focusing on their needs to adequately assist their clients with their goals. When Astrum’s client base began to grow, so did the services and solutions they offered. Astrum began working collaboratively with other professionals in the industry and was able to build partnerships to best fulfill their clients’ needs and goals. This growing network led to the expansion of Astrum within Canada and North America. Within a couple of years Astrum had grown substantially and began shifting their focus to acquiring a greater scope of services to keep up with their clients’ inquiries. This shift is when Anna and her partners, Maksym Kuprieiev and Anna Avramenko, both, former employees from the “Big Four” audit and accounting companies, were able to clearly identify their priorities and define the best course of action moving forward. Astrum maintains a clear focus that their clients’ goals are their mission.
Along with any business, allocating your resources is important and Anna highlighted the importance of having a good team. Due to COVID, Anna and her team are all currently working remotely with hopes of returning to the office. But despite their distance, her team has well adapted to the change in circumstance, and they are able to communicate effectively in providing the best assistance to each other and their clients alike. Anna and her partners each have deep experience in their roles within Astrum which helps them distribute their responsibilities amongst each other.
When comparing Astrum to their competitors, Anna discussed how important it was that their incorporation packages were customizable and balanced based on their client’s needs. Depending on the area of focus, new businesses tend to register instantaneously without guidance but Astrum’s clients have an advantage due to the expertise allowing them to lay a successful foundation to help facilitate long-term objectives. Anna details the significance of creating that initial foundation because of the vast number of requirements needed to build up the corporation structure. Astrum’s services offer a personal approach to each of their clients so they can understand and utilize the right plan of action to best fit their clients’ needs, no matter what stage their business formation is in.
This leads us to discuss the challenges that one may face in this industry. Challenges can come from unique clients that may need more time to understand corporate procedures in order to better help themselves and the success of their business. This can be rectified by creating a clear line of communication and discussing the organization and process of these procedures. All clients are different, and it is important to take the time to make sure each step is understood in order to move forward and ease the growth challenges in forming a new business.
Lastly, we dove into what the greatest takeaways were from the consulting industry. Anna lit up when detailing her passion for helping a client with an idea or thought and the operation behind taking that idea and creating something out of it. Going through the motions of creating something out of nothing, and having a thought come to fruition and reaping the benefits is what it is all about.