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20 Most Inspiring Business Leaders to Watch in 2022

Oksana Kolesnikova: An Internationally-Acclaimed Pianist, Composer, And Entrepreneur

Oksana Kolesnikova
The Executive Headlines

Oksana Kolesnikova is the CEO and franchisor at Oksana Franchising International, Inc., a multi-role entrepreneur who is also a live performer and founder of a School of Music, a music collaborator, and philanthropist. 

Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1993, Oksana emigrated with her family from Russia and initially settled in Florida, from there she found her way to the United States. While in Florida she pursued her passion for music and then after graduating she went on to perform across the U.S. and television. She became the first Russian-American female pianist to travel overseas to entertain U.S. military personnel. Her career encompassed several world tours on behalf of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department of the U.S. Navy and a solo tour to entertain the U.S. troops in Italy, Spain, and Greece.

After becoming a mother, Oksana’s responsibilities changed and she transitioned from her busy touring lifestyle to a businesswoman. “A transition that was the direct result of performing daily for countless celebrities and business leaders as the in-house pianist at the legendary Polo Lounge in the world-famous Beverly Hills Hotel between 2006 and 2013,” expressed Oksana. In her initial journey as a businesswoman, Oksana set out to teach piano to several celebrities and their kids.


Creating new opportunities 


Over the years Oksana’s business venture expanded to offering different subjects. This led to the establishment of Oksana Management Group, Inc. in 2010. It was a smoothly operating business that offered a myriad of programs in music, foreign languages, academic tutoring, and test prep in all subjects for K through 12 as well as art, acting and drama, fitness, yoga, cooking classes, martial arts, summer camps, and STEAM initiatives. 

Oksana Management Group’s first company prove to be a success, withstanding the test of time along with tackling several other challenges. By 2019, Oksana opened her second company, Oksana Franchising International, and applied the success of the business model to create a national franchise system. This business model has proven to be a natural evolution that allowed the Oksana Management brand to expand and scale. 

With this new beginning, she created a new opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs that are looking to work in the areas of education, after-school enrichment, tutoring, local youth-oriented community classes/programs, adults/seniors activities, and the online community. Oksana Franchising International Inc. offers a myriad of programs for the students who prefer one-on-one tutoring and the private and public schools can also access the programs. 


Avoiding the stories of failure


Despite being a famous business model, the franchise industry is surrounded by misconceptions. Oksana aims to provide more reliable sources of information on the web and not just one-sided data based on stories of failure and “scare” tactics. She adds, “What bugs me the most is that there have been plenty of successes achieved by individuals operating in this industry, but they have, unfortunately, been overshadowed by the aforementioned failure numbers; as such, many people that want to get into this industry are discouraged long before they are willing to give it a try.

Entrepreneurs require to persevere and not give up on their dreams. Following your dreams does not come with guaranteed success but striving indefinitely to achieve success. Outlining her initial struggle, Oksana says, “I would have to say that pursuing my music in opposition to what others around me were saying about the lack of money in it and how difficult it would be for me to achieve success is the one that stands out.” Despite the constant warnings of failure, Oksana strived towards success. Today she is one of the leading inspirational businesswomen. She adds, “I believe I made the right choices by following my passions. In retrospect, all I can say is that success speaks for itself.” 

Oksana also highlighted that she is proud of how far woman leaders have come in the business world. She also states that the successful and emerging women leaders should be grateful to those brave female figures of the past who paved the road for them, and ultimately faced more challenges and gender discrimination. 


Seeking Inner Creative World


Being in the art industry can be demanding at times. Oksana is consumed with running her businesses and working with clients and franchises. This packed schedule rarely grants her enough time to work on art. She said, “The only time I have for this is when I go on vacation – whenever that happens.” Traveling to new places helps her with her creativity. While on vacations she can be relaxed and she experiences some tranquillity triggering her inner creative world and hearing piano melodies inside her head.

Oksana equally manages work and life. She is a proud mother of Alessandro Concas who himself is a successful young entrepreneur. When he was 8, he released the books ‘The A to Z’s of Fighting Boredom’ and ‘Life of the Time Cat: Rise of Catatrophyre’ at the age of nine. “I love spending my free time with him while teaching him everything about the business, music, and other important life tools,” asserts Oksana.


Nurturing Talent of Tomorrow


Oksana has launched her third business venture, which is a non-profit. She had always dreamt of building a foundation one day and giving back to the communities. “I have always had a burning desire to help underprivileged, challenged youth by offering them educational opportunities that they otherwise could never afford. These dreams became a reality when the unfortunate current events we find ourselves in led to the launch of my non-profit Oksana®Foundation,” said Oksana.

With the advent of the pandemic, the Oksana Foundation has been offering free-of-charge online music programs to children aged 7-13, who have been locked in their houses due to social distancing measures. Many students have joined the virtual classrooms every week to master new skills. Oksana Foundation welcomes every student who wishes to join regardless of where they reside.


Optimistic Perspective:


“Never give up, believe in yourself and your vision. When pursuing a true passion for what you do, that may actually benefit others, people will take notice and most will support you in this mission. When the going gets tough, don’t lose focus; there is always that ray of sunshine at the end of the storm.” 


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