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Aleksandar Isirov


2007 Alumnus
BA Business Administration

Isirov is a 2007 AAU graduate. Previously with SAP and Oracle as a sales manager, he now works as the GM and co-owner of Nike Prague, the biggest and most modern Nike store in Central Europe. Originally from Macedonia, he came to AAU via California. He majored in business with a minor in politics.

Why did you choose to live, study and work in Prague?
My brother Goran Isirov  (2005 BA Business Administration alumnus) came to Prague first and enrolled at AAU. At that time I was attending high school in California. When I heard Goran’s great experience with both the university and Prague itself, it was enough for me to decide to enroll as well. AAU campus had (and still has!) a great location, and the professors were amazing.

What was your first impression of AAU?
It looked like a beautiful museum :)

What classes were most influential to you?
Mathematics, sales and marketing. The professors were good and helped me learn the essentials from each area. I want to give a big thanks to professor Donald Fuller, who sadly passed away recently. He was first and foremost a wonderful human, and an educator. I learned a lot from him. I also loved classes with Milada Polisenska, and seeing her talk about her own experiences.

Aside from a degree, what else did you leave AAU with?
Preparation for the real world and all the opportunities that awaited me.

What does it mean to you to be an AAU Alumnus?
It gives me a sense of pride to have graduated from AAU, and I still take an active part in the AAU community. Until 2015, I served on the AAU Board of Trustees, helped students acquire their first work experience by providing internships at the Nike store, and donating to my alma mater. It is good to see how AAU is evolving, and being a part of its fabric. 

Aleksandar isirov 2

It was eight years ago when we had our first interview with you. You had already gained broad experience in sales and management with SAP and Oracle. Then you became – Alex Nike, the General Manager and owner of Nike Prague, the largest Nike flagship store in Central and Southeast Europe. Tell us more about that part of your career.
It was a great journey. One no one is really prepared for, unless they jump straight into it and learn from it. You think you know some things, and then you find out how much you don’t know. You think you are ready for all the possible threats and risks, and then you learn you actually need to be ready for totally unexpected events. Cooperation with Nike was great and together we created the best store in Central Europe, both in terms of sales results and customer experience. We increased customer satisfaction, brand awareness, revenues, and cooperated with lots of partners. For example, Amazon bought 3,500 pairs of shoes for its employees directly from me and my store. 

Stories like this must be just the tip of the iceberg! 
Indeed :) If you want to hear more, join us for the guest lecture I’ll be having at AAU, and we’ll delve deeper into how business management and sales acumen can increase your chance of success. 

Were you involved in any other business endeavors?
Yes, quite a few. I also owned three stores of the French cosmetics brand Yves Rocher, with 20+ employees, as well as investments in different companies and projects.

What are a couple of highlights from your career that you’ll never forget?
There are so many. From the marathon ‘We run Prague’ that was organized by Nike where we sold 500 pairs of shoes in a day at a pop up store, to the all-night shopping event in collaboration with multiple fitness centers. We also organized VIP night shopping experiences for companies, where the store would be open just for them. In just that one night, we’d make sales that equaled 20% of the entire, regular, monthly sales. I’m also very proud of us participating in donations for children. In 2019, we collaborated with Život v kufříku, an NGO founded and run by alumna Martina Wojtylová Opava (2006 BA Humanities), and donated 50 pairs of shoes for children that don’t have parents or family. Then, in cooperation with League 5 Kids Academy, Nike Prague donated to children with cancer.

Aleksandar isirov

What were some of the biggest learning curves you had to overcome in your career?
You can learn from people but you need to walk the road yourself. There is no shortcut. It’s not easy, but it’s great. 

What was the biggest turning point in your life? 
Meeting my wife Marketa. Nothing is more important than having the right person beside you. 

Tell us something unique about yourself. 
I believe everyone is unique simply by being true to themselves, and I strive to be the best version of myself – for my business endeavors, and for my family. Especially for my family.

What is next for you in your career/ life?
I have a couple of projects up my sleeve ;)

Is there a moment of zen in your life?
In a way, yes. For me, sitting down for one cup of coffee is a must, every day, no matter how busy I am. No coffee to go, no paper cups. I sit down and have a quiet moment.  You need to find that moment in your daily routine where you learn to manage your work and life, and where you have a peace of mind to contemplate, or meditate. At such moments, when your mind is calm, even if there is a whirlwind around you, you often have an eye-opening moment, or you come up with solutions unexpectedly, because you see things differently. 

Before our students get to meet you in person at the guest lecture, what message would you leave them with?
Nothing is 100% sure. You also need luck. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But with good preparation, devotion, and eventually experience, you can decrease the percentage of luck needed in order to succeed.

For more details about the guest lecture with Aleksandar Isirov, keep an eye out on the AAU events page