Only results matter
I started my career in Aval bank in Ukraine. I then had about 5 years of experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers. After that, in 2007, I went into investment banking. Due to my work, I was noticed by SCM professionals who invited me to join the company in 2009.
And fr om 2010, I was a member of the supervisory board of Corum Group. By that time there were 6 individually managed plants, with no strategy, or common management. As you can imagine, the plants were not very effective. Thus, we started by hiring a team of very ambitious professional managers. In 2011 we adopted a strategy for the company: in terms of marketing, as well as production. We performed some mergers and acquisitions: “Corum Krivorozhsky plant of mining equipment“ and “Corum Svet Shakhtyora” plant (Kharkov) became part of our company. So within 5 years, we became an absolute leader in Ukraine. We strengthened our position in CIS countries, and we entered the Polish and the Vietnamese markets. Now we are working on the creation of a joint venture with our partners in China. As a result, what had been a Ukrainian company has become an international company. The model of our export expansion works as follows: first of all, we study the market, and try to find some dealers or representatives to sell our product. As soon as we see the prospective opportunities, we do everything possible to be present in the market ourselves by creating a trading office.
In April 2015 the shareholders of Corum Group proposed I take the position of CEO. Therefore, before, I was on a strategic level of the management, now - on the operating side. I would like to say that this is quite challenging for me, as there is more drive, responsibility, and decision-making, and for sure – it’s interesting.
I have to say that last year was a kind of make-or-break year for us. Due to the military operations in eastern Ukraine, where the core of our business was located, we lost 3 out of 6 our plants and half of our clients. So we lost half of our Ukrainian business.
However, despite these difficult times, we were able to compensate for the production facilities. Today the company continues manufacturing the machinery, which was previously produced by Donetskogrmash, Donetsky Energozavod and Gorlovsky Machine-Building Plant, at the assembly sites in Kharkiv and Druzhkovka. Previously we had our main office in Donetsk and in June 2014 we moved firstly to Kharkiv, then – to Kiev. We also moved part of our production staff to the plants in Krivoy Rog, Kharkiv and Druzhkovka.
We managed to keep our production line. Currently we are not able to produce about 5-10% of our production but it’s not critical for us. Actually we “have attached a wing onto the aircraft while in flight”. And in 2015 the Company plans to increase its revenue by 37% compared to 2014. According to the business plan, the revenues in 2015 will amount to more than UAH 2 billion hryvnas.
We stay optimistic, because we see that our clients trust us.
Currently we live in a turbulent environment, with increasing prices for raw materials, energy, and components which are imported from Europe. So the main trend is to try to be more efficient in terms of production, to save on the fixed costs, to be effective in terms of logistics.
We strengthen the development of our export sales. In 2015 Corum intends to increase the share of exports by one-half (160%) to our key foreign markets: Poland, Vietnam, Russia, and Kazakhstan; while the first significant deliveries to China are expected. This year we’ve completed the construction of two shafts of the Nui Beo mine in Vietnam. This autumn we will start the next phase of the project there - mining assembly operations. Total completion of the work is planned in 2017.
Thus, we aim to increase our foreign currency sales and increase our financial results.
It's quite a turbulent time. We see significant difficulties, which the country faces, so we are trying to be useful and helpful.
We see 2 major directions wh ere we can help the government:
1. development of measures for export expansion promotion: Ukraine needs an export supporting program - cheap and long term loans into the renovation of production facilities and trading finance;
2. development of the undeveloped parts of our country: now we are actively cooperating with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade concerning the concept of creating industrial clusters for companies that have moved their production sites from the ATO zone to the territory controlled by Ukraine.
You know, today it's very difficult to have long term plans and dreams.
Now we are mainly concentrated on the short term and medium term perspective.
Anyway, our long term goals did not change - we see our company as an anchor of the Ukrainian machinery market. To be the absolute leader of the Ukrainian market. Also we want to strengthen our market position in our key export markets: Poland, Vietnam, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China.
We do not plan to expand quickly within the next 2 years, but we would like to increase our influence, and strengthen our relations with existing clients. We’ve already signed 2 contracts for a strategic alliance with 2 major customers in Ukraine: DTEK and Metinvest, which means that we shall work together for the long-term perspective, develop our equipment according to the needs of our customers, and initiate some research and development projects upon their request.
I can say that Corum itself is the project of my life. I’m a big fan of this company, and I aim to make it a key player in the global arena.
First of all energy became more expensive. It is logical that everything should become energy efficient. We are trying to be more energy efficient by introducing an Energy Efficiency Program: we seal windows and install metal plastic windows, and reduce energy consumption. Above all this, clients now demand more energy efficient equipment for saving energy. Therefore Corum manufactures energy-saving equipment.
As a former sportsman (I was fond of running) and due to my life experience, I can say that only results matter.
You can run 100 meters forwards or backwards, but what matters only is if you finish first. The same is in business. There are hundreds of ways to achieve the goal. And if you achieve the aim of your company, you can consider yourself to be successful.
I have to be surrounded by a team of real professionals. It’s needless to say to them how to handle a hammer and break nails. Professionals must have freedom in their choices. We should agree on the main results, targets and terms, and then they should have autonomy, resources and trust to go and make it.
To summarize, I am an active supporter of a delegating approach. When I form the team, it should consist of people who:
1. are professionals (being a nice guy is not a profession)
2. share my goals and ambitions (we should be a team)
3. are transparent, open (I value these a lot)
Success for me is to become the absolute leader. You are successful when others try to copy you.
The main value for a man is self-realization at work and happiness of his family.
I am a father of 3 daughters. I rely on my wife, she is really very nice and copes so well with family issues. I try to spend more time with the family – it is an energy recharging program for me.
If I don't achieve results it's very demotivating for me. On the contrary, when I am at the finish line, it's a feeling of real happiness for me, and that is what motivates me for new achievements. I'm very results-oriented.
What inspires me is spending time with my family: resting in nature, visiting some fancy places, and travelling. I like Mediterranean countries, spending time near the sea or ocean is always recharging for me too.