Delo honours laureates
The editorial office of Delo (East+West) magazine is honouring the winners of the annual Person of Business contest, which brings together heads of the most dynamically developing domestic and foreign enterprises working on the Belarusian market
By Victor Mikhailov
The contest has been held for the 17th time, with results decided by the public editorial board of the magazine, which unites the most authoritative Belarusian entrepreneurs, economists and public figures. The council is headed by Prof. Piotr Nikitenko, academician, doctor of economic sciences and advisor at the National Academy of Sciences.
Annually, the 12 most successful top managers and business owners are awarded across various nominations. In 2012, winners were chosen from more than 150 nominees. According to Mr. Nikitenko, the judges look for independence, creativity and risk-taking, as well as a willingness to take responsibility for results — whatever they may be.
Today’s difficult market situation places serious demands on company heads, who must be knowledgeable, well-organised and financially savvy. Despite hard times, many enterprises have not only stayed afloat but have significantly strengthened their market position, thanks to the actions of their experienced leaders: true anti-crisis managers. They haven’t been afraid to take on ‘dying’ enterprises, reviving them anew.
Who are the laureates of Person of Business-2012?
The Director General of Minsk Automobile Works JSC, Alexander Borovsky, has been awarded ‘For Steady and Efficient Work on Belarusian and Foreign Markets’. In 2009, Mr. Borovsky became head of BelavtoMAZ Association, while simultaneously taking on the position of Director General of Minsk’s Automobile Works JSC. BelavtoMAZ Production Association unites 24 plants, employing over 50,000 people. In 2010-2011, it paid off its huge debts and MAZ was ranked third in Belarus last year in terms of profitability. Its Director General was awarded the Order of Honour from the President of Belarus on April 21st, 2012.
Mr. Borovsky began his professional career in his native Bobruisk, where tyre factory had just opened at that time. Over almost a decade, he moved up from being an ordinary worker to being director of Bobruisk Mass Tyre Plant. He then headed one of the most problematic enterprises of its time: Novopolotsk’s Polymir. He transformed it into a successful company within just four years and then, in 2005, was appointed head of Belneftekhim Concern.
Mr. Borovsky began introducing a new development strategy at MAZ, aiming to enhance quality, optimise efficiency, create an excellent managerial team and reduce ‘empty’ costs. Its cohesive professional team of managers is showing good results. Over two years, the enterprise has raised its exports 5-fold and Mr. Borovsky stresses that this is only the beginning.
“We’ve already planned a programme of technical modernisation for the next decade and our ‘best brains’ are involved in developing new models. To achieve this, we’ve created our Automobile Industry Institute, while two more bureaus are engaged in modernising the machinery being manufactured at our factory. Out task is to turn MAZ into an enterprise producing European technology at Belarusian prices,” notes Mr. Borovsky.
Pavel Kallaur, Chairman of the Board of BelVEB Bank JSC, is being recognised ‘For Significant Contribution to the Development of the Financial Market of the Republic of Belarus’. Mr. Kallaur’s career took off in 1993, during the ‘financial boom’ of commercial banks being set up in Belarus. The promising young specialist had worked for the State Bank of the USSR, which shaped him personally and professionally, before joining the National Bank of Belarus, rising to Deputy Chairman. In the autumn of 2010, he was invited to head Belvnesheconombank. Russian investors were keen to see the bank become a financial market leader and earmarked him as the top manager they needed.
Mr. Kallaur explains, “I agreed, as I wanted to try my hand in a new role.” Under his guidance, BelVEB Bank has become a universal bank, developing new products for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as for individuals. Vitally, its attitude towards customer service has changed drastically.
Director of Coswick JV, Vladimir Yanovsky, has been awarded ‘For Creating an Enterprise Which Sets an Example of Innovative Development’. Mr. Yanovsky began his business from ‘scratch’, developing it step by step while reinvesting his own profit. Today, Coswick is a well-known manufacturer of parquet — in Belarus and abroad. The factory produces over 80 varieties of parquet flooring, with 80 percent exported. Its head office is located in Canadian Toronto while the development centre and manufacturing facilities are situated in Belarusian Zaslavl. North America accounts for its major share of export sales; the company is a serious and respected player on the markets of Canada and the USA.
“We’ve always tried to lead and haven’t been afraid of setting major goals,” explains Mr. Yanovsky. “Back in the 1990s, with my partner, I began selling Belarus-made parquet. I understood two major aspects: any occupation should be treated seriously; and that product development is endless. The more developed and technological your product becomes, the more sustainable it is and the more opportunities there are for further development.”
Although, in recent times, Belarusian timber has risen in price 2.5-fold, while the construction branch in the USA and Canada remains in recession, the factory continues to expand production volumes, meeting its goals.
Olesya Samsonova, Director General of Spartak Factory JSC, has been awarded ‘For Active Attraction and Efficient Use of Investments’ while Tatiana Bondarchuk, Director of Mogilev Ice-Cream Factory, is honoured ‘For Unimpeachable Behaviour in a Difficult Market Situation’. Inna Malinovskaya, Director of Svitanak JSC, has been awarded ‘For Enhancing the Prestige of the ‘Made in Belarus’ Brand’ (light industry).