– What knowledge and skills obtained in the programme did you manage to apply in your work?
- I started applying practically what we do here from the very outset. For example, the first module from Keith Goodall contained several exercises that I implemented at work. And people realised that we didn’t have a single, coordinated process, and that we needed to talk to one another, and not simply focus on individual goals.
There was also a very interesting module on strategy. Thanks to this module, I revised the company’s strategy. Our market today is quite tough and can be hard to read. I realised that we had to create an alliance with people interested in developing the market. Today I have already found such a company, and we have started to promote our products. We are competing with a fairly powerful monopoly and are already successfully winning over certain segments.
I liked the phrase from the Rector Volkov that now and then we need to change something in our lives. At first you work for yourself, then you want a bigger business and you start doing projects with big companies. I have reached this stage and now require a specific toolkit that I didn’t possess in the past. I found it hard to understand corporate people. I had believed that they viewed things in the same way as I did. In addition, I have an entrepreneurial approach. I failed to apply a sufficiently systematic approach. Here I met guys from different companies and was amazed at how they think - people from different sectors, who in my opinion possess completely unique skills.
For example, I knew about CRM. However, after talking to fellow student Vladimir Voloshin, who promotes sales of spirits, I understood how to use this tool more effectively in the distribution of chemicals. Or take Pavel Belenko - he has an extremely systematic approach and extensive project management experience that I don't have. He showed me his entire toolkit.
I think that there are areas, for example, where you can clearly perceive the best marketing or best logistics. By communicating with people from these areas, you can gain something for yourself.
– How has the programme changed you personally?
– I changed the communications process at my company significantly. Previously everything went through me, and I probably did not listen enough to the people around me. Today I deliver meetings in a different format. I give everyone a chance to speak. I really appreciated the brainstorming exercise, although at first I found it very hard not to intervene during the spontaneous contribution of ideas. I probably had subjective judgments about business formed 10 years ago when I personally communicated with a large number of small clients. I am trying to change these things.
- Could you add some words for people who are thinking about applying to SKOLKOVO.
– I had considered a wide variety of academic institutions, in particular, IMD and INSEAD. However, there is a significant difference between mentality in the west and our mentality. I studied for a long time abroad and was unable to apply much knowledge, as it had no bearing on our environment. In contrast, at SKOLKOVO you can get everything that you would learn in Western business schools – with interesting teachers from these schools coming to us. However, our reality here is also taken into account.
In addition, the subjects discussed by people outside of lectures, and the potential relevance of these discussions to my business, are also extremely important for me. Here, we might set up a joint business. We are already implementing a large number of joint projects and have found a vast number of mutual acquaintances.