«Against the world in the open»: an interview with Sergey Galitsky and Arkady Volozh

Rules of non-resource business of the two major Russian businessmen, the founders of Magnet and Yandex.
25.04.2014
Forbes
Origin source
Sergey Galitsky, 13 and Arkady Volozh 60 - brightest representatives of the new generation of billionaires, who grew up in the ten years that the Forbes magazine is published in Russian. Although they work in different sectors of the economy, they have much in common. The basis of their condition - non-primary companies. Retail chain "Magnit" and Internet company "Yandex", the largest in their industries, have become leaders in 2013 at the cost of growth, doubling capitalization.

And Galicia, and Volozh not fit into the stilted image of the Russian billionaire who built his fortune on raw materials and privatization. They are both from the ground up to build your business, developing it in the tough competition. Both this day occupy a leading position in their companies, combining the ownership of the company management. Specially for Forbes billionaires attempted to formulate the rules of non-commodity business in Russia.

"I do not see a problem with the fact that we consider the raw country"

Forbes: Russian of Forbes, as you know, 10 years old, so we have anniversary. One famous gosbankir said recently that the growth of capital flight in recenttwo years has occurred not because of the increasing political and economic risks, and because the profit margins in almost all fell. He believes that the risks in Russia are the same as before, but the yield was lower. It turned out that this relationship has a lot of interesting places in the world. Do you also think that Russia has ceased to be an attractive place to invest?

Sergei Galitsky (SG): In every country there is a place to make money. Just risks and returns always come in pairs: higher risk - higher yields, lower risks - lower yields. In Russia now, and indeed in many sectors it is not the best time we have a great resource sector and metallurgy industry, chemical experiencing serious problems. Since the non-oil sector is not very well represented in the stock market, this situation affects, in fact, all over the country.

But there is a second reason. I want to know who and how to consider withdrawal of capital. Because, when you look at these figures, there is a feeling that the entire capital of which is in Russia, had to leave a couple of times already. It should still separate the fact that the company used for businessand then return to Russia, what is the direct export of capital.

Arkady Volozh (AV): It seems to me however, that not only yields fell, but the risks have increased. In recent years, probably not, but in recent years - yes, that here to hide.

But in general, your banker is right: in the last ten years, the Russian market is very grown up and is now a little slower. The "light fruit," removed the business is difficult to grow with double-digit growth rates.

This, by the way, the motive to change the vector of development. We began to look, where else apply our knowledge and technology, in what sectors, in which countries and regions. And, apparently, our next growth will be due to the fact that we will export our technology.

Both of you - billionaires, the leaders of "non-oil" of Russia. However, if you look at the top ten of Forbes Russia, we will see it in the main raw materials producers, or large investors, who started on the raw materials. At the same time in the top ten of the world Forbes syrevikov practically no: Walmart, financiers, owners of technology companies. You have such a wealth of resource dependence are not upset? That pon perceived through the prism of the "oil-metals"?

SG .: I think that the "upset - not upsetting" - incorrect statement of the problem. Historically, after the privatization of the mining and production assets in Russia were very concentrated. And so between their owners and the rest formed such a big handicap. And I think we should look at how to change the distance between them and the rest of the list of participants, whether this handicap is reduced.

A .: I do not see a problem with the fact that we believe commodity-dependent countries. Yes, this is our place in the global division of labor. Production and supply of raw materials - an important function in the global market, and it except us does a lot of countries, including highly developed - Canada, Australia, Norway, and none of them did not hesitate. By the way, the United States, too, will soon become a commodity-dependent countries, when they start to export gas.

When it is said that the country is raw, raw feel share in exports. But if we take the share of primary industries in the domestic economy - it looks not so black and white. And our retail and our andternet industry is mainly oriented to the domestic market. Will they ever become Russia's exports? If you will, then we will go up on the Forbes list.

SG .: I do not see a big problem that we are called commodity-dependent countries. To extract the oil, we need advanced technologies and knowledge. It is not as easy as one might think.

"Every man to 50 years of life a little bit tired. So what?"

Studying the history of your company, I found many parallels. During the fifteen-plus years the two of you do not change the selected business, constantly improving and developing. I do not want to start something new, to diversify assets, invest in something extraneous, more profitable?

A .: We are professionals. This is because the word has a direct transcript - we are engaged in their profession. If our profession has been investment banking, we have distributed investment, laid them on the different sectors, looking at their profitability.

In addition, we have a lot of work within the company. "Yandex" today - is not only the search has been on todell'arte, but also a lot of services, working with big data, much more. Similarly, the "Magnit", I think is called "retail", but in fact an extensive, huge company.

SG .: I would also add that I am not so clever to deal with qualitatively different themes. It's disrespectful to the professionals - I say that I will be as successful in other business, as well as in his. We have a fairly complicated business, and strong competitors, to run the company with one eye open. Plans to diversify its business is often based on the understandable human desire to insure against failures, "podstelit straw." I did not see that someone has turned out just as well not do the trick.

And it does not become boring? Psychologists say that people get tired of one class for a maximum of 5-7 years. Is not this sensation comes: everything can no longer tired, every day the same reports, every day the same action, the same people?

A .: And every day for 15 years to shift money from one branch to another, compare their yield, again shift - not boring?

Owner ceand "magnet" Sergei Galitsky: "I - a merchant life"

SG .: add that Russia was and is a very aggressive business. It is very energy-intensive. I in the 46 years, probably lost some performance when compared with a 15 years ago. And maybe, just wisdom came, and some decisions are easier to me. When you're in something lucky, you get fatigue comes later. It's hard to get tired of the business of their lives. I do not know, as in Arcadia, but I have no such.

A .: For me it is also no longer work. Work - this is what you do for food. There is still a hobby - it's what you do for fun. And there is occupation - is something that you can not do. It really is a piece of my life. You can say if you are tired of life? Tired, everyone is tired to 50 years of life a little bit. So what?

'Controlling stake in Magic "

Why do not you both do not have a controlling interest in the company? There is the eternal wisdom of the Russian, that if you do not control 50 + 1 share of the company, you do not control anything. You do not believe in the magic of a controlling stake in Russian? <br />
A .: And I have it never was - when the company was created, I did not have a controlling interest.

And you did not want to purchase it? Surely the same was an opportunity.

A .: And why? controlling interest in magic acts, when you have a flat, simple business. When your place can come any man and nothing will change. That is the only benefit from you for the company - the presence you have this same package. If I am a professional if possesses a set of essential competences, I want us not only as the formal owner of the package. Try replacing Galitsky in "Magnit" and see what happens.

SG .: I have a slightly different story - I have always been and still is the actual controlling interest. Because controlling interest does not necessarily imply "50 + 1". With the current cost of "Magnit" - now around $ 25 billion - is not easy to take and buy a substantial stake, whether it be 10%, 15% or 20%.

But this is only one side of the coin. I agree with the principle formulated by Arkady if someone can manage better mnya probably would rationally go. And if such a person is not present, and talk about this, alas, is meaningless. It is very difficult to manage a company like "Magnit". We make daily payments for 3000, opening an average of three stores a day.

A .: I, on the contrary, now I think: our "Yandex" it is necessary to train people who will be able to manage the company following 10 years. Team leaders in the "Yandex" in the middle and under 50 years. The average age in the company is now - 27-28 years, we have worked a bunch of students. And we look at the generation of 30-40-year-olds - these people are supposed to be and should be the next generation of managers of "Yandex".

SG .: My partner and I (Vladimir Gordeychuk, General Director of JSC "Tander", the operating companies of the group "Magnit" companies -. Forbes) trying to do this, but so far we have not obtained. That is, you can find people to positions up to a certain average. Then you choose from them someone one, trim you try it for yourself, that it has the same qualities as you are. And it is difficult, the head - it is the same individualnost, such as the Olympic champion in the mass sports where crazy competition. But search should be carried out continuously. Here we are looking COO, I have a good top management, but I do not see a single person is able to fully replace us.

"If you're a leader, come to the world with open visor"

Your companies were leaders in terms of capitalization growth in 2013. "Magneto" and "Yandex" cost increased by almost half, and in the stagnant market. And then in 2014 began to decline - first because of the attack on the emerging markets, then because of the political crisis in Ukraine. You did not hurt that the fruits of years of work wiped out the circumstances and factors that you can not control?

SG .: That's why we did not hurt that these are the factors that do not depend on me. I live in this country, well aware of it. "Sweating" sorry for unparliamentary language, it is necessary when you from something depends. And when we are dealing with macroprocesses or global politics, it is necessary to take the popcorn, sit on the sofa and watch. If from thoseBOJ is not dependent on - see if it depends on you - act.

A .: "Lord, give me wisdom and always to distinguish one from the other" - that you can change what you can not.

But when a force majeure factor will come to naught - and ...

SG .: (interrupts). And here and there, never!

A .: Exactly! This is an important thing: force majeure factor will always remain, with this knowledge, you just have to accept and live with. Our company will rise and fall. Here, "Magnit" - suspended from $ 20 billion to $ 50 billion, we, uh, I do not know - from $ 5 billion to $ 20 billion? And that's fine. That's life.

SG .: Yes. You know, our volatile nineties and zero years have formed a part of the business philosophy of this: just now stable, I earn money, dragged them into the hole, there otsizhus when it becomes better, get out. And it's wrong. If you're a leader, come to the world openly. The world is changing rapidly, and we must not be afraid.

Remember in the movie "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" was the scene when the characters drink in the kitchen and one of them says: "It's me, instability in the world bother?" Well, in today's worldinstability will always be. Remember, most recently was a time when almost every quarter fell airplanes? Or any war or crises. The modern world is full of negative information on this you need to ignore. And work.

"Health of the Nation? We have an average salary of $ 500-600 "

Business and "Yandex" and "Magneto" is based on a study of consumer habits, peculiarities of the Russian consumer. Russian somewhat different in this sense? For you do have any special measure to which you are targeting in the first place?

SG .: Patterns of behavior in the markets, of course, vary. We do try to learn a buyer and, in general, are well aware of it.

There is one important parameter. In the best years before the crisis, in 2007, people spent on food to the national average of a quarter of its budget. Now the figure is about 37%. In the worst of times - in the mid-nineties - was spent on food and 55% of the budget. Here is a simple thing - the structure of the budget - and defines much of the country. And any. KachesTVO lives of Russians will be comparable with the European about the time we spend on food as much as the Europeans.

Here is an example: if we reduce the price for bananas by 1 ruble, then we sell them in its network more than 100 tons per day. We can not talk about the health of the nation, yet we have an average salary of $ 500-600. All this talk about the high-quality products, about how useful and good homemade sour cream - all of it is great, but it does not work in a situation of severe budget constraints, when people buy only what they can afford.

And if more, details?

SG .: Here are the details, I just will not tell you. Because the know-how of the retail - just these items.
We have a large company, where at each stage of the chain hidden "know-how". We make 45-50 million transactions per day, and that's all you need to handle, this should work automatically. Every day we receive 3,500 large trucks for all warehouse and the same day we send.

A .: It is not a trade. "Magnet", it seems to me - is largely distributional and logistics company. ABOUTno country build effective supply chain products.

SG .: Yes, I agree with you.

Arkady and Russian consumer behavior on the Internet - it is the same as, for example, in Turkey or in Europe?

A .: Of course, different. In Turkey, for example, people on the Internet more socially active than in Russia. Somewhere
in China people are more play: they have more playing time per person than in Russia or in Europe. But in general, people are the same: they communicate on the Internet and satisfy their information needs.

And as far as your knowledge gained in Russia, are applicable, for example, in Turkey? Knowledge about people - it's your know-how, I understand you correctly?

A .: No, our job is different: we are writing machine code, we do the algorithms that are able to adapt to the man, and, in general, they are able to adapt to any person. For us, the differences between Moscow and Krasnodar are just as important as between Moscow and Istanbul. Even in different parts of Moscow people behave differently. The task - to adjust to the person, to try to predict what it will need in the afteruyuschem step. In this sense, it really looks like a retail - you, too, have to guess how much milk will buy tomorrow.

"The main thing, being born in the Russian talent more than the leaves'

Sergey, you often say that the main danger for Russia - reducing the population. Why?

SG .: Because population - a market capacity, which we can grow. History shows that this is the main indicator for any country. Vanquish is not even money, win people. China, India, Brazil, and the US is fine show.

A .: This is our economy is similar to "Magnet". In fact, we make one and the same - on the consumption of the people. All our monetization is built on the commercial consumption of people: the greater the consumption in the country, the more we share advertising, the "Magnit" - more purchases in stores.

And the attraction of migrants does not solve the problem? Sergei, you are in "Magnit" are dealing with a huge number of employees, have them work more than 200 000 ...

SG .: No one will give you the answer to this in thequestion. Because there are examples of successful attraction of migrants, such as the United States, and there are bad. Look at the southern city of France, Marseille, for example. It's awful! It is necessary to seek a balance.

Arkady, you must have exactly the opposite problem. There is a fashionable expression: "In Canada, in the wilderness, in Manitoba." Do you feel the brain drain problem?

A .: We feel. And so it is very sensitive to any macro risks, especially political.

You have a lot of people declared its readiness to go to the background of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the cooling of relations with the West?

A .: So far, fortunately, not a few. If many people would have been a disaster. In Ukraine, we had three offices: in Kiev, Odessa and Simferopol. Simferopol office is a different story altogether. It is the only building that we purchased, not rented. We bought a building 200 meters from the Supreme Council. During the acute phase of the crisis, people were not allowed to work, guard fled. Such is the "funny" get the story ...

Political crises are unpleasant for us the fact that we work abroad - in Turkey, for example. There are others expansion plans. And if now we start to be perceived as a commercial company in the wrong country, it will be difficult.

We're always competing for the best shots not with Russia, and with international companies. Yes, often say: I do not want to live in a bad climate, want of warmth and tranquility. But, fortunately, the influx of talent is no less outflow. And most importantly, here in Russian talent springing up, apparently, far more than the leaves.

And the education system is able to "handle" these talents? "Yandex" because just the very company that has to very precisely monitor the quality of education.

A .: In our area, we teach people to form, but it is quite narrow stratum, a special forces. We learned how to cook in a year about 100 high quality professionals to our industry. And now we are trying to expand the system. They are specialists in dealing with large amounts of data and machine learning. People who receive this profession, will definitely be provided with jobs in the coming decades. And this, by the way, you can do the specialization of the country, high-tech exortnym item.

At the same time, I noticed, and "Yandex" and "Magnit" is not very willing to attract people from the market.

SG .: Because of the company, which employs 200 000 people, there are opportunities to grow by frames. Another thing that is not very easy to grow a top manager. top manager does not get out of the store manager.

And if you buy up? That happened?

SG .: Virtually no.
A .: And I have been. And it happens.

And what you are doing - are fighting over whether the footage?

AV .: Desperately! But, as I said, we are competing with global companies. Sometimes, of course, that we go on. We can be hurt, especially when go to a competitor.

To Google?

A .: As Google is not particularly left, but in Bing - yes, it was. But we, by the way, there entices people. Recently we moved the man who is probably one of the largest specialists in machine learning.

"This is the next industrial revolution"

What is machine learning?

AV .: Machine Learning on the big - this is a new bOlsha technology. All the great new technology to penetrate everywhere. When 200 years ago there was a steam engineer, it was a fusion of the engine with everything: there were means of transport, new textile machines, mechanization began everywhere, and it was a revolution. The same electronics, same thing with the Internet: in our life appeared communications, they are everywhere.

Now on every street there are dozens of video cameras we carry in a pocket on the device with dozens of sensors, we constantly ask for something on the Internet, etc. -.. It's all a bunch of signals. When the plane is flying, he's all sensors, the car goes, it's all in the electronics, everything is permeated with sensors. They all collect massive amounts of data. They can do some math, some kind of "cleverness". And this "umnost" anything anywhere to optimize 5-10%. This is essentially the next industrial revolution. The one who will be able to collect and process the data, connect them with machine learning, get the obvious benefits. We have in this sense, the country has a good school. And if we teach that a few thousand people - it's a great industry to the world.

Here eon the very non-extractive Russia.

A .: Yes, only now we are discussing the non-primary inside Russia, that Russia has its own product in this area. But it is in principle also our export potential.

The well-known investor in the Internet, the participant list, Forbes Yuri Milner 57 states that within five years the share of the global online trade will more than double. There are more radical forecasts - in 20 years the Internet will take all trade. You are here on the different sides of the barricades, "Yandex" this process is beneficial, "Magnet" - no. Do you believe in this forecast?

SG .: Nobody knows what the future holds. I can only speculate. First, 80% of people will always live on a limited budget, then there will be saving money on the goods of daily demand. Food distinguished by a large volume and a small cost. When sending personal share of transportation costs can be very high. Second, people want to feel the products, look at their appearance, especially of fruits, vegetables, fresh meat, a variety of other goods.
A .: I'm not readygive a radical outlook. With regard to items such as electronics (relatively expensive commodity), or a book, yes, I think about winning e-commerce in general forecasts are correct. Another thing is food. If you see a very different delivery system, not as it is now - a courier, who must wait, and something completely different, then, yes, maybe.

Returning to the Forbes list. Imagine a list of Russian Forbes a decade. How will it look like? Of course, it is impossible to predict all the political and other risks, especially in our country, but all the same, whether the share will grow nesyrevikov in the Forbes list?

SG .: In my opinion, if Russia in ten years will not increase the number of non-primary billionaires, it will not be a problem. To break into the list of billionaires, it is necessary to create a large multi-billion dollar business, and make it very difficult. Another thing that should increase the share of non-primary business in the wealth structure, their quantitative representation among the 200 richest people in Russia.
But this will happen only when the stable development of the economy. I want to be an optimist. We, in my, Ate shocks have already elected their life.
A .: If oil and gas prices will be stable if the resource-based economy will work as it is now, the number of non-primary billionaires will grow. The country becomes richer, people will consume more, so will grow the sector, focused on consumer demand. Therefore, representation of non-primary sector will continue to grow. How? Life will show.