Apple autocrat: how Sady Pridonya struggle for leadership on the juice market

Sady Pridonya didn't sell itself off WBD and Coca-Cola. Why does the company's owner Andrei Samokhin prefer to remain an independent player and how does he manage to compete with the giants of the juice market?
Origin source
Before dawn a long time. Among the rows of apple trees blooming in the vast Gorodishchenskoye district of the Volgograd region, with a flashlight in his hand wandering man, dressed in a simple way - a blue shirt and jeans. The owner of the company "Gardens Pridonya" Andrey Samokhin inspects his farm. "An hour ago, it was plus six degrees now - three - worried businessman. - One frosty night, and we may one day lose a crop in the region. " By the light of a lantern Samohin trying to discern dark pistils in flowers of apple trees or not. It seems not, otherwise he can not see the apples.

The five largest Russian juice producers "Pridonya Gardens" - the last independent player. "Lebedyansky" and "Wimm-Bill-Dann" owned by PepsiCo, «Multon" and "Nidan» - Coca-Cola. However, foreigners Russian business is not very happy. The last two years, the juice market is stagnating in Russia. Declining sales at companies PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. In May 2014 Coca-Cola announced the closure of factories "Nidan" in Novosibirsk and Moscow. "Gardens Pridonya" contrary to the trend of increasing year by year. The company is now occupying Samokhinaie on the juice market in third place, while seven years ago in terms of production lagged behind "Lebedyansky" more than 30 times.

"I want to be the market leader in third place does not suit me", - says Samokhin.

Is there any reason for such ambitions?

Like Tetra Pak

"He is not part of whose circle, is not friends with any of the officials and political functionaries. It can not be found in local parties, "- says one of the former vice-governor of the Volgograd region. Yet Andrei Samokhin - comes from the range, with the Soviet era. But none of the former heads of state farms failed to build a manufacturing business of this scale - with annual revenues of 9.4 billion rubles.

In 1990, 28-year-old Andrei Samokhin, Agriculture Secretary of the Party Committee, at a meeting of the labor collective farm "Pervomayskiy" selected directory. The main property of the farm was Panshinsky plodopitomnik, located 60 km north-east of Volgograd. Samokhin without much detail recalls those days, his story laconical, as the obituary: "For a week collected apples turned to mush, because nobody came to buy them. We had to do something ... "The idea of ​​lying on the surface - processed fruits. "Pervomayskaya" acquired a small line from the Swiss manufacturer of press equipment Bucher. There was an issue with the package. Samokhin contacted the Moscow office of the corporation Tetra Pak - the Swedes in Russia promoted a program of co-financing the full range of supplies of equipment for dairy and juice companies.

But the director of "Pervomayskaya" they refused. "You are still small gardens, practice is" - recounts Samohin are the answer. President of «Tetra Pak Russia" Igor Akimov, while the head of the sales department, said that in the early 1990s, "Gardens Pridonya" was one of many state farms, "in which the cash, of course, was not", and therefore the risks of equipment supply so customers in the loan were too high. Samokhina rejection hurt, so he decided that in whatever was to sign a contract with Tetra Pak: «We have some training for three years: push-ups, running,moved up. " In practice this meant to improve the quality of products, that is, the apple crop, restore order in the accounting and finance, and most importantly - to increase the volume of sales of the same apple. State Farm was privatized, Samokhin received a blocking stake of shares in the new economy with the status of LLP and slowly began to buy shares from minority shareholders.

History of the Russian juice market is accepted to count since 1994, when the sale came from J7 "Wimm-Bill-Dann" in the colorful "tetrapakovskih" boxes. The following year, Andrei Samokhin signed with Tetra Pak packaging contract to supply equipment for its juice plant. Details of the agreement are not known, but the contract was implemented, and in late 1997, the plant earned. "He's just not able to play, - says the president of Samokhina« Tetra Pak Russia. " - No wonder he's so passionate about martial arts. " Andrei Samokhin, if you look at his hands, his knuckles smashed. At home juice magnate worth training dummy, which he regularly Tapping.

geography Fruits

The brand "Gardens Pridonya & raquo; I began to form before the start of the same name of the plant. In winter 1996, the map of Volgograd region appeared settlement Gardens Pridonya - former Panshinsky plodopitomnik. Rename achieved Andrey Samokhin. What for? "In one of the Volgograd region, there are only five state farms" Pervomayskiy "- as Lenin avenues in the cities, - explains the businessman. - And we have gardens, located near the Don, then - Pridonye ".

The decision to rename Volgograd Regional Duma adopted, which at that time was headed by Nikolai Maksyuta. At the end of the same year he won the gubernatorial election. According to Forbes interlocutors from local politicians, it Maksyuta, who led the region until January 2010, played a key role in the development Samokhina as a businessman. Nikolai Maksyuta generally always contributed to the strengthening and prosperity of local businesses, shielding them from every possible way "Moscow aliens."

He created OAO "Agroindustrial Corporation" Pridonye "To implement the project of the juice of the plant Andrey Samokhin. Among the shareholders were: Volgograd region (37,5%), & laquo; Volzhsky mezhraygaz "(less than 10%) and" Volgogradenergo "(less than 2%). According Samokhina, the plant had to be built, the money, no one was in the area but there were bills, while infrastructure companies - tax debts to the budget. Therefore, the region instead of money provided for the construction of the bill for their company brought water, gas, connected to electricity. They also energy and water utility gas companies paid their nalogi.Vladelets "Gardens Pridonya" assures us that, as in the case of renaming, one's patronage, he did not use - it has any power, "smooth relations".

Just he and his project was in the "successful industry." In mid-2000 the Volgograd Regional Duma deputies suspected Samokhina in erosion of the share of administration in OJSC "APK" Pridonye "from 37.5% to 24.9% during the three additional issues. Businessman rejects suspicions: the regional administration knew about everything, since its representatives were on the board, and the audit confirmed that all decisions on the additional issue has been adopted unanimously. Vice-Governors received from the governor of direct instructions, in Numbersle writing, how to vote on this issue.

In 2009, he bought out the 24.9% stake in the field of "APK" Pridonye "more than 60 million rubles. "It was actually the Directorate for Construction, - says the businessman. - Sell 25% of the $ 2 million - a fantastic thing "After the transaction" Pridonye "was attached to the JSC" Sady Pridonya ", for which the number of factory assets. How Samohin eventually became the owner and gardens, and juice production, thoroughly unknown. Today selhozproizvodstvennoe of "NPG" gardens Pridonya "100% owned by JSC" Pridonya Gardens "in which 99.99% of the shares owned by Andrey Samokhin.

The plant was completed and commissioned in late 1997. In 1998, the "Gardens Pridonya" released about 650 000 liters of juice. In 2006 - 24 million liters. In 2013 - more than 260 million liters. Now the company to 60% provided their own raw materials - apple and cherry juices. And their competitors do not have the raw material base.

Fighting rabbits

Taking a walk through the gardens Samokhina, it is impossible not to notice the young trees, wrapped in foil. "The hare, swine, with some eatsmouth so that the tree dies, - says the owner. - Very serious animal pest after the main moth. A tree up to three years should be protected. "

"Gardens Pridonya" spread on the territory of more than 7000 hectares in the Volgograd, Saratov and Penza regions. Each year Samokhina economy grow by an average of 500 hectares of gardens. Here and apples, and cherries, and plums. What gives us the raw material itself? First and foremost is the protection against currency risks: production of juices in Russia as a whole are still working on imported concentrates. dominate and dictate the prices of Chinese apple concentrate on the world market. Apple - the main raw material for the juice industry: as an additive is used in the manufacture of many of juices, nectars and mixtures. "I have asked Samokhina: Come on, say, apples packaging - and to our network. No, replies to raw materials is not enough ", - says Alexander Rakshin, owner of the largest in Siberia grocery chain" Mary-Ra "(" Gardens Pridonya "do for her juices under private lable).

The first priority, which is now puts Andrei Samokhin, - for the next two-three yearscompletely close the company's needs for apples and cherries. Why in the previous 15 years, he was unable to do so? Gardening - a game vdolguyu, even with high risks.

To grow from seed seedling, and then full of fruit-bearing apple tree, it takes seven to eight years. Given that young trees do not die - as, for example, was in 2005, when the temperature reached minus 46 degrees in winter. With the cherry is another story. Current volumes yields the company can still afford to collect manually, but twice - no longer exists. "We had just the cherry on the need 2,000. And the entire economy will be lost ", - the businessman said. For the collection of cherries, he is going to buy expensive appliances.

Due selhozaktivov on "Gardens Pridonya" once laid eyes one of the main competitors. As told Forbes former co-owner of "Wimm-Bill-Dann" David Yakobashvili, in 2007-2008 now Samokhina negotiated to sell the business. "They have a strong fruit base - notes billionaire. - But we did not agree. " Own gardens for Samokhina - barelyIt is not the most important advertising argument. Packages "Gardens Pridonya" QR-code placed. If you scan the code on your mobile phone or tablet and follow the link to the relevant website, you can see where and in what conditions ripe apples, the juice of which you hold in your hands.

The naturalness of an argument

Until 2006, the "Gardens Pridonya" was a major producer, but not very prominent in the federal scale. The company's sales did not exceed 30 million liters per year, while in the key, Moscow, its products present market since 2001. "Wimm-Bill-Dann" while juices produced 14 times more, "Lebedyansky" - 31 times more. But factory capacity (Tetra Pak became a permanent partner of the "Gardens Pridonya" to expand production) Samokhin allowed to compete with the leaders. Orchards Apples new varieties began to give the first commercial crops. And then Volgograd businessman started a re-branding and advertising campaign.

Brand is really needed "in a fresh stream", says Alexey Andreev, CEO of branding agency Depot WPF, received Zaks from the "Gardens Pridonya". Andreyev and his colleagues had to make juice in the old-fashioned provincial pack nationwide brand. After nearly a year of "Gardens Pridonya" changed beyond recognition: blue-green packaging has become a colorful, picture of fruit despite the informal market standard were placed in the upper part of the package. The slogan "Quality first hand" pointed out the main difference between the brand from its competitors. "Manufacturers juices offers consumers everything: stylish, taste, individuality, enjoyment, - says Alexei Andreev. - About naturalness somehow kept quiet because otherwise the question arose: how can a natural juice from the manufacturer without its own resource base "?. From 2006 to 2008, sales of "Gardens Pridonya" grew more than four times - up to 107 million liters, the proceeds - more than doubled, to 3.3 billion rubles.

Depot WPF has created brands for the company for the mass and premium price segments - "My" and "Golden Russia". Under the baby food, for which Samohin undertaken in 2005, it was invented by a separate brand — "Spelenok" (juice, puree, and then cereal porridge).

"He somehow with designer blissfully arguing what should be the expression of a muzzle of a hedgehog in children's food box, - says one of Samokhina partners. - Andrey Pavlovich - the absolute monarch. For any, even the smallest matter. For example, in the design of the Cossack stripes wrong color. " Samokhin admits: "I am the sole manager. But I consider myself exclusively operating officer. Just so happened that I was the operational director, who has a share. "

indiscreet offers

Successful business-business executives will sooner or later go into politics. Rumor has it that the owner of the "Gardens Pridonya" in 2000 wanted to participate in the next elections of the governor of Volgograd, but for some reason abandoned the idea, supported Maksyuta. Samokhin himself the question whether it is true, at first replied curtly, "So what?", And then began to assure, that was not going anywhere, "The work I do is much more important and useful than any politician."

According to a former seniorof officials of the Volgograd region, Samokhin has recently become apolitical. Three years ago, juice tycoon offered to run for the State Duma on party lists and at the same time support the regional branch of "United Russia". Price support was three million. "Oh well. We should support, support "- if said Samokhin. His companion seemed that the businessman is not quite correctly understood the sentence: "Andrei Pavlovich, three million dollars." After these words Samohin literally bounced on the ground, in bewilderment saying: "Three million dollars? Yes, I can for the money ... "The businessman was considered advisor to the Chairman of the Volgograd Regional Duma of the 4th convocation (2009-2014), but, as he says himself," officially came out of the case. " Volgograd policy nevertheless insist that Samokhin still wanted to go into politics, and because not so long ago, preparing the business for sale, but "did not work out."

According to Forbes source in the field of consulting, around 2010, one of the audit firms "Big Four" conducted due diligence «Gardens demersalI ", thus helping to prepare them for sale. In the autumn of the same year, Coca-Cola announced "Nidan" purchase. An employee of one of the American companies working on the Russian juice market, said that Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo considered option for themselves purchase "Pridonya Gardens." Samokhin questions about the possible sale repress: "Our company is always working auditors. Some come, some go, others want to make the investment, the fourth - ready to send suggestions from customers that we are ready to buy. Proposals received over the years. But we do it quite interesting. In our market, we still have to once every three or four added here. "

The share of "Gardens Pridonya", according to Euromonitor, accounts for 9% of the juice market. At PepsiCo ( «Lebedyansky" and "Wimm-Bill-Dann") - 36%. Grow in three or four times - it's just up to 30-35%. Will there be enough strength to compete? With revenues in 2013, 9.4 billion rubles "Gardens Pridonya" received 358 million rubles of net profit. Today, the company consistently on the current account more money than the amount of current debts. And with suppliersMochin speaks with a strong position.

"He is a very tough negotiator, - confessed one of them. - For the money, according to press prices with incredible stubbornness. One refused to pay the bill for several thousand dollars - it is against the background of millions of contracts: "Your technicians screwed up, I will not pay." We cursed him on the phone for about an hour, my ear was red. It was possible after all to convince and negotiate. But if you agree with Samokhin, here he is man of his word. "

Dear seedlings

A young man of twenty-five in a white robe, to look at yesterday's student, is a long time employee explains. To his right, the tape, on which "run" jars of baby puree of zucchini. He takes a sample of the first available - chief technologist "Gardens Pridonya" must personally monitor the quality.

Chief Technologist - is the eldest son of Ivan Samokhin. After graduating from the Bachelor in Volgograd, he went to England for a year to study at the master's degree in "finance and business management." After he returned to his native company, where he was entrusted with the project forStart of production of juices and puree in a glass container. The younger son is studying at university, but earns in his spare time in the "Gardens Pridonya". Vice president of strategic development of the company - his wife Irina Samokhin. "Not because the family business - the businessman insists. - It is because they like to work here and they can do it. Sons started as all - in the gardens of the cherry harvest. You think nothing complicated? four or five buckets Try to pick up for the day. "

As says Samokhin Sr., the question of succession is not necessary, but they will not necessarily be one of the children: in this post should be a person capable of "carrying the burden." That is not to harm and multiply. Meanwhile, Andrei Samokhin from morning to afternoon resolve issues at the plant and in the gardens, and then sent to the head office in Volgograd. And so every day.

"Last year I went to the factory" Pridonya Gardens "- says the owner of" Mary-Ra "Alexander Rakshin. - Near some of the village are groomed. And in the village Samokhina all clean, tidy, as it should be in a normal country.And the most advanced production now. " Last innovation juice magnate - unmanned truck loaders. In winter 2013, he completed the automation of production lines. As a result, two years managed to reduce 200 jobs. More precisely, says Samokhin, abandon the "unqualified persons" services.

On recruitment forums complain: "Samokhin Moscow office makes working from eight in the morning, as the factory"; "Office workers are required to collect the apples, as if I was hired to do," "We are forced to plant trees." The businessman does not deny the facts, but it is against the guilty formulations. "We do not force it, we have such a ritual, - he explains. - If people are coming to the "Gardens Pridonya" will not do to lay the gardens, so they do not care where to work: we have, in the ball-bearing plant or a tobacco factory. And I - no, this is not my whim, it is a position of principle "Pridonya Gardens." According Samokhina, any employee - in their company around 3000 - has to know where to start, the company and its zarplathat.

The rate for office workers - to plant 100-150 trees. Normally, it takes 10-12 days. Businessman believes that planting trees - a wonderful occupation. In addition, at the time of planting for each employee retained salary for positions and specialties. "Believe me, for us it is very expensive seedlings - worrying, says Samokhin. - In all senses".