Billionaire Samvel Karapetyan: "Our margin is sacred"

President of Tashir group of companies and one of the leaders of the rankingof the Russian real estate kings talks about the crisis, new projects and successors.
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Samvel Karapetyan was the first time in the Forbes list in 2010 with $ 750 million (№91). Since then, the developer was able to multiply to increase the volume of business, in 2014, Forbes estimated the state of businessman already at $ 4.3 billion (№26). What is the secret of success Karapetyan? In short: do not borrow from banks, guided not by the volume of business, and on the margin and make all the decisions alone.

"We are developing primarily from profit"

Samvel Karapetyan: the year will be difficult, but the pros definitely in crisis is: leave competitors, and who is, the stronger it becomes. We have always taken the crisis as a time for new opportunities, we will stay, and all will be well with us.

After the crisis of 2008, several large developers have left the market. They made some systemic miscalculation?

First - this lending, the second - poor management, where decisions are given to the managers. In the "Tashir" everything is different. Of course, to borrow a very nice - it's the easiest money, but that's hard to return them. We have in the company, too, there are people who want to indulge in it.I strictly prevent them, because I understand how to return the money with interest. So we used one approach we are developing in the first place of the profits. If not enough, we can take the credit, but it is quite a small proportion, absolutely no effect on the project (up to 10% of its value). My principle is: no more than a fifth of our facilities can be lent. Today, of the 30 commercial real estate loan commitments have only five. We have a pretty comfortable dollar loan - $ 700 million - one of the Russian banks. In addition, there is always a bag - free money to not take, if need be. That is why we have no one ever dependent and not dependent, to anyone not to report, we do not ask for the restructuring and work calmly and confidently. Risks are minimal, in the worst case we get less profit. This business approach we had in 2008, I am sure that this is true today.

Do you think that the situation will repeat 2008?

Yes, the situation is repeated in 2008. The only difference is that the crisis is onthat he was a local, and therefore, in my opinion, will be shorter.

But now Russia has come under sanctions.

I firmly believe that the sanctions can not prevent the development of Russia. And we have to rely primarily on themselves. All these restrictions are temporary thing, they are introduced, and then overturned. I think you need less than succumb to panic and fuss, and to work harder. Everyone must do their job. We do not feel themselves to sanctions.

But you do not live in a vacuum: the oil is getting cheaper, the ruble weakened ...

With this it is necessary to reconcile and reorganize under the current economic situation: to be more vigilant and to continue to move forward. Devaluation of the ruble, we have already experienced several times. Well, it devalued the ruble. So what?

Like what? The calculations because in rubles.

It's okay, I do not see here. There is a temporary panic, but it will pass. Then begin inflation, which is also a new impetus to the business, by the way.

Do you have some sort of plan "B" in case the crisis drags on and affect you?

Of course, we are building a different forecasts and understand what will happen to us, is,Whether the dollar will cost, for example, $ 100, and are ready for such a situation. In this case, we will make more money in rubles and in dollars - less.

Your tenants have asked to lower interest rates?

Yes. In some cases, make concessions, in some - not. Everyone should be reformatted. If we understand that the crisis will drag on for years, we will readjust to a different mode, to cut rates.

In what cases are going to make concessions?

In the "Tashir" portfolio today about 30 shopping centers. The most successful (about 20) rates are not declining. In such superuspeshnyh centers tenants can afford to pay, and at the rate of 100 rubles per dollar. As for the rest, the negotiations. For example, rates tied to different currency exchange rates - from 40 to 50 rubles. But, in my personal observation, half of those who ask for lower interest rates, objectively in need. In other cases, this is an ordinary blackmail.

How do you understand it or not blackmail?

It is easy to understand the company's revenue. The "Tashir" in virtually every segment of the EU tradebe their stores, so we are very aware of what one can be revenue and profit. This information helps us in the negotiations on the rates.

Someone already waives areas?

Because no one has left the crisis, while there are hard negotiations on the rates. There is a natural rotation of tenants: some shops close, others open. It always has been, even on the rise.

Who are your tenants are now the most vulnerable?

This is primarily a fashion retail. They account for about 80% of the revenue of the average shopping mall. The first time in all the crises it is this segment receives the first blow, as in a crisis people spend less on clothes. But at the same time I would like to note that the proceeds of a number of companies in this segment falling from the beginning of the year, mainly in the Russian brands, while international - on the contrary. After clothing companies problems begin, as a rule, electronics retailers.

"For us, the main business indicator does not turn, and profitability»

Are you interested in the competition projects that can bea difficult situation?

Of course, we very carefully study the market. Who can not allow any misfires, it is necessary to score goals. If we talk about our projects, then at the moment we are not considering hotels and offices segment as a key. On the whole, our interests have not changed: commercial property with a good location. We intend to continue to develop in the area of ​​housing and business class business plus.

Why did not deal with economy-class housing, because these apartments are selling better?

economy-class housing is sold without the margin, and in the segment of business and business plus a margin is quite high. In addition, economy-class housing in the first place is suffering from the crisis. We have a different approach: Let the volume will be smaller, but it will profit. For us, the main indicator of business performance is not turnover and profitability. Our margins - is sacred.

Why are you all interested in housing?

We never away from him and did not refuse. Currently we have about 500 000 sq. m of residential property, we will continue to increase its share in this segment. Firstly, we have an investmenttional means that to the extent implemented in the commercial real estate is simply impossible. Secondly, we need a rapid cash turnover, and it can only provide housing.

You are not afraid of the economic downturn? Will you adjust the plans for housing development or still plan to invest $ 1.5 billion in construction in Skolkovo?

No, not scared. No projects we will not freeze, even, by contrast, are going to increase the pace. The crisis can be built cheaper, and we want to exploit the situation and to start more projects. In Skolkovo plans have changed a bit. We planned to build about 700 000 sq. m, but only got GPZU 400 000 sq. m (., and even underground 200 000-300 000 square meters), so the investment will be less than half - some $ 700-800 million.

In addition, we have started an interesting project for the construction of luxury housing in the area of ​​1.7 hectares on Krasnopresnenskaya embankment in Moscow, which is owned by Mosenergo. We plan to invest $ 250 million. There will be built 45 thousand square meters. m and 15 000 sq. m renovated (on the site is the object of cultural heritage - Eektrostantsiya "Tryokhgornaya manufactory" factory, which will be saved. - Forbes). I think that all will be able to build in two years.

What other projects you want to start in a crisis?

Today we need a short project. In terms of big problems begin, loans again, that serves five or 10 years, and eventually the entire margin banks receive. We do not undertake the project if you need to build more than three years, even though many of these buildings we did not have until now.

What projects in other sectors of interest to you?

We got a "green corridor" for the supply of goods from China. This is a very large project that we have worked for three years. Our partners - Chinese state-owned corporation. Now comes the first experiment. We will increase the volume of March.

What will you carry?

All that is possible. We also have a retail format of "Our House". On this basis, we will develop a Chinese project for the whole of Russia. Plus for other importers will bring, we will provide logistics and electronic customs clearance, which provides efficiency and eliminates the gray schemes. This is truefor the country, because today the state policy aimed at the elimination of gray schemes in the business, and we are in this respect very much to the point in time were.

As you take investment decisions with someone advice?

Absolutely on all draft decisions I accept myself, alone. It is not even discussed with anyone! I can listen to the views when I present the project, but the decision to accept only me.

Errors were?

Until now it was unmistakably (smiles). I do not know how things will be. I quickly orient. I looked and realized at once: our or our own, should or should not, for a long time, do not spend the negotiations. Therefore, we do not have partners. Dot individual projects may be, but within the group has never been and do not plan to. Spending many months on the agreement with the partner I am not inclined, it slows down the process. In my approach, all business processes within the group are held as quickly as possible and, most importantly, effective: decided, and begin to develop the project. This approach helped to survive in 2008, even out of the crisis with a plus. I am sure, and now work.

You100% immersed in the affairs of the company?

I totally immersed in all directions. We have full manual control.

How stable is the company, if it depends, in fact, from one person?

This can be judged from the fact that "Tashir" has turned into a vast multidisciplinary team and continues to evolve and develop new markets. Sole control in some periods is very important, especially in times of crisis. When all goes well, you can even allow top managers to make decisions.

"If you do not steal, then no one will not put in jail"

State - one of the major building owners.

What is the share of public procurement in your revenues?

Approximately 30% if you count the "Gazprom". Of course, we plan to increase it. Over the years we have built a good reputation.

There are cases where contractors building public facilities found themselves in prison. Is not it dangerous to work with the state?

Let's see who is in prison. People take the state advances, spend, most Sunit for some internal needs, and then can not fulfill the state order. We do this simply can not be that we always fulfill all of its obligations not only to the state, but even before the little businessman. You can not steal from the state. If you do not steal, then no one will not sit down in the jail.

How to build business relationships with the government at the federal and at the municipal level?

You know, much to try to build this relationship is also not necessary. You should mind his own business, and then you will demand. If your company's reputation as a reliable partner, then they will turn to you. Judge for yourself if the officials have the opportunity to choose between reliable and unreliable people understand who they will choose. We must keep our word and fulfill the promises. Yet it is important not to load the people with unnecessary requests. That's all.

That is important here is not love, someone to someone with someone acquainted with the pen led, presented ... Personal Communications, likes, dislikes not play a role?

It makes no sense to deny that the personal sympathy play a role. It is clear that if you do not ponravishsya man, he will not have to do with you. Sometimes three words quite wrong to say the question is closed.

A wrong word - it is what?

Those that you pronounce, imagining their excessive importance.

We need to be humble?

Yes, not only modest, but also a reliable person.

You've worked with the Moscow authorities when Yuri Luzhkov, and is currently working with the City of Sergei Sobyanin. What are the fundamental differences in the system of relations with investors?

Yes, I worked with the mayor's office then and now. The important thing is that now there were rules. City authorities are very clearly define what can investors, and in this you build relationships. The current City Hall has identified a pool of investors who are able to invest and develop the city's economy.

But when Luzhkov was a certain pool of investors. What is the difference, in the criteria?

Then there was a pool of investors, and were "conductors" of investors. Previously, it was not important who you are, if you've got access to the "tube", that no one cared that you mOrzesze, and that - no.

Do you have some "Guides" in the business?

No lobbyists I have never been and never will be. We always dotted solved the problems. If you want to solve the problem, solve it yourself. With anyone. If we talk about Moscow, now the "Guides" are absent, their on the field there. Municipality operates according to clear rules.

You can formulate these rules?

Terms of life of the group "Tashir"

Rules lot, but first and foremost is reliability, solvency, it is extremely important the timing of projects. If you set a period of 2-3 years to invest and build a facility and you This is done efficiently and on time, then you are a reliable partner for the city. And then, and the city will help you.

How does the mechanism gradozemelnoy Commission? You can influence her decision?

No, absolutely. This is what I call "right to build a system." If the application for the project is framed properly, then it will be considered. If yes all permits are obtained automatically.

To successfully etc.dstavit project, you need to understand what he wants City Hall. How do you catch?

I analyzed. We are constantly evaluating what could be promising for the city at any given time, and try to rebuild in this direction.

You will learn the wishes of the mayor's office not for personal conversations with the officials?

Naturally, there is an element of personal contact and I, and all the other developers, but it also can not be overestimated. The mayor has investkomitet where constantly discussed interesting initiatives. And we are present in this dialogue, but it is in any case does not mean that you can do whatever you want. There are strict rules of the game.

"My kids like me in all things"

You do not hide that "Tashir" - Armenian company. How cohesive Armenian diaspora in Russia, you help each other?

We help each other and support when necessary, but the main thing - never interfere. I am proud that I am Armenian, proud of his family, his children and business, who has created. We are a small, but very proud and wise nation. Never anyone not usTupa, on the contrary, always tried and try to survive, while maintaining their own identity and uniqueness. Times have certainly changed, we are not talking about direct physical preservation, but the situation may be different. Our solidarity allows for a lot both in business and life. Everything is built on trust, so we have no one ever cheated, and so are we. No ships never did. Businessmen, who over the years have survived, they understand how important word in business.

Others simply did not survive.

Your company entirely on manual control. This busy schedule. Do not plan to transfer the management of managers and relax?

Frankly, yet. Although I think that any person once this comes, and mentally I'm ready for it. I still interested in doing business. Real Estate - the most dynamic areas, because to constantly create something new, real, palpable, that may be a long time for people. I get great pleasure from the process.

There are people to whom you could refer cases?

Yes, and they are starting to councilsive business. I have two sons, 16 and 22 years old, and daughter, who is 22 years old. The younger son is studying at the institute, and the senior management is responsible for the commercial real estate company. Daughter gradually enters the family business. For me, it was taken for granted that my children will go into business. This they knew, and most importantly, it wanted. In another way, it could not be, none of them even in the abstract did not represent their future elsewhere. They initially understand what will be doing.

You brought them in severity?

I think I brought them correctly, with the appropriate environment was created childhood. Not spoiled. Furthermore, there is a factor genes. My kids like me around. I never liked the night life, and work, on the contrary, I was inspired. I look at them now - they are the same.

And how you were brought up from what you family?

Father of all life to the education of children. He was a teacher and school principal positions for more than 50 years he taught mathematics, Mom taught English. Intelligent and very hard-working family, I much they borrowed. The parents created for me a special mediay, from a young age made it clear that the main thing in life - is to be a decent man, and keep his word.

You are the sole owner of the group or your children already receive shares in the business?

I am the only owner of the group with my children. We have a family business.

But legally this is executed? There are entries in the registry?

They had just entered the arena, so it will soon be the record.

Children have something happen?

I would say that they have already successfully obtained a lot. The first son of the project - shopping center in Mytishchi (200 000 sq m, an investment of $ 200 million.). It is solely his complete project from the moment of the design and purchase of land to operational management. So let's see how he implements. Daughter media business operates and the direction in the entertainment industry. Under her leadership, a network of cinemas "Cinema Star" in recent years has become a leader of film distribution in Russia. A cinema, in turn, provide more traffic to our shopping centers.

At what point are you feelingand a rich man?

This was not the time. I do not have a yacht or rare paintings. Of course, I like luxury, but I never get hung up on it and do not make of it a cult. It's simple: I like the aircraft - bought. But in order to say that I have it. The main thing in another, and it fills me more - I have been doing their job. For me, more important not to fall anywhere, not to stand still and slowly but surely moving forward.

You have errors in business? There are solutions that you already having the experience would change?

Revelation was not error. If you say that I would have adjusted, it would have not been in contact with the hotel business. Profitability in this segment are either very small, or it is not. We belong to a network of hotels "Moscow City". This modern upscale hotel, but they do not bring a profit, for which it would be necessary to invest serious money. I was expecting more results, when we started working in this direction. Lose hotels we have, but generally low profitability.

You do not want to get rid of these assets?

Sales will not, for me, hotel projects - a project for the soul. In many regions of Russia, our hotels often are hardly the only ones on the level of service and star, their discovery became actively develop tourism - both domestic and international. For us it is important.