Stubborn brewer: how the owner of Ochakovo is struggling with major corporations

Ochakovo Brewery plant is the last large enterprise in Russia not under the control of transnational corporations. RBC learns from its director Alexey Kochetov, how he manages to maintain its independence.
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When Alex came to Kochetov Ochakovo Brewery plant, he was 46 years old. 72 Who is he, and he is still personally runs the company "Ochakovo".

President of "Ochakovo" and his family retained control of the company in the market, almost entirely bought up by multinational corporations. "The commander of the last bastion" - embossed silver lettering on the cover of the book, released by the 70th anniversary of Kochetova. But "Ochakovo" has lost the top position in the markets of beer and soft drinks, and now risk losing the lead in the production of kvass. What counts its "commander"?

"Ochakovtsev - abnormal people"

"When the consolidation of the beer market, there were many large factories. But Alexey coped, he defended one big company, "- says CEO" Syktyvkarpiva "Irina May.

"The people uneasy Ochakovtsev - abnormal people", - says Alexei Kochetov. We talk in his office at the head, the Moscow plant "Ochakovo". On the Artle Kochetova not have a computer, in a stack of business newspapers neatly and folders with documents in the flip diary written plan for the day. When you need to see some sort of indicator of the "Ochakovo", the proceeds of which in 2014 exceeded 17 billion rubles., Kochetov wears glasses, select a folder and quickly finds the page and line. On the report fields - columns of numbers written by his hand.

"I do not feel like a master, not at all, - says Kochetov. - To sign papers as a director. I do not went out of that school, as it is called, red directors ". In the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, the largest beer companies in the world - Heineken, Carlsberg, Efes, AB InBev, SABMiller - bought Russian factories. "Ochakovo" was for them an attractive asset. The Heineken, for example, in 2005, was ready to pay for the "Ochakovo" $ 600 million, the newspaper "Kommersant". According to the Director of Prosperity Capital Management Alexei Krivoshapko, which in those years advised beer company could give $ 700-800 million for the "Ochakovo".

Alexei Kochetov, his daughter Inna (now vice-president of marketing) and son-Vyacheslav Merkulov (replacesl general director) then owned about 60% of the company, the rest - other top managers. Thus, in the mid-2000s-Kochetova Merkulov family for their share could fetch up to $ 480 million. Now the complete ownership structure of "Ochakovo" did not disclose, but control remains with the family.

I do not regret Kochetov that did not sell the company? "You find it hard to understand me, - he says. - As a person I do not need money. I do not run hither to restaurants. If I go to rest in Karlovy Vary. I have enough of my salary. "

"Ochakovo" and plastic

Kochetov differs from the majority of Russian entrepreneurs to start a business in the 1990s. Born in 1942 in the Ryazan region, in 1966 received a degree in mechanical engineering of the Moscow Technological Institute of Food Industry as "machinery and equipment for food production." After graduation he worked at the food enterprises, the Ministry of Food Industry of the USSR and the USSR Gosagroprom.

In November 1988, Kochetov became chief engineer launched shortly before the Moscow Olympics-80 Ochakovo pivobezalkogolnogo plant in a year - as its director. In 1993 the factory was privatized with shares gained about 900 employees of the enterprise, Kochetova family and other leaders later gathered himself large blocks.

"I would like to mention the leaders of Alexei A. combining socialist beginning with respect to the staff and modern management methods", - says ex-CEO of "Tomsk beer", the mayor of Tomsk Igor Klein. "We have an innate sense of Kochetova businessman, he really feels the business", - says Igor Barbashov, CEO of the company "Bravo Premium", a major producer of soft drinks.

Kochetov implemented many innovative solutions that recognize its competitors. In the mid-1990s, "Ochakovo" first in the Moscow region has launched the production of low-alcohol cocktails, recalls Barbashov: this segment in the late 1990s - early 2000s grew very quickly. In 2002, for example, when Euromonitor International started to analyze the market, it has grown in volume by 31%, to 11.7 million decaliters (dal), and the money - 47%, to 3.1 billion rubles.

Most maketingovyh luck "Ochakovo" is related to plastic bottles (PET). So, in the early 2000s, the company has been the undisputed market leader of low-alcoholic drinks: its share in this market was about 18% in 2003. Cheap cocktails of up to 9% quickly became popular among young people: in 2001, the newspaper "Kommersant", 2.25-liter bottle of gin and tonic from the "Ochakovo" was worth 11.95 rubles. (With an average salary of 3.2 thousand. Rub.).

But already in 2003 a competitor "Ochakovo" Happyland company released its "hits" - low-alcohol cocktail Jaguar with the addition of caffeine and taurine, popularly known as "the witch." It was he who for several years was the best-selling product in the category, says Barbashov, who was then CEO of Happyland. "Ochakovo" alkoenergetik own did not produce: "they are very harmful to health," explains Kochetov. "For Kochetova personal position is fundamental and in the conduct of business", - confirms Barbashov.

Even if personal position is bad for business ... Back in 2005 brought the alcoholic cocktails "Ochakovo" up to 20%profit, but gradually the company passed the position. Now, according to Nielsen Company, provided by market participants, the share of "Ochakovo" in this market amounts to 7.5-8.5%. The volume of the entire Russian segment of low-alcohol cocktails, according to Euromonitor International, in 2013 amounted to 17 million decaliters, and 14.7 billion rubles.

With the plastic and other related business Kochetova luck: in 1994 he was the first in Russia to launch a line for bottling beer in PET packaging. Over the next two years, "Ochakovo" set two more such lines, becoming a monopolist in this niche. In 1996, the volume of beer production - 9.2 million decaliters - Moscow combine "Ochakovo" was second only to St. Petersburg plant "Baltika" (17.4 million dal). "Those who came to Russia international companies initially did not guided by PET, they relied on the glass and aluminum cans," - recalls Barbashov who worked in the 1990s in the company - distributor "Ochakovo". Just seeing what volumes in large plastic bottles sells "Ochakovo", multinational companies began to put these lines and at home.

"So, I am alone & raquo;

And other companies in the market simply was not: by the mid-2000s all major Russian breweries were bought by large transnational corporations. "So, I'm alone," - said Kochetov in an interview with "Vedomosti" in 2005, after learning of the impending deal to sell "Red East" Turkish Efes.

Businessman many times publicly said that "Ochakovo" is not for sale, he promised in the privatization of the staff to keep it a Russian company, and keep his word. But the "walkers" from international companies in the early - mid-2000s Kochetov received and does not hide it. "All the different ways it tried to climb through contract manufacturing or through the purchase. He listened, he was wondering how much it costs the company - says Krivoshapko. - But, as I understand it, a serious desire to sell it has never been, especially since he did not have great credit and other businesses. "

Maybe, just do not agree on the price issue: in an interview with "Vedomosti" in 2005 Kochetov said that the fair price "Ochakovo" is business. At least $ 1.5 billion "The East is Red" in early 2006, Efes bought for $ 360 million, despite the fact that the share of this company in the beer market in the money accounted for about 3% in 2005, while the "Ochakovo" - 4.5 -5%. But the biggest deal in the Russian beer market was the purchase of Heineken group of companies "Ivan Taranov Breweries" (PIT) for more than $ 500 million.

Krivoshapko believes Kochetov assessed on the basis of business capacities, and potential buyers - from real production. In the mid-2000s, "Ochakovo", according to "Vedomosti", could produce up to 144 million decaliters of beer per year, but actually produced about 53 million in 2004 gave. From this amount, the price exceeded $ 700-800 million, a very significant amount Krivoshapko said: "In vain he had not sold, is now precisely the time lost."

"Ochakovo" is under attack

"Ochakovo" gradually taken aback positions in its main, the beer market. According to Euromonitor International, the share of "Ochakovo" with 5.6% in 2004 fell to 3.4% in 2013. Over the past ten years the company has reduced its production of beer almost doubled from 52.7 million made in 2004 to 27.8 million decaliters in 2014 (givens for 2014 th - RBC calculations based on the volume of production of the company for the nine months).

Sags and the market itself: after the 2008 crisis and the tightening of legislation he has lost about a third of the volume and continues to decline. The most painful for market participants began to restrictions on the sale and advertising of beer. Transnational companies, which accounted for 80% of the beer market, closing their factories.

"Ochakovo" and space

In 2013, around the world have launched 210 satellites, 19 of them were equipped with solar and batteries, which produced at the facilities belonging to the "Ochakovo". In 2000, the company became the controlling shareholder of the Krasnodar "Saturn" plant. Kochetov said that bought the company because a large stake in the plant belonged to a man with dual Russian-American citizenship, and he could not allow the defense enterprise has departed Americans.

There is another version of the "Kommersant" newspaper wrote in 2000 that "Ochakovo" bought "Saturn" because of the desire to make their production toof the territory. In exchange Kochetov promised to keep on "Saturn" profile production and kept his promise: "Saturn" works almost entirely on state procurement. According to the annual report, the company is profitable, all profit goes to modernization.

In 2010, the "Ochakovo" demonstratively left the main industry lobbying organization - the Union of Russian Brewers (PSA). "This association is no longer a Union of Russian Brewers - said" ochakovets "leaving the union. - Today, PSA is dominated by Western companies that profit is important, but not the tradition and quality of the drinks. "

The "Ochakovo" in the meantime a new problem: the State Duma considered a bill to restrict the sale of beer in PET packaging. This is a serious threat to the entire industry - in such a package, according to the Union of Russian Brewers, is available to half of the total beer volume in Russia. For the "Ochakovo" such a restriction may be death: up to 85% of the total volume of beer company produces PET.

The company hopes to diversify: its president is convinced that it shouldproducing all kinds of beverages, except that of champagne. "Ochakovo" Who produces vodka, beer, wine, soft drinks, kvass, juices, mineral water - a total of 70 items. Beer in the revenue structure "Ochakovo", according to Kochetov, occupies 60%, 30% for kvass and 10% - for other drinks.

"We were sent in Russian"

"It is impossible to overestimate the contribution of" Ochakovo "in modern kvasovarenie in Russia: they have created this industry, the first to pour kvass in PET bottle, first brought its brand to the market", - lists the achievements Kochetova Dmitry Pinchuk, former general director of "Deca" and to recently, its main "leavened" competitor.

Kvass brand "Ochakovo" company began to produce in the late 1990s, initially did quite a bit - 68.9 thousand dal in 1997, then built up the volume.. In 2006, in an interview with SmartMoney magazine brew Kochetov is called "drink of the future." He generally likes bright epithets is now "a drink tomorrow" online "Ochakovo" is named vegetable pickle.

Then forecast Kochetyva - "you'll see in a few years everyone will only drink it" (brew) - largely justified. In 2006-2007, according to "Deca" estimate, kvass market in physical terms grew at 44-45% per year. And in 2010, when the hot summer of Moscow burning peat, the market set records: increased in volume by 56%, to 66 million decaliters, and in the money by 65%, to 17.6 billion rubles. If accounted for about 5% in 2005 to brew in the segment of sugary soft drinks, then in 2010 he took 13%, resulting in their calculations of analysts "Deca".

Multinational companies initially did not pay attention to this market. Marketers "Deck", which appeared on the market in 2005, chosen for their kvass name "Nicole", borrowed from the «Generation P" Victor Pelevin with his fictional advertising slogan "No to cola-Nicola". "It was the story of the Elephant and Moska, but we managed to provoke a giant, it played into our hands," - says Pinchuk. In 2007, the Association of Advertisers, which includes Coca-Cola and of PepsiCo, has achieved recognition rollers "Deca" incorrect, and a new brand of information received buzz onOtori and counting.

But transnationals already estimate "kvass" perspective. In the mid-2000s, according to market participants, they negotiated the purchase with "Decoy" and "Ochakovo". "And Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have come. Of course, we were sent in Russian, said: "Listen, we are Russian, not the Americans, we have restored the Russian traditions, Russian recipes" - says Kochetov. A spokesman for Coca-Cola in Russia, Vladimir Kravtsov said that the company several years ago looked all enterprises, where they could produce kvass, but did not conduct specific negotiations on their purchase.

But multinational companies long urged Kochetova. In 2008, a kvass "Mug and barrel" has launched Coca-Cola, in 2009, "Bread edge" brought to "Baltika" market (now 100% owned by Carlsberg), in 2010, "Russian gift" presented PepsiCo.

Launched "Ochakovo" in 2008, the campaign "What do you play?" Was built on the indication of how foreign companies belong to well-known brands in the Russian beer and kvass. In 2014, the "Ochakovo" again conducted a campaign for kvass. At the beginning of thisof the FAS fined "Ochakovo" is 100 thousand. rub. for violating the law on advertising.

All these years in the kvass market leader "Ochakovo", but the company is catching up with "Deca" in recent years. According to Nielsen, provided "Decoy", in May and August 2014, during the high season for kvass brand "Nikola" for the first time it surpassed brew "Ochakovo" in terms of sales in physical terms - 20.4% against 19.4% of the market ( cm. at the top of the graph).

"Ochakovo" did not provide RBC absolute figures on output. Alexey Kochetov only have that beer production volume in 2014-m rose by 4%, and kvass - 6%. Previously, the company reported that in the first nine months of 2014 sold 11.7 million made kvass. Based on this index assesses Pinchukov sale "Ochakovo" for the entire 2014 no more than 12.2 million dal. The successful 2010, for example, "Ochakovo" produced twice as much - nearly 25 million dal of kvass. "Deca", according to its own data, last year produced 14.1 million gave only under their own brands.

Whoever the champion of 2014, the market of kvass in the Russian industry infrequent example of drinks when Lydiecozy two Russian companies. But at the end of last season, "Russian gift» PepsiCo took third place in the market with a share of 11.6%.

"It's more the director of"

Strengths "Ochakovo" - a cheap mass product and PET packaging - turned his weakness. "In time, they went to the market growth of low-cost products, on monobrand - says Krivoshapko. - But the focus on one segment of the price, per package risky. We won by those who had a balanced portfolio. "

Kochetov tried to expand the portfolio of "Ochakovo". Thus, the company for several years pouring licensed Bavarian beer Kaltenberg. "We thought that the project will be successful. But the long name ... In general, the consumer does not pecked "- says Kochetov. In January of this year, the contract was terminated.

"Ochakovo" is trying to get in the premium segment, releasing in 2010 the premium brew "Veranda" - 70 rubles. 0.75 per liter, three times, four times more expensive than ordinary kvass. In the project without taking into account the promotion, according to the company, it had invested 1 billion rubles. "Veranda" - another episode of his struggle with the transnationals, "We XPERIENCEwere to do a natural product, similar in taste to the Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, but much more useful ", - explains Kochetov. However, the consumer and it is not pecked, issue of "Veranda" was suspended in the summer of 2012-th. Kochetov hopes to restart it - maybe next year.

In 2015, the "Ochakovo" launched Goodini juices line and "Joost". It is basically a mixture of juice, and it is in this niche Kochetov wants to win their share. But fighting in the juice market is even more difficult: here PepsiCo and Coca-Cola control about 60% of the market. However, Kochetov and does not expect that the juices will become a new goldmine for "Ochakovo", he is more concerned about something else.

"For us it is important that each area allows you to earn some penny - Kochetov said. - My ideology is today - to have enough money to pay taxes and because it is necessary to survive. Today, the goal - to keep working, great team. "

"If you absolutely honest, Kochetov never about the money did not think - says Krivoshapko. - Profit is - cheers. But the main thing that people were busy and all the salary received. He alsoolshe not employed, and the director. "