Politics 2022-05-15T04:49:31+03:00
Ukrainian news
The richest Ukrainians told Forbes about their achievements, useful failures and hobbies

The richest Ukrainians told Forbes about their achievements, useful failures and hobbies

Forbes. Фото forbes.net.ua.
Forbes. Фото forbes.net.ua.

Forbes Ukraine magazine has published a list of the 100 richest Ukrainians. It includes business owners in industry, metallurgy, pharma industry, agro-industrial complex, energy and other sectors of the economy. The authors of the rating note that the list has been updated by 21% over the year.

“14 participants made it to the top 100 for the first time, seven returned after a break. Among absolute newcomers, the largest representation is in IT and energy,”  reads the rating preview.

One of the participants in the top ten, businessman Viktor Pinchuk ($2.5 billion), told the publication that his first job was as a night watchman and a cold metal cutter of the third qualification category at the Nyzhnyodniprovskyi Tube Rolling Plant.

“The decision that changed my life: in 1990 I was appointed head of the laboratory of foreign economic activity at the All-Union Scientific Research Tube Institute, but at heart I was already in private business. I remember the night I made my choice. The next morning I quit my job as the laboratory head and went to create a small engineering company Interpipe,” recalls Pinchuk.

His most successful failure, according to him, was the entrance exams to the medical institute, which he failed, and therefore the next day he took the documents to the Dnipro Metallurgical Institute for the specialty “tube-rolling production”.

Businessman and financier Serhiy Tihipko ($730 million), who is in the top twenty of the rating, calls the event of the year the receipt of 1 billion UAH of profit in 2020 for two by UniversalBank and his TAScombank, since the monobank mobile app took Universal to the second place after Privatbank in terms of the number of retail customers.

The founder of the IT company GitLab Dmytro Zaporozhets ($450 million), who is in the top thirty, said that one of his successful decisions was the transfer of business management to a partner from Holland, Sid Sijbrandij.

“A couple of years ago, I decided that I didn’t want to be a mediocre manager and for the time being I would remain a good programmer,” says Zaporozhets.

The owner of the Darnitsa pharmaceutical company and philanthropist Glib Zagoriy ($300 million), who ranks 31st in the top 100 richest Ukrainians, said that he gained his first entrepreneurial experience selling vacuum cleaners through direct sales. The most useful failure was the sobering experience of the fall and return of the company's leadership in the pharmaceutical market, without which Darnitsa, according to him, “would have remained a smug dinosaur.”

”Event of the year – I have stopped scattering over many projects and focused on the pharmaceuticals industry. I have seen the result very quickly,”  says Zagoriy.

He also admitted to being fond of kundalini yoga.

“What you wake up with in the morning is a goal. What prevents you from falling asleep in the evening is a problem. Kundalini yoga, which I have been doing since March 2020, helped me understand this. I have become much more tolerant and calmer. I have learned to listen and hear the speaker. I live here and now. I am happy and I feel this happiness,”  added Zagoriy.

Investor Boris Lozhkin ($220 million) recalls that he received his first wage at the age of 16 – a fee for a publication in the Kharkiv newspaper Leninska Zmina. In addition, the future investor rented vinyl records, copied music from them onto tapes, and sold them.

“Most useful failure: in the 1990s, we bought a small-scale batch of Israeli-made alcohol with a partner. We hoped for a quick and profitable return of the invested money, but the goods did not sell as expected. Lesson:  Don’t get involved with something you don’t understand,”  says Lozhkin.

The CEO of the Creatio group of companies Kateryna Kostereva ($190 million), who ranks 56th in the top 100 richest Ukrainians, said that for her the event of the year was the attraction of $68 million into the development of Creatio.

“Most useful failure: we have been working in the local market for 12 years and have avoided the global markets. From the point of view of strategy, this was my biggest failure,”  says Kostereva.

Vyacheslav Klimov, co-founder of Nova Poshta ($155 million), who is in the top seventy of the rating, said that the event of the year for him was the purchase of the iPOST platform, which connects couriers and senders.

‘Why is it so important to keep your finger on the pulse of your business? Because of the crisis. Because incomes are falling and will continue to fall, while expenses are rising. And the task of every business now is to survive,” says Klimov

Tariel Vasadze, President of the Ukrainian Automobile Corporation JSC ($135 million – 88th place in the rating) admitted that the most useful failure for him was the experience in distributing Mercedes-Benz to Ukraine in the early 1990s: “It was a utopian project in our ruined country.”

“An act / decision that have changed my life: to enter the Kyiv Automobile and Highway Institute, leaving Georgia because of my love for vehicles and the automobile industry, and also because of my love for Dynamo (Kyiv),” Vasadze said.

The president of Obolon JSC, Oleksandr Slobodian ($125 million), closes the top hundred of the richest Ukrainians. The event of the year for him was that the company became an official partner of the Ukrainian Professional Cybersport Association.

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