Head of OOO "Agys Stal" Arkadiy Volosovez admires construction boom in Turkmenistan
Company "Agys Stal" is one of the biggest Russian suppliers of pipe and rolled metal of ferrous metal and alloy including corrosion-resistant, heat-resistant and high-temperature alloy, instrument high-speed alloy, high alloy, titanic and carbon alloy and others. Company supplies metal production of leading Russian and Ukrainian metallurgical and pipe producing works, it has wide network of subsidiaries in Russia and CIS countries, company's chief managers are shareholders of Public Corporation "Borskiy Pipe Works" (Nizhniy Novgorod).
Our correspondent has a talk with the head of LLC "Agys Stal" Mr. Arkadiy Volosovez.
- Mr. Volosovez., first of all I'd like to ask you about priorities of the company you are at the head of, supplies geography and your business peculiarities.
Our company was founded in 1992. It was time when one could only dream of civilized market on the territory of former USSR. It was time when usual economic ties were broken and traders were habitually called speculators like in Soviet times. It was very difficult to work at that time. Those days we had chosen motto for our company - "Responsibility, obligation, competence". And we do our best to follow this motto till present time in spite the fact that our company has already reached leading position on the metallurgical market of Russia. By the way, our company is the only one among metallurgical enterprises who has a network of subsidiaries in CIS countries.
Principal direction of our activity is delivery of special iron, pipes and production of carbon steel, as well as of high, corrosion-resistant steel and alloy. A network of company subsidiaries covers main industrial regions of Russia and other countries. Present time rolled metal delivery is being carried out from storehouses in Moscow and subsidiaries located in districts near Moscow as well as in the cities of Saint-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Mineralnye Vody, Balakov, Ufa, Cheliabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Kazan and Minsk (Belarus), Kishinev (Moldavia), Aktob, Astana, Aktau, Atyrau, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Dnepropetrovskoe (Ukraine), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Dushanbe (Tajikistan). As you see, there is no Ashgabat in this list yet, but we hope that in the near future we'll be able to extend the geography of our presence thanks to such undoubtedly beautiful county as Turkmenistan.
- Do you already have an idea about Turkmen market and work conditions for foreign companies?
We have been looking attentively at Turkmenistan as a potential and very promising market for a long time. I was very much surprised by figures which have been lately announced in the world and Russian press. Certainly, I have heard a lot about the construction boom in Turkmenistan. However, I was really impressed with information that foreign companies have constructed about two hundred facilities totaling more than four billion dollars in the country in the first half of 2005. At present, there are not so many countries in the territory of former USSR capable of investing such great funds in construction. Taking into account the fact that Turkmenistan is far from being the most populated country in the CIS, the scales of construction is very much impressive.
Sixty three per cent of the total contract value of all objects realized with participation of foreign companies in Turkmenistan account for industrial facilities - that's extremely significant. Full absence of state foreign debt and great attention to social problems of the population also positively characterizes the situation in the country. For example, we, as pipe suppliers, were very much surprised by the fact that almost all inhabited settlements in Turkmenistan had been supplied with gas almost ten years ago...
Frankly speaking, we'd like to make our own contribution to the development of this splendid country on mutually beneficial conditions.
- Don't you think that during certain periods of time Russian companies underestimated Turkmen market?
It may be so, and there is some truth in your words, but I can't speak for my colleagues. It turned out that large Russian companies like "Gazprom" and "Itera" are the only large companies working in Turkmenistan. As for our company, we systematically developed a network of our subsidiaries in Russia and neighboring countries. Then some moment came and we fell thinking about prospects of cooperation with Turkmenistan. Additional stimulus to this was such fact as vast natural resources, geographical position of Turkmenistan at a crossroads of trade routes from Europe to Asia, from North to South. Swift development of oil and gas industry, power, textile and other industries, reconstruction and modernization of Turkmenbashy seaport, construction of new railway and automobile roads, direct way out to the markets of Iran and Afghanistan, peace-loving and neutral foreign policy - all these facts, in my opinion, say about attractiveness of the country for foreign partners and investors.
It should be noted that such an attractiveness is directly connected with the fact that so pragmatic and sagacious leader like Saparmurat Niyazov is at the head of the state almost twenty years. He provides stability in the society, carry on policy of neutrality in the world community and policy of "opened doors" in economics.
I hope that later on Russian companies will be able to compete adequately with companies from other countries.
- Company "Agys-Stal" is known in Moscow as production supplier for a number of prestige projects. Please, tell about this at greater length.
Actually, we took part and won some tenders to deliver pipes of corrosion-resistant steel for construction and reconstruction of such Moscow objects as the Kremlin, Temple of Christ the Savior, State Academic Bolshoy Theatre, State museum of fine arts named after Pushkin A.S., Trade complex "Ohotnyi Ryad" and others. Participation in these projects allowed to test our potentialities, to gain invaluable experience, to set ties with new producers. As a result, we have defined some directions of activity new to us. For example, our "non-risk business" have started from participation in the reconstruction of the reception-room of the President of Russia...
Today a list of our customers includes such Russia enterprises as Public Corporation "Izhorskie zavody", Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Admiralteyskie verfy", Public Corporation "Baltiyskyi zavod", Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Sevmash", Public Corporation "Leningrad metallicheskiy zavod", Public Corporation "Ufimskoe machine-building enterprise", Public Corporation "Science Production Enterprise "Saturn", State Unitary Enterprise "Mosgorteplo", Public Corporation "TVEL", Public Corporation "Gazprom", Public Corporation "Unified Power System of Russia", SU-1555, LenSpezSMU and some other enterprises of power complex, mechanical engineering and construction complex.
Company "Agys-Stal" has wide experience in supplying materials and equipment to the construction objects of power complex. We've delivered metal production to nuclear power stations in Iran - "Busher", China - "Tian An Van", India - "Kudan-Kule", Russia - Kalininskaya, Balakovskaya, Volgodonskaya, Kurskaya, Smolenskaya Nuclear Power Stations as well as North -Western and Kaliningradskaya Thermoelectric Plant-2.
By the way, Limited Liability Company "Agys-Stal" has got certificate of accounts among the first metal trading Russian companies, this certificate confirms that management system of the company is in compliance with GOST (State All-Union standard) ICO 90012001.
Our company is a member of Russia Association of metal traders, and its high rating is being regularly confirmed by investigations held by magazine "Metal supply and sale" in different nominations. Should one consult the association site www.ramst.ru, one can be sure that "Agys-Stal" is heading nomination "Suppliers of non-corrosive and special steel" for a period of last four years.
I can say that company is not aside from social problems. It acts as sponsor and supports sportsmen, veterans, servicemen and students, it also takes part in charity activity jointly with Patriarchy of Russian Orthodox Church.
- What is peculiarity of your company business on the territory of CIS countries?
Certainly, any sovereign country formed on the territory of former USSR has its own nuance. We realize that any of these countries is an independent state with its own historical features, and we are to take into account people's mentality, peculiarities of the society, we are to respect and keep strictly laws currently in force. So long as we are businessmen but not politicians, we are first of all interested in conditions for business development. In all complexity of market formation in these countries we managed to maintain our company's reputation at rather high level.
What way do we draw potential partners? When we open a subsidiary in one or another country, we do our best to create on the territory of the country regional storehouse in order that to deliver production not only in accordance with specific demands of consumers but to deliver efficiently any production available at the storehouse. So, the highest possible proximity to the user is being reached.
Besides, we take orders for production manufacture in accordance with customer's dimensions but in conformity with technical requirements, we also offer flexible payment terms. We take active part in tenders, recently, for example, our Kazakhstan subsidiary has won tender declared by Malaysia shipbuilding company "Keppel-Kazakhstan" for delivery of eight thousand tons of metal for shipyard construction in Aktau.
Thirteen years of business activity on the markets of Russia, Baltic and CIS countries have consolidated our reputation of obligatory and reliable partner. Today our task is to keep dynamics of development and consolidation on new markets including such perspective as Turkmen one.
Interviewed by Igor SOLOVIYEV
"TURKMENISTAN" magazine, № 6-7, September 2005