Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in Kazakhstan, in a small city called Uralsk. My parents were local entrepreneurs and tried very hard to give me and my sister the best possible education. When I was just halfway through school, I already knew that I would go to Moscow and apply to one of the best universities in Russia. At the dinner table, my parents would often discuss the questions, problems, and challenges that entrepreneurs faced. That’s when I think I caught the entrepreneurship bug and embraced the freedom it offered. Even though I didn’t think about it at the time, inside I always wanted to be an innovator and create new processes and products to change the world.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
Before 2016, I managed supply chains for companies like Danone, Sony, and Dyson. One day, my partner Anna Kachur et s and I had the idea to create a logistics startup. This later became GroozGo, an online cargo transport service. The project was a finalist for Online Service of the Year at the 2018 Trucks and Roads National Prize. In 2, our profits increased by 750%, we brought on more than 7,000 clients and raised more than $2 million. In 2019, we sold GroozGo to a strategic investor. I walked down a long path of building and scaling a startup. And thanks to this experience, I am able to expertly meet the challenges presented by startups and help them to scale up in HR&ED-tech.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
For beginners: Test your brilliant business idea with your potential customers as soon as possible. The sooner you realize that nobody needs one brilliant idea, the faster you’ll start testing a new one. This will help you find the right idea, instead of just a brilliant one. For more experienced entrepreneurs: Remember that the most valuable thing in a startup is your share of the business. But don’t skimp on options for partners that complement your skills and cover your weak areas. With time, it’s extremely important that all of your business aspects are managed by the strongest people possible. This will let you scale your company globally, and not fail miserably instead.