Andrey Zherebyatev, the General Director of TOO "Ensto Kazakhstan," a representation of the Finnish electrical engineering conglomerate ENSTO, completed the joint program "Executive MBA - Strategic Management and Leadership" at the Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University (GSOM SPbU) and Almaty Management University (ALMAU) at the beginning of 2023. In an interview, Andrey Zherebyatev shares the most vivid impressions and practical results of his education.
Andrey Vyacheslavovich, could you please tell us about your graduation project?
The topic of my graduation project was "Enhancing the Competitiveness of TOO 'Ensto Kazakhstan'." As the title suggests, it focused on improving the company's position in the Kazakhstan market, increasing sales, improving profitability, and achieving sustainable annual growth.
What role did the teachers from GSOM SPbU and ALMA-U play in preparing the project? How did they assist and what did you learn?
At the beginning of the education, my goals and plans were a chaotic mix of desires and challenging processes. The attempts to achieve business growth relied on the development of existing products. This work required 100% involvement and maximum expenditure of energy and resources but the results didn't always meet expectations.
During the learning process with the support of the teachers from GSOM SPbU and ALMA-U, my perception of the situation changed. Sometimes it felt like being thrown into open space, with the overwhelming amount of information and the condensed learning process making the ground disappear beneath my feet.
Which teachers left the greatest impression on you?
I will probably always remember my first module, "Managerial Economics in a Global Context" taught by Evgeny Gilenko from GSOM SPbU. I recall being amazed at how such complex processes and concepts like inflation, GDP, and global economic theories could be covered in just a few hours of classes, while still making the information easily understandable. The abundance of new information was complemented by the teachers' attitude, involvement, and their desire to share their knowledge as clearly as possible. Olga Verkhovskaya's remarkable intellectual skills, extensive and mathematically precise knowledge in economics and related fields, also astonished me.
What new solutions were found to enhance the company's competitiveness?
During the project work the surveys were conducted among the partners and consumers of our products, design and installation firms, and power engineers. All the data was compiled into EFAS/IFAS/SFAS analysis, "Competitive Polygon," "Five Forces Analysis" by Porter, ADL Matrix, and Ansoff Matrix. As a result of these studies, the conclusion was reached that the strategy of concentric diversification involving the expansion of the existing product range with new innovative products was necessary. It was assumed that these products would be related to the existing product line through common technological or associated processes.
Have the ideas found practical application?
Currently, the business growth ideas are successfully being implemented in the activities of TOO "Ensto Kazakhstan." We have developed a roadmap for expanding the presence of new products in the company's sales, increasing their recognition and demand, as well as marketing the new products. At the same time, we are maintaining our market share of existing equipment, which is already giving positive results.
What was the main outcome of your education?
The main outcome of my education was the acquired confidence in my abilities, the ability to analyze ongoing processes, and work with teams and partners. I understand that without attending the program I would not have gained new knowledge, skills, and, of course, friends — my respected fellow students.