Alexander Monastyirev started his business when he was an ordinal student. He had neither rich relatives, nor bank loans, so he had to start his business from the ground up. Now he is the successful chief of the holding group, consisted of the several different companies. More than three hundred employees embody his ideas, feeling their own importance and belonging to the common goals. His motto is starting a new business, first of all try to change other people’s lives for better ones.
ALEXANDER, YOU ARE A CREATOR AND AN OWNER OF “ALEX GROUP” HOLDING COMPANY. TODAY IT IS SUCCESSFUL ENTERPRISE, BUT IT DID STARTED WITH A HALF-BAKED IDEA WITHOUT ANY FINANCIAL SUPPORT. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN SUCH SUCCESS?
– Initially I don’t think about becoming richer, but about giving the society what it needs. Based on this idea I’m trying to create an enterprise, which in turn I’m trying to make effective and profitable. The second rule is that you shouldn’t be keen to make as much as possible out of it, let the profit be minimal, but stable for years.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY?
– Because I graduated from medical university and my specialization is a doctor. And before that based on regional competition results I’d been enrolled to the higher form of the famous N.N. Dubinin’s boarding school. Nikolay Nikolayevich was an innovator and a role model of a leader, who managed to create a good educational system within the frame of his school. Some of his ideas later were published and they still work.
He was a unique person. He used to talk to us as to adults. He used to share his thoughts on politics, on various significant things in life, and his physics was given in the way that everybody used to understand it and love it. So I got good basic mathematical education, and then higher medical one. One helped me to understand economical process, the other one helped to understand the pharmaceutical industry. If you remember in those times, in the 90-s, everything used to be collapsing. Products were given only by special cards, and shelves in the chemists used to be empty. If I’d been closer to food industry at those times, I might’ve started that business. Since I was a doctor, the choice was destined. It’s not right if people die just because there is no medicine at hospitals and drug stores. That is how I was reasoning, that was my major cause when I started out. Basically, it can be said that I’ve succeeded in this mission, because regional citizens have a great variety of medicine. Now there are a lot of drug stores with a huge range of products, and it became real only thank to people like me from different cities, who took care of that problem in time.
TO KNOW WHAT TO DO AND WHY IS ONLY HALF OF SUCCESS. IT’S ALSO VITAL TO KNOW HOW.
I am a perfectionist. I realize that nothing is perfect, but one must be keen to it! I’ve been doing this business for 18 years now, and all these years I’ve been trying to make an optimal and effectively organized system of enterprise close to be perfect. As example, “ALEX FARM” chemist is successfully completed project. Here according to your request necessary medicine by minimal price will be found. There is a unique discount system up to 20%, which has been duly appreciated by 30 thousand people. Meanwhile the whole regional pharmaceutical market has a lack of qualified personnel, we have the best specialists, the most successful and considerate staff. They are pleased with the work conditions, and our customers are satisfied with the prices and service quality. In addition to that the business is profitable. Chemist first of all is a commercial venture, however, it’s essential for me to have it helpful to the society. As all of my projects.
TENDENCY TO PERFECTION.
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLY REAL THAT YOU ARE THE HEAD OF FEDERATION OF TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETICS?
– Federations are public organizations, what means that leaders are people who work for an idea without compensation, so it’s not easy to find such volunteers. Decision to become the head of the federation wasn’t easy. To be honest, I realized that it would be difficult to find time, which I have a lack of. But then I asked myself, “If I don’t help them now, then who will and when?” I answered myself truly. When I was young I used to engage in athletics, afterwards I used to support young athletes with all I could. Unfortunately, the reality is that simple charity is by no means all what is necessary for the Russian sport development. More or less developing kinds of sport are those, whose federations work effectively, invest, and in addition, solve various organizational issues. My major target is to establish a program of athletics development in Primorye. It took me about six month of intensive exposure into that field to understand that the whole system of sport development in our country is organized not effectively to put it nicely. For example, there is a great government program with clearly defined goals, which we want to achieve in that area. These are massive involvement and high performance of international level. Goals are honorable and clear, but if we want to reach them, we have to change the whole system of cooperation of public federations and governmental authorities radically. Unfortunately, today we still can meet such public persons, who instead of supporting sport, in order to save budget find the ways to refuse the competitions financing, visits, say nothing of providing with sport equipment, uniforms and so on. For example, sportsmen’s hotel accommodation is 550 RUB per day. Which comfort level do you think one might get for such sum of money? Besides that in Moscow such hotels are situated in two-three hour’s drive from the stadium. Nonetheless, we expect this sportsman to perform well. And food allowance is 300 RUB per day. It’s up to you to conclude. Our sportsmen are not materially interested in any high performance, and I think this is not right. If we want sport to become massive and performance to be honorable of Olympic rewards, it is vital to figure out what exactly is wrong with old system. My mission is to mastermind specific proposals of improving system of sport and athletics development.
DIFFERENT PROBLEMS – ONE PROCEDURE.
YOU MENTIONED WRONG SYSTEM OF MOTIVATION IN SPORT. HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM?
– I’ll give you an example from my own experience. It is clear that none of us wants to be ill or die, but only some of us put ourselves together and start to make our organisms healthier, train our bodies. Quite often most of people take a rain check on taking up physical training, and eventually they never start. Why does it happen? No opportunity? No free time? Or is it simple human laziness? To answer these questions six years ago I set up an experiment and made a new rule in company. If an employee goes for sport, no matter which one, company gives him 300 RUB for each training. It’s 4000 RUB per month. It turned out to be a great motive! People, who had never gone for sport before, began to work out, went to pools! They got better-looking, slimmer, and healthier. That is how material motive helped us to strengthen our personnel’s health, and now in our company it’s not profitable to be ill, on opposite, it’s profitable to be healthy and go for sport!
ON YOUR WAY TO PERFECTION YOU DO GREAT DEEDS. LOOKS LIKE YOU REPRESENT THE MOST CONSTRUCTIVE TYPE OF A PERFECTIONIST!
– On the one hand, I don’t want to fight windmills, on the other hand I’ve got a great need in changing everything for better. Such an internal struggle I have. If I can change something, I do it. I make up, test, develop, and improve the system which would be optimal both for business, and for staff. It’s not that easy. Labor relations have existed for centuries. During that time employers have been trying to set up such work conditions, which would make employees get pleasure from work, and in addition to that work effectively for the company’s goals. We are also on that way.
WHY DO YOU THINK MOST OF PUBLIC PERSONS DON’T WORK FOR SOCIETY’S GOOD?
– To get effectively working employees, we need motivation. In our company if an employee does his work excellent, he gets particular sum of money, if he does it simply well, he gets different sum of money. Let alone high-level public official! Paying system for him must be so that he could get a very deserving salary for his work, but only if the results of his work were really useful for the society. Goals and efficiency criteria must be defined for each position. Sometimes a smile of people, whom this public official has helped, can be considered as a criterion. Public official position must be prestigious, and then it will be fairly demanded! However, the responsibility for a not effective work must be so severe, that potential embezzler of State property or lazy-bone fellow would be frightened to death to even think of getting such kind of job. There are many intelligent, good, and educated people in Russia. They first of all must WANT to control their country, and then development will take different way.
BORDERLINES OF JUSTICE.
WHICH QUALITIES DO YOU THINK ESSENTIAL FOR THE CHIEF?
– First of all, chief should fulfill the same requirements as he demands from his staff. Very important quality is respect to other people. Always and in everything. To make life comfortable for everyone, all of us must follow one rule: your actions mustn’t disturb other people’s lives. Justice is vital conception personally for me. There are always my and other person’s interests. They don’t always match, and it’s significant to find a line of justice between them. And it doesn’t have to be in the middle. It can be closer to his interests, or to mine. A chief must fill this line maximally exact to make optimal decision.
I KNOW YOU WERE REWARDED WITH A MEDAL. TELL US PLEASE FOR WHAT.
– Indeed, in 2008 Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy the Second recognized the act of mercy with award of a medal. I really am proud and appreciate it. It’s been 12 years now that we’ve been providing Primorskiy department of Russian Children’s Fund with money and medicine. I consider children to be number one to help. I chose Children’s Fund because it has many various programs, and the most important thing is that people who work there are sincere and not indifferent to other people’s lives. Fund helps disabled, talented kids from needy families, and troubled teens. I’m glad that my help was so highly esteemed.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY, PLEASE.
– My one and only I met when we were sportsmen and students. She is my closest adviser in all starts. I’m grateful for everything she does, and I’m thankful to her parents for having her. Our son is 13, he goes swimming and dances. I believe in his bright future as a kind and decent man. Our daughter is six and she is a creative individual. She dances, sings, plays, a complete dreamer in one word.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR YOU?
– Progress. Anyone, who creates something which improves country, society, people’s lives, works for common progress. My teacher’s life is a role model for me. I as well want to create something that would improve people’s lives and pass to future generations.