In spite of its recognized significance, social orientation of business has become common and ordinary in USA and European countries. Meanwhile, the majority of Russian entrepreneurs consider that to be an embarrassing compulsory service or wasting of money. Nevertheless, in our country there is a number of socially oriented companies, which chiefs are not only social politically active, but also consider it to be crucial and permanent component of successful business. One of these chiefs is with us today. He’s famous entrepreneur, the president of “Monastyrev and Co” Holding Company Alexander Monastyrev.
Nevertheless, in our country there is a number of socially oriented companies, which chiefs are not only social politically active, but also consider it to be crucial and permanent component of successful business. One of these chiefs is with us today. He’s famous entrepreneur, the president of “Monastyrev and Co” Holding Company Alexander Monastyrev.
Alexander Vyacheslavovich, you’ve been running the business successfully for more than 20 years now, do you think that business should be socially oriented?
Modern and civilized business no doubt must be socially oriented. I’m sure if social responsibility is not increased, the chances of humankind to survive will drastically decrease. I think it’s impossible to be successful separately from others. Progressive and stable development is not possible without social responsibility. That’s why I, as an entrepreneur and as a part of society, consider that not as obligation, but as investment in future, our common future.
How do you personally understand the term “social responsibility”?
This term is concise and versatile. It includes company’s responsibility before people and companies it works with, and also before the whole society. If business is thought to be socially oriented there is no room for profit pursuit by any means. A good or service must be minimal price. We work for people, to make their lives quality better, that’s the main principle of our company. Therefore we provide our clients with qualified goods and services. “Monastyrev and Co” drug stores network offers the widest range of medical goods by minimal price only from proven manufacturers. Moreover, we’re doing our best to make visits of our stores as convenient as possible. It’s easy to assure yourselves. That’s why we have so many clients.
As far as I’m concerned you carry not only about consumers. It’s no secret that there is no staff turnover in your company.
That’s true. Our staff is of a high value in our company. People for us is the main stock, therefore every “Monastyrev and Co” worker has a decent salary, safe work conditions, social guarantees. We are interested in professional to work in our company, that’s why we give much attention to staff development: training, retraining, teaching. All employees have an opportunity for career and personal growth. Besides that, in our company there is a number of additional motivations and social guarantees, such as compensations for mobile communications, staff taxi, children allowance, etc.
It’s well known fact that your company’s visit card is your staff devotion to healthy life style. How have you achieved that?
I won’t lie if I say it’s pleasure to hear that, and it’s true by the way. I believe that employees’ health is a ticket to business success in whole, because only strong in spirit and body man can work productively and successfully. Considering that we work in healthcare field, for us it’s also an image matter. That’s why every spring and autumn we take measures to preventive healthcare among our staff by vitaminization and immunization. In addition to that, the majority of our employees go for sport, and the company pays for those trainings. Thanks to such a support even those who hadn’t gone for sport, started going to gyms, swimming pools, took up some courses, became devoted to sport. So sick leave certificates in our company is not common.
You give a lot attention to sport not only as a chief of big company, but also as the president of public organization “Sport Federations Unity”, and also of “Track and Field Athletics Federation” in Primorskiy Region. That is also a display of social responsibility. What have you achieved in this field so far?
Here I am for system support of primorskiy sport: starting with PE and sport development program making and finishing with funding our sportsmen trips to competitions of different levels. That, I must say, is already giving some good results. Last year athlets from Primorye won 1 gold and 2 silver medals at World’s Championship; 5 golden and 1 silver medal – at European Championship, 10 golden, 9 silver, and 9 bronze medals – at Russian Championship. According to the results our teams moved to Russian Premier League. Such achievements haven’t been reached in Primorye for more than 50 years. In 2012 only at Russian competitions our sportsmen won 12 golden, 8 silver, and 8 bronze medals. Ivan Zaycev, an athlete from Primorye, became the World’s Champion in 4 by 200 m sprint relay. I’m sure it’s not the limit. We’re also experiencing the coaching staff renewal and strengthening. In general there is a way to go.
Alexander Vyacheslavovich, beside all that, you are also in charity, and even granted with order of Tsarevich Dmitriy “For Act of Mercy”. Who do you support, who is your help addressed to, and why do you do it?
Charity is the matter of morality of every person. I do it because I can’t do elsewise. I am committed to the principle of less conversation, but more action. It’s well known that deeds are more telltale than words.
But still? I know that you help your ex teachers. Why don’t you tell about that?
Some time ago I finished the famous boarding school #2 under guidance of USSR Public Teacher N.N. Dubinin, class with advanced studying of physics, mathematics, and IT. It became the school in a wide sense for me, and meeting Nikolay Nikolayevich, the teacher with a big T, became life defining. Nowadays I, as member of supervisory board of the fund, named after him, can help my teachers myself. The Fund of N.N. Dubinin pay allowances to ex educators, and that is a good support having such low pensions these days. Fund also organizes cultural and sport events.
You are also the member of board of “Russian Children Fund”, aren’t you?
Must say, you’ve made a good research. I strongly believe that children need our help. Firstly, because they can’t help themselves. Therefore we’ve been supporting Primorye Department of “Russian Children Fund” for 15 years now. This organization is realizing a number of projects, directed to helping needy families, talented kids, and those who found themselves in critical situation. Secondly, helping kids, deprived from family support, contributing to their up-brining, physical and intellectual development is contribution to the future of our country, as fanfare as it sounds. That is reason why I give importance to child’s sport development, particularly to organizing workshops, which everybody can attend for free and hold competitions of different levels. Our mission is to grow health generation, to keep our kids away from streets. Sport gives boys and girls opportunity to get down to business, improve in strength, temper themselves, learn to reach their goals and win. That’s future of Russia we are talking here, and I do care what it’s going to be like. I want to live in the country, built by smart determined and healthy people.
Thank you very much for the frank and informative conversation. Wish you luck in all your good deeds.
Thank you. Have a good one too!
Taking “Monastyrev and Co” Holding Company as an example, it can be said that social responsibility and business are not only compatible, moreover, they are closely related to each other, practically inseparable. If a company is oriented not only to maximal profit, but also to public interests, it’s mutually beneficial business then. In that case people get particular help, which improves social climate in society, and the company gets respectively positive image and stable reputation, what makes business attractive for potential partners and consumers. Consequently, social responsibility on the one hand increases business efficiency, and on the other hand gives it a human face, and in the long-term investment in social problems solution will inevitably pay off in spades. The only problem is that not all the entrepreneurs nowadays are able to recognize such perspective. Perhaps, our publication might help them with that one.