January 15, 2021 20:55

Talk with “The Leaders of Russia” Closes the Gaidar Forum 2021

The last session of the Gaidar Forum this year was dedicated to a conversation between Larisa Katysheva, Director of the Center for Modern Communications of the RANEPA Graduate School of Public Administration (GSPA), and the winners of the “Leaders of Russia” competition, who talked about what was important and interesting for them.

Natalia Gorelova, Managing Partner of Larsen Piling LLC, started the discussion by expressing her concern about why women have no place in men’s business. Over the course of her career, Natalia has had time to interact with business executives of many male-dominated construction companies. Attitudes towards Natalia have often been reserved, gender-determined and biased. She elaborated on gender inequality and attitudes towards women in business, sharing the experience of her foreign colleagues who did not pay attention to her gender. From her experience of communicating with European partners, Natalia Gorelova is convinced that gender stereotypes can be eradicated, and the Russian society can follow this path as well.

The second important topic was raised by Taras Tokhtamyshev, director of the ANO “Agency for Support of Innovative Development”, who addressed the most popular question on the Internet – “Why?” The whole world changed this year due to the pandemic, it “stopped breathing”, and many people now have no idea what to do. It is important to know why you need to do something right here, right now, the speaker said. “I encourage everyone to think about what we are doing and why, and when awareness comes, we will immediately start breathing again,” Taras Tokhtamyshev said.

Lilia Kiryanova, Development Director of the Tomsk Consortium of Scientific, Educational and Research Organizations, spoke about the dangers of getting stuck in the rut for the Russian regions. She stressed that in order not to get stuck in a rut of development, it helps to have a diversity of local industries, organizations, social institutions that also contribute to continuous innovation and economic reconfiguration. “I believe that the weakness of rigid ties between our regions must eventually be replaced by the strength of diversity,” Lilia concluded.

Alyona Pliskina, Executive Director of Asset Management Department of Rosselkhozbank JSC, raised the issue of equal opportunities. She raised the issue of inequality and poverty, for which no simple solutions exist yet. Alyona was hopeful that today’s students, like the previous generations, would enjoy the opportunity to enter a good university for free and become successful people. She also noted that despite inequality and poverty, we have a future as long as equal opportunities remain.

Konstantin Agafonov, managing partner of Mimir Engineering LLC, spoke about modern and future technological capabilities, successes in building robots and how they will help in solving one of Russia’s biggest problems – that of logistics.

Victoria Petrova, Deputy Chair of the Council of Deputies of Akhtubinsk Municipal Entity, shared her friend’s career story and explained the importance of good leaders. She also asked all managers to pay attention to their staff, recognize their results and explain their importance to the organization.  

Leaders and their main qualities were the topic of discussion led by Valentin Shaposhnikov, Associate Professor at the Department of Heat Power Engineering and Thermal Engineering of Kuban State Technological University. He believes that the most important quality of a leader is the willingness to change. In this regard, Valentin shared an example of a professor who had to teach students remotely and had to adjust his practical approach to teaching.

Elena Gavrilova, manager for internal entrepreneurship at Lenta LLC, asked the participants and the audience when they would start learning? According to her data, within the next 10 years 25% of employed people in Russia, 40% in Canada, and 70% in Ethiopia would lose their jobs. In today’s world, it is vital to acquire new knowledge every day, and we no longer have the luxury of learning a single profession for the entire lifetime, Elena believes. In order to stay competitive, she advised developing soft skills, lifelong learning and building a personalized learning strategy.   

The question “what qualities should leaders have?” was answered by Kantemir Hurtayev, chairman of All-Russian Public Movement “All-Russian Interethnic Union of Youth”. For a long time he had been carefully studying the biographies of successful people and shared his view of the five main qualities required for success with the session participants. A leader must have a dream, but he or she must also demonstrate diligence on the way to that dream, must always learn, think outside the box, and to be compassionate towards others.

Unitera Labs LLC CEO Timur Berd shared his experience in improving productivity and safety in the era of digital solutions, and talked about how digitalization is penetrating even the most conservative processes. In turn, Leonid Italiantsev, a partner at the “Legal Family Office”, spoke about migrating to the countryside and the benefits of this way of living. 

Talks with the “Leaders of Russia” were concluded by the story of Nikita Khilimonchikov, Deputy General Director of “Orenburg Region Development Corporation” JSC, who climbed Mount Elbrus in August 2020 together with his team. His story showed that while climbing the mountain, social status and amount of money do not matter – this is where true partnerships and friendships come into play. This is why Nikita believes that the mountain is a great opportunity to test himself and his team, and he compares the mountain to the pinnacle of achievement in business. “The only way to get to the summit is to have a team that helps you in every way it can,” Nikita said as he wrapped up the conversation.

The Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World After the Pandemic” will be held on January 14 and 15 at the Presidential Academy. The Forum will traditionally open the annual business agenda of Russia. In 2021, this large-scale event will be held in a hybrid format, both online and offline.

This time, the main discussion track will be social and economic transformations that have occurred in the country and the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expert discussions will be focused on the national and global development goals and the search for practical solutions to the most urgent challenges of today. The Forum’s participants include ministers from the Russian Government, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, largest world experts, representatives of foreign states.

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC.

The strategic partners are Russian Railways OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, ACIG Group, Novartis.

The partner of the forum is MasterCard, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)

The discussion partners are Magnit, Pepsi, Huawei, Coca-Cola, AstraZeneca, Takeda, EY.

General media partners: TASS, Business FM, RIA Novosti, RBC. Strategic media partners: Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant Publishing House, RIA FederalPress, Invest-Foresight magazine. Main media partners: Anews, News.ru, lenta.ru. International media partners: Russia Today.

Media partners: PRO Business TV channel, AEI PRIME, Polit.ru, Strategy magazine, Public Administration magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Finam, Bankovskoye Obozreniye magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, Snob media project, Echo of Moscow radio station, Nauchno-Obrazovatelnaya Politika Telegram channel.