Maxim Chetverikov: «The more complex the task, the more interesting to work»
Born on November 8, 1972, in Pervomaysk village, Krasnoyarsk Territory. He graduated from the aerospace faculty of the Siberian Aerospace Academy, Krasnoyarsk city, specialty: rocket production engineer.
The same year, Maxim Chetverikov took a position of organizational management instructor of the Aviation Security Service in J.S.C. «Krasnoyarsk Airlines». In 2001, he headed the airport «Krasnoyarsk». 2002–2004 — general director of J.S.C. «Siberian Airline». 2004–2005 — first deputy general director of J.S.C. «Omskavia Airlines». 2005–2006 — Deputy Director General for Operations of J.S.C. «AirUnion». 2006–2007 — general director of J.S.C. «AirUnion». 2007–2008 — general director of C.J.S.C.(ZAO) «ERA Group».
He considers his main business qualities are: ability to form a leadership team, ability to develop staff motivation system and to improve moral environment in collectives. He is able to organize a business plan and carry out its implementation, holding tight control of performance. Characterized as a man of purpose, communicative, self-rigorous, hard-driving executive, combined with the care of staff needs. He can change management style depending on the situation.
Hobbies: sport (skiing, football, hockey), fishing, hunting.
— Maxim Gennadievich, you are represented as a crisis manager. Why?
— This is due to the fact that since 2002, I had to deal with businesses that were in a crisis condition. It was necessary to adjust production work, change business approach, increasing efficiency of all types of business. We had to analyze and optimize expenditure, form a leadership team, create a corporate culture, because only by working together we can achieve significant results.
This process is interesting to me, I like working and am not afraid of responsibility.
— Your most successful business project.
— I have two. In «Sibaviatrans» I took an office of general director in August 2002. At the end of the year, the airline experienced trading loss. But in 2003 profit of the company was 3 million rubles, in 2004 — 17 million rubles. Thus, after working in the company just over 2 years, I managed to make a loss-making enterprise profitable.
The second one, my most successful project — work in the company «ERA Group». I started in August 2007. Stockholders set a task to create «from scratch» a management company of two enterprises, one of which experienced severe scarcity of funds. In a short time I managed to create a viable management company. In addition, in November 2007 the third subsidiary company «ERA Technic» was established. We managed to liquidate arrears of wages, to conclude major leasing contracts. We reconstructed the arrivals area and opened a new, modern arrival lounge. In " ERA Terminal " non-core services income was significantly increased. This is also a confirmation of a very successful business project.
— What was the reason of the mass media publications tarnishing your business image?
— At the moment I have left «ERA Group», in November 2008, there were some publications maintaining that I allegedly raised funds for leasing projects by deceptive means.
The reason of these publications is simple — a number of competitors (legal bodies) wanted to get into the market of passengers and cargo services at Krasnoyarsk airport. They did not cooperate with the Administration of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Krasnoyarsk airport, but just tarnished the image of the working company to make it fail. Then the Office of Public Prosecutor and tax authorities’ examination followed. The company has passed all checks, and there is no official unsatisfactory conclusion. The facts speak for themselves — 4 months have passed, but «ERA Group» and its subsidiary companies still exist, and there is no information on any late payment. I still consider «ERA Group» my second most successful project.
— How do you explain the choice of stockholders' meeting of the J.S.C «Vladivostok international airport» to entrust you the post of general director?
— They objectively appreciated my work and real achievements. I rate myself a sufficiently professional director. These qualities met stockholders who voted for me.
— You are Moscow’s protégé. Does this mean that on the major issues you will be guided by Sheremetyevo’s directives, not making decisions independently?
— General Director of the Sheremetyevo International Airport has noted that he has no time to be engaged in current issues of the Vladivostok airport. That is why a professional team is being created here. Nobody should give us money. We need to do business on our own.
— How do you see your main mission as a general director of VIA?
— There have been a lot of rumors going around about me entering the office, but most of them were baseless. They say that breach between airport and its base airline should follow. But I am well aware of what the base airline is. I am sure that relations with primary income generating airline should be built supportively, but taking into account interests of both parties, and on the basis of commercial contract.
I plan to establish partnership with trade union organization of the company. Under the collective agreement, employer has obligations, but there is also money of the union, which should be involved in providing facilities and guarantees for the collective.
Regarding future plans, I see a real opportunity to increase annual passenger traffic of the airport up to 2–3 million by year 2012. I think that Vladivostok’s location is very good for Russian-Asian hub. In order to attract new partners, we will create a marketing department consisting of English and Asian languages specialists.
Another prospective line of development is non-core services such as «Duty Free» shops, restaurants, advertising, parking activity, etc. Today percentage of such income at the airport is only 18%, while, according to usual world practice, this figure should be not less than 30%.
Thus I see my mission in organization of industrial, commercial activities and consolidation of financial position of the company.
— Do you plan to build a constructive relationship with the administration of Artyom urban district, i. e. territory, where the airport is situated? How?
— I like that the Artyom urban district administration works very active. The city looks very clean and attractive. As a hockey player, I like the presence of rinks.
Of course, we will build a close relationship; we have to deal with many issues. I hope that we can work constructively and quickly build a normal interaction.
— What are the major drawbacks in production activity of the airport?
— Today, the main problem of the company is absence of effective aerodrome service with a sufficient amount of staff and high technology. This service is essential for Primorye because of its climatic conditions. We plan to form it by the next winter season.
It is necessary to build mechanical repair shops. I plan to do it within the next year.
These are not all but just a few problems that I see today and I am going to resolve them.
— What will be your first order as general director?
— It has already been done. At my first business meeting with managerial personnel of the company held on 16 February, I gave instructions to prepare an order about expressing gratitude and paying bonuses to staff who took part in preparation of the airport in adverse weather conditions 13–14 February. I believe that enthusiasm of people working day and night on the runway and apron should be rewarded.
— What will be your staff qualification requirements?
— My principle is: you can even stay away from your work place; the main thing is to complete your tasks. I am very self-rigorous, and appreciate these qualities in people. It is necessary to know how to use your time effectively, to complete projects on time, be able to plan ahead and work in a team.
I believe that business etiquette is very important for a collective: in clothes, behavior, speech and thoughts.
— Personnel replacements are inevitable — what will they be?
— Contrary to rumors, I’m not going to perform personnel revolutions. I have no objection to anyone personally, but, as a director, I demand a lot from people, their professional qualities and efficiency. Small-scale personnel replacements probably are inevitable.
But anyways, no one will be «turned out of the doors». If a specialist does not comply with professional requirements, we will offer him another job in the company.
— What are your impressions of Primorye?
— I like the climate in Primorye. For the last three years, I have come here every September for Samarga River rafting, devoting to this adventure a half of my two-week vacation.
From a professional point of view, the weather here is 60% stable. Cyclones take nearly 25–30%. Winter in Primorye lasts only 3–4 months out of 12. .In Siberia it is the opposite way. But this does not mean that airports in Siberia are closed more often. It is unallowable for an airport to be closed for a day or more. Everything depends on the readiness of professionals and special equipment. I hope that next year, closing of the Vladivostok airport due to adverse weather conditions will become a rarity.
— This is a professional valuation of climate. What can you say about Primorye residents?
— I like my team. People who work here with me are open and friendly. However, there is no spark in their eyes yet, but I hope that soon they will believe in success and feel passion for teamwork.
— What city do you live in? And where does your family live?
— Last November I have arrived to Primorye to get acquainted with the VIA activity. I rented an apartment in Artem, recently moved to Vladivostok. 70% of the time my wife was with me, she’ll re-join me again soon. My son, before graduating from high school, will live in Krasnoyarsk.
— You were elected as general director for 5 years — until 2014. Do you plan to be there till the end of the term, or just till commissioning of the new air terminal?
— I am ready to work on this position as long as it necessary. We need to prepare the airport to 2012 APEC summit, but bringing up the airport to international standards is more important to me. If these tasks are completed, and there are some genuine offers, of course, I will evaluate them. The more complex the task, the more interesting is the work.