Vnesheconombank held the second meeting of its regional managers on 18 and 19 December. The event brought together managers from 52 Russian regions of the Russian Federation after a multi-stage selection process, along with representatives of the business community and authorities.
Speaking about the performance of the first batch of selected managers, Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Sergey Gorkov said, “The new operating model has already produced results. Within one and a half months, the Bank received from regional managers as many as 112 applications, including 20 under preliminary examination and three projects in the active development stage already. It is important to understand that Vnesheconombank is looking for high-quality projects that would be consistent with the Bank’s new strategy. The VEB 3.0 Strategy is to build the country’s innovative economy, providing a national platform for the development of public industries. It is a new approach and new kinds of tools.”
“Vnesheconombank has adopted a fresh approach to searching for investment projects and choosing them for the Bank’s lending portfolio, building up a network of its representatives on a nationwide scale. We appointed 84 regional managers in 52 Russian regions. They will select projects with a value of 1 billion roubles or more and with a completion period of five years, which correspond to Vnesheconombank’s new strategic priorities, and projects for the project financing factory. Vnesheconombank’s new model for regional operations is aimed at creating a wide project funnel and looking for projects in the regions. For this purpose, we have regional managers, an online platform and our partners,” Vnesheconombank’s Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board Alexey Ivanchenko, who supervises the project, said.
In recognition of Vnesheconombank’s regional operations, General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Svetlana Chupsheva said, “We expect to see interesting projects from regional managers as early as next year. The agenda of the next meeting of our Supervisory Board will include remodelling our operations in the regions and changing them to a mechanism similar to Vnesheconombank’s model. It is very important that government officials should understand how to work as a team. And above all, government officials view businesspeople as partners. This project-based approach is beginning to take shape. We see this in practice.”
In his speech, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov noted, “Vnesheconombank has great significance to transport development, particularly at regional level.” Maxim Sokolov told the audience about strategic planning documents, described transport infrastructure development, and spoke of the goals of the new transport strategy until 2035. “In early 2018, together with the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance, we will prioritise the projects on the principle that a greater effect should be achieved with less government spending,” he said.
Speaking about the problems in the implementation of investment projects, Chairman of the Financial Markets Committee of the State Duma Anatoly Aksakov said, “Businesses usually criticise credit institutions, referring to their projects that banks cannot finance. … Syndication and securitisation will enable us to have more resources to finance projects.”
Novgorod Region Governor Andrey Nikitin drew attention to the basic principles of regional investment policies. In his opinion, there are only four of them: resources, competencies, logistics and geographies, along with government support.
Speaking about risks associated with new business projects, Director of the Internet Initiatives Development Fund Kirill Varlamov said, “In the case of a start-up, you should always be prepared for a failure and mentally admit it. The paradigm of project management does not work very well here.”
Kirill Androsov, Managing Director of Altera Capital, spoke about the most difficult stage of a start-up business, from seed capital to Series A financing. Most start-ups fail to reach the end of this period. “The conversation with a project initiator begins with the product. They must answer a simple question: ‘What is the product that you are selling?’ If within five minutes I can’t understand what they are talking about or what they are selling, it’s like a red signal for me. If I can’t understand it, it is unlikely that it will be understood by a wide range of B2B or B2C customers. The second question is about the market. The market should be large, growing and global,” Kirill Androsov said.
During the event, Vnesheconombank signed agreements with the second and third batches of selected regional managers and gave them certificates. From that moment, regional managers became official representatives of Vnesheconombank.