Q & A
Are you a big risk-taker in business?
The biggest risk in business around the world is the risk of being ineffective. If you can't work under these conditions then don't get involved. I am an aggressive businessman, and want the businesses in which I invest to grow many times in value. I take big risks, but because I work at a large scale, the opportunities for growth are also great.
What do you have planned for the Cultural Initiatives Foundation?
By investing in culture, art, creativity, sports and education, I wanted to give the people of the Krasnoyarsk region new opportunities to enrich their lives, and to give something back to these communities that have undergone such hardship. We are planning festivals, public art fairs and exhibitions, contests and scholarship programs, among other projects. It is a very exciting time.
What do you think about the future of the energy business?
The world's population is growing by millions each year, and our energy needs are rising accordingly. The future of energy will have to accommodate this rapid growth, and will combine traditional forms of energy (such as petroleum and natural gas), as well as "new" sources, like wind, solar and hydrogen power. Hydrogen fuel-cell technology is one of the most exciting advances, and has the potential to provide up to 20 percent of the world's energy.
Why do you place such an emphasis on sport in your personal and professional life?
My love of skiing, basketball and track athletics is no secret. I find that exercise keeps me sharp and focused. And I want to share that feeling and the health benefits with the people in my life, in my business, and in the communities in which I work. I sponsor athletic events for adults and children in the Norilsk region, and am an avid supporter of all of the Moscow teams.
How to combine work and social life?
To prevent the workaholic syndrome from passing into the syndrome of constant tiredness and dissatisfaction, follow the principle of the old joke that goes like this: You cannot eat all food, you cannot drink all wine, you cannot have all women, but that’s what you should strive for! Success in business will not be automatically transferred to the social sphere and it takes more than this success alone to achieve harmony. Also, you have to develop diverse interests which are related to your occupation and help enhance your mental capacity, creativity and intersystem thinking.
Why did you agree to be elected the President of the Russian Biathlon Union?
Because biathlon is the most dynamic and advancing sport with enormous potential. I’d like to try to create an efficient, lucrative system in this “medal bearing” sport. Biathlon’s audience appeal and unpredictability enable you to create a commercial product and have the entire nation “infected” with biathlonmania.