Dmitry Pylev, Director General of Ural Plant of Deicing Materials, tells about the new stages of the company’s development and his own political plans
- Dmitry Pavlovich, in December 2020 you told about your intention to put a new production line into operation in Krasnokamsk in the third quarter this year. That time the plans of all enterprises were influenced by the pandemic, and it is still not over even today. How is the project’s progress?
— The construction of a new production facility in Krasnokamsk consists of two stages.
The commissioning works of the first stage are going on right now. We build the line on the basis of the German equipment, and at first we faced difficulties with the visit of specialists from Germany. Nevertheless, we managed to resolve this issue, and in the next two or three months the commissioning of the first stage will be completed. Furthermore, by the end of the year we will launch the second stage, and this will allow us to manufacture the anti-icing materials of a higher quality and of a new volume with an eye to the needs of the Russian market and abroad.
— Beside the facilities in Krasnokamsk the Ural Plant of Deicing Materials has a manufacturing facility in Moscow Region. What are the plans of the company there?
— Products are manufactured according to the schedule, many customers are already preparing for the winter season and purchasing our products. In Dolgoprudny, we are working on creation of an industrial park that will be focused on cooperation with chemical enterprises. The number of its residents is constantly increasing. It is not so easy to achieve an official status for this industrial location: we have received some recommendations from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and we are implementing them promptly in order to speed up the work in this direction.
— Rustam Gilfanov, the founder of Ural Plant of Deicing Materials, said in one of his interviews that industrial parks, working as a sharing economy, provide residents with a wide range of services: consulting, logistics, engineering, research, rental services and others. Thus, the asset management system becomes more modern and mobile. Therefore, it was decided to create a community of companies under the general name WTG (Winter Technologies Group). What is the point of this decision?
— WTG is actually a community of companies that specialize in the development and implementation of the innovative solutions to create a comfortable and safe winter life for both people and entire industries. A serious scientific unit that is engaged in research and creation of new products has been created on the basis of WTG.
In fact, a center of the best competencies is being formed, which the business community is ready to share with the market participants, as well as to develop products according to their requests. Briefly speaking we want the market to know: all questions related to winter can be addressed to WTG.
Nowadays the group includes production sites in Krasnokamsk and Dolgoprudny, the industrial park, the laboratory center "Winter Institute", next in line there are companies that develop and implement solutions in the field of aviation, and others. That means there is still a lot of organizational work ahead, WTG is being created right now.
— How are relationships built within the group?
— The relationships between companies within WTG are governed by agreements. And although all the partners of this community remain separate, legally and financially independent, they work to achieve a common goal, i.e. the successful development of the entire group as a whole, the creation and support of successful Russian "winter" solutions and bringing them to the world level.
— Let's return to Krasnokamsk, as the development of your production is closely related to the development of this city in general. The modern production requires the qualified staff...
— Yes, we faced some difficulties in this regard. Krasnokamsk is a satellite city of Perm, and it brings some advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest drawbacks is that educated and competent people are looking for job in Perm, or even in the further cities. At first glance, it seems strange, because there are a lot of successful industrial enterprises offering decent working conditions and wages in Krasnokamsk. Among them there are PPM, Goznak, Krasnokamsk Machinery and Repair Plant (RMZ), metal mesh plant and others. But one of the reasons why people leave, as on many other territories, is the underdeveloped urban environment, which does not provide the required level of comfortable and interesting life.
We communicate with the representatives of other enterprises, and many of them say: yes, we have to look for and invite people from other cities to work. However, these people come and say: everything is great, but there is nowhere to go in the city, there is no place to relax, even walking along the embankment is impossible. Certainly the local authorities are trying to tidy parks and public gardens, but this is not enough, and the authorities' resources are limited.
Nowadays we are working in close contact with Igor Bykariz, the head of Krasnokamsk, and we have outlined a number of projects that we support. But manufacturers of the territory should unite their efforts to solve the problem of making Krasnokamsk a modern comfortable city.
— As you noticed, there are quite a lot of industrial enterprises in Krasnokamsk. Moreover, Dmitry Teplov, Director General of Krasnokamsk RMZ is well-known for his social work, he is the chairman of the Perm regional branch of "Delovaya Rossiya". Why does UPDM intend to engage in this “integrating efforts”?
— We are a company of federal level and have constant contacts at the level of various ministries and authorities. It often happens that solving a local problem requires the attention of the specific ministry, and we are ready to deal with it. And in this sense, we speak the same language with the large enterprises like PPM or Goznak.
Dmitry Viktorovich Teplov does take great measures in the field of uniting small and medium-sized businesses. Now we want to "engage" larger business to solve common problems.
— What can be done in Krasnokamsk with the help of such union?
—- I'll tell you how I came to this idea, and I think it will be clear.
We work closely with JSC Belaruskali, and I often visit Soligorsk on business, meet Ivan Golovaty, the head of the company. During one of such meetings, I expressed my admiration of a good appearance of such a small town, of good development of social sphere, urban infrastructure and healthcare, of holidays and sport competitions held in it. In general, the town lives a full life. It is clear that the lion's share belongs to the monotown enterprise. In response, Ivan Ivanovich said: "You can do the same in Krasnokamsk." I doubted: after all, UPDM and this giant potash manufacturer are incomparable. But Ivan Golovaty said: yes, certainly you cannot do much alone, but if there are five or ten of you, everything will work out.
Another example is the experience of our other partner, the HaloPolymer, which has a production facility in Kirovo-Chepetsk. They also face staffing problems: many employees come from neighboring villages, in fact they work on a rotational basis. At the same time, the residential housing is not almost being built in Kirovo-Chepetsk, as well as in Krasnokamsk, only for resettlement of unsafe houses. This is not profitable for commercial developers as the price is high, but the buyers are few. And the company agreed with the developers that it would guarantee to buy some apartments in the new buildings, and to subsidize the mortgage interest for its employees. It is beneficial for everyone: the company gets loyal employees, they conclude long-term contracts with, the developer gets a reliable order, the town gets new active residents, the development of urban infrastructure, taxes.
Sphere of education: well, for example, you can cooperate with the Krasnokamsk technical school, that teaches chemical engineers, indicating the employment prospects for them at the stage of training already.
We can give more examples, but the main point is probably clear: by combining the efforts of business, government, and a social sphere, the significant transformations can be achieved. And this cooperation is beneficial to everyone.
— You mentioned some projects in Krasnokamsk that you support. What is the sphere of UPDM’s "social responsibility" and what kind is this support?
— In Krasnokamsk, we participate in the improvement activities. For example, we prepared the site and carried out other improvement works of the public garden near our plant. But we have chosen sports as the main social direction of our work. First of all, it is hockey as it is a winter sport close to us. For about seven years we have been supporting the Krasnaya Zvezda children's hockey team by paying for away matches and purchasing uniforms.
Recently, they began to cooperate closely with the basketball club "Parma". A couple of years ago, the Basketball Federation began developing 3x3 basketball, which became an Olympic sport. This is a good springboard for the guys. It is very difficult to get into the national team in the “big” basketball, the chance is one in a thousand, while in 3x3 basketball you could still play in the street yesterday, and tomorrow you are a player in the Major League. So, we have the Bionord team, and two guys from it have been invited to the national team.
Finally, a recent story is the support of FC Amkar. Football is the most popular sport and it attracts millions of children. We understand how difficult it is to restore Amkar from scratch, and we decided to support the initiative of Dmitry Makhonin, the Governor. We have signed a contract for a year so far, thus giving a kind of advance to the club. We do hope that this challenging task will be solved and our cooperation will become long-term and mutually beneficial.
— It is evident that in recent years UPDM was definitely active in social and public projects. The next step also seems logical - your participation in the United Russia primaries with an eye to the main elections in September. How did you come to this decision? Why cannot you just support sports or improvement projects?
— Many of the tasks I spoke about are difficult to solve without the use of political instruments. You can run from pillar to post as long as you like, but if there is no political, lawmaking lever, the effect will be incomparably weaker. In addition, the status of a deputy helps to resolve many issues in Moscow, to come up with the legislative initiatives to the level of the State Duma.
— UPDM has been operating for more than 10 years. Why did you take this decision now, and not five years ago?
— Five years ago we were completely different. We were a small regional business trying to reach a new level and conquer new markets. We had other tasks and other problems. Today we are a federal company with an international sales geography. We are actively developing and striving to solve the problems of a completely different scale, also including those related to the development of the territories of our presence, human potential, investment climate, etc.
At the same time, we are experienced in participating in elections. Two years ago, Pavel Kononov, a representative of the UPDM, was elected to the Duma of the Krasnokamsk urban district and today he shows himself to be a very effective deputy. Therefore, the answer is simple: during these five years we formed an agenda that we want to comply with.
— In this case, can you name the main points of this agenda: what do you plan to do if you become a parliamentarian?
— It is clear that, first of all, the agenda is formulated by a body of electors - during the elections and after them, through reception offices, through interaction with local authorities. But as for the rule-making itself, the directions that are close and clear to me as a manager, a business representative are the budget and investments.
Let's say we are talking about the creation of a new production facility in Krasnokamsk. These are large investments, and we cannot formally qualify for the benefit programs. For example, the same special investment contract, as the requirements include the creation of at least 250 jobs. This is a definitely outdated norm, because modern production facilities are automated and robot technology is used there. In our case, we are talking about 50 jobs, but these are highly qualified specialists with an appropriate level of salary and tax deductions. And we are not the only ones who point out this discrepancy. Yes, the solution to this problem requires a change of the federal legislation, but we have to start somewhere.
The second example concerns a small business – let’s say, a chain of small restaurants. Each of them employs 25-30 people, and in general they are under 1000. And it turns out that in terms of the number of employees, they, on the contrary, exceed the established parameters for small businesses and cannot use support measures. But this is illogical and unfair, and this norm needs to be changed.
Some issues of modern business are not settled at all. For example, we faced with the fact that the terms of registration of an industrial park have not been determined. That is, in theory, you can do this forever.
The legislation shall be adapted to the realities of business and life, to make it more flexible and modern. And, of course, with the help of parliamentary opportunities, you need to solve urgent issues of the territory where you work. Obviously, the problems of small towns are an infrastructural development, the creation of a comfortable urban environment that meets the demand of the residents for environmental friendliness, creation of the leisure centers and locations, modern recreational areas. I believe such tasks can be solved in the interaction of the business sector and the government.