‘If You Can't Scale Your Product to the Country or the World, Why Put the Effort into Creating It?’
Vladimir Makarenko, Fort Telecom Business Development Director, delivered an inspiring lecture at HSE University at the Perm Project Conference. HSE News Service talked to Vladimir about Fort Telecom work, changes in the market and student professional development.
— Vladimir, what are the main principles of your company's work?
— The first one is to create markets. It makes no sense to develop products for existing niches. Only the creation of a market for your product can provide multiple growth opportunities. The second one is scalability. If you can't scale your product to the country or the world, why put the effort into creating it? The third one is transparency: one legal entity, following the official tax policy. The fourth principle is that it is cheaper to grow a specialist than to find one. And the fifth one states that if you are a genius, but not a very good person, you will not work with us.
— What helps you to stay in business?
— We run fast and do not look back, never resting on our laurels.
— How did the situation in the global economy and politics affect the work and plans of Fort Telecom? What solutions have you chosen for further development?
— We have changed the strategy, markets, and supply chains. It took a year to restart most of the products with a new component base. In 2021 40% of our revenue was from deliveries and sales in the European Union, now we mainly export to China.
— Why did you decide to participate in projects of the National Technology Initiative (NTI)? What useful insights have you got?
— This corresponds to the first principle of our company. NTI positions itself as a market-forming initiative. Our tasks are similar. I can say that we started participating in NTI projects before these projects were given a name.
— What do you do in your free time?
— I like running, traveling, classic cars and the auto industry in general. I’m engaged in my own music project and charity.
— You have already achieved a lot. Can you give some advice to students? How can they fulfil their potential?
— Focus is important. Take three steps:
1. Delete social networks. Not only as a consumer, but also as a content creator. Every minute spent on a personal brand is a minute not spent on your life.
2. Do not listen to "experts", "mentors" and any media personalities.
3. Congratulations, you have sealed the holes where your energy was leaking. Now you can work and live your life.
Fort Telecom works in four areas:
- ERA-GLONASS – production of equipment for more than 60 automakers around the world,
- TFortis – equipment for building IP video surveillance networks,
- Tedix – V2X equipment, data transmission systems between cars and road infrastructure, including for the introduction of unmanned vehicles,
- Fort Monitor – solutions in the field of M2M technologies: GLONASS/GPS transport monitoring systems.
The company has been on the market since 2007. Fort Telecom is also engaged in training – there is an open university, which organises lectures, master classes, etc.