Funding, Finance and e-Commerce: challenges for the new head of “Mail of Russia”

Funding, Finance and e-Commerce: challenges for the new head of “Mail of Russia”


MOSCOW, 7 July. /TASS/. Appointed General Director of “Mail of Russia” Nikolay Podguzov in his new post will have to address three main objectives: to carry out the divestiture, to develop the direction of financial services and deal with the challenges of the rapidly evolving online Commerce. For reviews of colleagues and friends, the new leader of “Mail of Russia” will achieve their objectives thanks to its professional experience and personal qualities.

The previous General Director of the postal operator Dmitry Strashnov left “Mail of Russia” on 1 July in connection with the termination of the employment contract. One of the main achievements Strashnov was the modernization of “Mail of Russia”, which helped Russians to become active participants in the global process of Internet Commerce.

Colleagues and friends of the new General Director of “Mail of Russia” speak about it only positively and are confident that he will continue and develop the initiatives of the previous management. Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev is confident that Podguzova have sufficient experience to lead one of the largest enterprises of the country.

The head of the Ministry Maxim Oreshkin believes that the experience Podguzova will be especially valuable in formulating long-term strategy of “Mail of Russia”. In a positive Outlook for the new head of “Mail of Russia” also believes the Minister of communications and mass communications Nikolay Nikiforov.

“[Nikolai Podguzov] a very reliable person. Always responsible for his words and brings the matter to an end. In a good way ambitious, and very result oriented. I worked with him together in the Renaissance and VTB, in the ministries. And always, he showed himself as the one to whom you can always rely on,” said Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev in an interview with TASS.

A new leader for the “post of Russia”

Nikolai Podguzov, after graduating Saint-Petersburg state technical University, and MGIMO of the MFA of Russia worked in various positions in the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2003, then to 2006, he was Vice-President of the Department of investment Bank “Trast”, then – Vice-President, managing Director of “Renaissance capital – Financial consultant”. From 2010 to 2012 he held the position of chief Manager of “VTB Capital”. Former colleagues from “VTB the capital” have to say about Podguzova as high-class professional and a strong strategist. “He is a very strong strategist, not afraid of the “rush jobs” and large volumes of work. And as a person – understanding, responsive and always willing to help,” said one of them.

With no less warmth on Podguzova say in the Ministry of economic development: everybody TASS interviewed from the Ministry, expressed regret that he was leaving, but were confident that with the new tasks he will cope.

“We are happy for Podguzova, he has everything to succeed in his new post, he is a very responsible and positive person, a professional with a capital letter,” – said a former colleague of the Deputy Minister.

On a post of the Deputy Minister of economic development the scope of Podguzova included infrastructure development, auditing of large state companies, including Russian Railways and RusHydro, the development of principles of regulation of tariffs, financial and banking activities and the implementation of long-term programs and development strategies.

So, with the active participation of Podguzova, the economic development Ministry jointly with JSC “Russian Railways” has worked on the audit costs of the company, including the optimisation of distribution of functions between the branches, the transition to a more transparent and accessible to a wide range of entrepreneurs procurement procedures. According to the Ministry, thanks to the work done in two years managed to cut costs of Russian Railways for 100 roubles. The Ministry of economic development jointly with RusHydro in 2016 has also begun a program to audit costs. The Board of Directors approved a plan of cost optimization and implementation for subsequent years, reported the Deputy Minister.

As the Deputy Minister of economic development, he participated in the management of large companies, including monopolies. At the moment, Podguzov is a member of the Board of Directors of Russian Railways, ASV, Russian grids, RusHydro, in addition, he serves on Supervisory boards of the Agency for housing mortgage lending and VTB.

Directions of development of “Mail of Russia”

According to the head of the Ministry of communications Nikolay Nikiforov on the post of the General Director of “Mail of Russia” Podguzov will continue to change provided in the company’s development strategy approved in 2014. According to him, in front of “Mail of Russia” now are the global challenges on development of financial services in the framework of the project “Post Bank”, and also in preparation for corporatisation. The implementation of this strategy was the target of the postal operator under the direction Strashnov, the Minister said.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich in April of this year noted that “Mail of Russia” in the future may be a distribution network or continue to play the role of major financial infrastructure in Russia. “Future “Mail of Russia” it is the fork, there are options for which way to go. It is possible that it will become another retail chain, and maybe it will become something else, might be financial infrastructure,” he said. According to him, mail is the largest network structure in Russia by number of branches and number of employees “Mail of Russia” several times exceeds similar indicators of the largest retail chains of the Russian Federation. Today in the offices of “Mail of Russia” it is possible to buy certain goods or order them from catalogs. At the same time, as noted Strashnov, the company is exploring the possibility of further development of retail business, mainly in small towns and rural areas.

Financial services

When Strashnova “Mail of Russia” actively developed financial direction. So, in the spring of 2016 was created by the “Post Bank” – a new retail Bank created by the VTB group and FGUP “Mail of Russia”.

VTB group owns 50% plus 1 share of the Bank, subsidiary company “Mail of Russia” – 50% minus 1 share. Window “Mail Bank” located in the offices of “Mail of Russia”, for which the postal operator receives from the Bank payment infrastructure. The total income of postal services “Mail Bank” up to 2023 will be more than 70 billion rubles (of which 50 billion rubles, including infrastructure payments and 20 billion rubles – income from dividends).

“Mail of Russia” itself and develops financial services: implementing payment and POS terminals for postmen to accept payment of utility bills at home, creates together with other postal administrations system of money transfers PosTransfer in the framework of the universal postal Union. Recently “Mail of Russia” has also announced plans to create its own payment system, which will allow you to pay fines and taxes, utilities, and services provided to the population by various organizations, goods and package delivery (including online stores).

The President of the Association of companies the Internet-trade (AKIT) Alexey Fedorov believes that the education and experience Podguzova will allow him to effectively develop all the financial activities of the “Mail of Russia”. “Of course, the question is how to make the “Mail” more profitable”, – he explained.

Corporatization

In addition to the development of the financial direction in front of the new head of “Mail of Russia” the task to carry out corporatization of the enterprise. A plan for the corporatization of “Mail of Russia” was approved in summer 2013, it involves the transformation of the postal operator of the Federal state unitary enterprise in open joint-stock company, 100% of which will belong to the state. Corporatization will allow “Mail of Russia” to improve the efficiency of management, since decisions in the JSC will be accepted much faster than at the state. Besides, “Mail of Russia” in joint-stock companies will be able to more effectively dispose of their property – for example, to implement non-core assets or lease them. Also appear more powerful levers to motivate the company’s management.

A bill on the reorganization of “Mail of Russia” was submitted to the state Duma in June 2014. The company’s management and the Ministry of communications hoped for swift approval of this document. However, this did not happen – the bill still became law. The Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has said that he sees no obstacles to the acceptance of the law on privatization of “Mail of Russia”. The Minister clarified that the question of privatization is not.

When Strashnova “Mail of Russia” has done a great job together with the Federal property management Agency in preparation for this event – more than 90% of the property complex registered in the ownership of the Russian Federation and assigned to “Mail of Russia”, whereas in the beginning of 2013, the figure was less than 20% of all objects. In February 2017, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed to continue working on this bill for the adoption of the document in 2017.

On consideration in the state Duma already for a long time is another law of “Mail of Russia”, – the law “On postal communication”. To this document was a large number of amendments, with the result that the second reading did not take place until now, explained Nikiforov. According to him, the deputies initially linked two documents with each other, so the failure of the law “on postal communications” hindered the law on corporatization. The Minister believes that to date the adoption of the law on privatization is much more important and more critical for “Mail of Russia”, because without it, the full realization of the development strategy of the enterprise is impossible.

Fedorov from AKITA and Ivanov of NAMO also believe in the necessity of corporatization of “Mail of Russia”. “Here was the financier, which can correctly carry out the privatization”, – said Fedorov experience value Podguzova. The President of AKITA suggested that perhaps in the future “Mail of Russia” wants “someone to buy” – in this case experience Podguzova will also be useful.

E-Commerce

Experts also believe that one of the important directions of work Podguzova as head of the Federal postal operator will be solving issues related to the growing Internet trade. According to Fyodorov from AKITA, Podguzov already knows about all the problems of e-Commerce. “We met several times at various conferences, participated in various meetings. He has tremendous experience, he understands all the issues of e-Commerce and aware of all the problems. Namely, e-Commerce is now the main “donor” of “Mail of Russia”, – he explained, noting that market players e-Commerce in recent years has focused on “Mail of Russia” as a “master logistician of the Russian Federation”.

The President of AKITA said that “Mail of Russia” by the end of 2016 delivered more than 60% of all parcels, that is almost 300 million parcels, of which 225 million on international postage. Chairman of the National Association of distance selling (NAMO) Alexander Ivanov believes that Podguzov at the head of “Mail of Russia” will have more to do the actual mail delivery (including logistics), the development of Bank and financial trends. “A Bank there is someone to do it separate from email structure,” he explained, stressing that for Russia, the post is very necessary and important. He believes that the postal business will always be key for “Mail of Russia” and the financial services and retail trade will only be its complement.

Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation on issues of development of the Internet Herman Klimenko, in turn, expects effective cooperation with the new head of “Mail of Russia” by Nikolai Podguzov on cross-border Internet trade. “From the point of view of e-Commerce to the industry, and “Mail of Russia” the task is to find a compromise in cross-border trade. The issue is complex and ambiguous. We hope for effective cooperation”, – he said. Klimenko said that he has “a good personal experience of cooperation with the new Director of “Mail of Russia”.

Fedorov from AKITA believes that the experience in the ministries will help Podguzova become a “lobbyist mailing in all the offices of power.” In addition, the President of AKITA said that technical and economic education Podguzova is the best suited for the leadership of “Mail of Russia”. The work of “Mail of Russia”, according to Fedorov, contains a large number of technical aspects: huge hubs with very complex mechanisms, machinery, logistics infrastructure. “It requires a person who obviously is not a scholar who has a basic technical education, who knows how to work with tools,” he said. The head of the AKITA hoped that the new head will retain a significant portion of the old command of “Mail of Russia” because the Vice Strashnov “has done a lot for the company, especially in the mail order business.”

On the eve of

Podguzov was appointed head of “Mail of Russia” on the eve of Day of Russian mail is celebrated on the second Sunday of July. Day of Russian post was established by presidential decree in 1994, the 300th anniversary of the first Russian internal mail line between Moscow and Arkhangelsk, founded by order of Peter I.

“Mail of Russia” was established on 5 September 2002 in the form of Federal state unitary enterprise. Today it is Federal postal operator, is included in the list of strategic enterprises of Russia. The network of “Mail of Russia” includes 42 thousand branches throughout the country and has one of the largest staff – about 350 thousand employees. Every year “Mail of Russia” takes about 2.5 billion letters and accounts (including 1 billion – from government agencies). In addition every year the postal operator processes around 297 million parcels. The annual volume of transactions passing through “Mail of Russia” is more than 3.3 trillion rubles (including pensions, payments and transfers).

By the end of 2016, revenues “Mail of Russia” from operating activities increased by 10.7% and amounted to 164,8 billion. The net profit of the postal operator amounted to 1,734 billion, showing an increase of 10% compared to the previous year. “Mail of Russia” does not receive subsidies from the state in 2015.

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