Interview of Trend with the President of the company Crocus-International, Aras Agalarov
Question: Aras Isgandarovich, you are well known as a serious and successful businessman. How could you estimate the last year in your business activities and what are your plans for the nearest future?
Answer: Our major project is the development of the commerce and exhibition complex Crocus City. In 2005 we concluded the construction of the second exhibition venue with the area of 100,000sq m. It made the Exhibition Center Crocus Expo the biggest of its kind in Russia and enabled to design a large-scale program for 2006, which envisages the organization of exhibitions with the general area of over 1.2 million sq m. We regard it as the major achievement of last year.
In 2006 we will start the construction of one more [exhibition] venue with the area of 300,000 sq m. Later there will be built a state-of-the-art hotel in the territory of Crocus City. One of the important objectives for the nearest future is the establishment of a techno-park here in line with the international standards.
Question: How would you characterize your business strategy? Do you prefer the traditional theoretical method of success or you have an individual approach?
Answer: While setting up business we guide not the theoretical, but practical views. In the process of formation of a strategy first we shape common goals and then set concrete tasks to achieve them, while in the process of implementation of tasks we attach importance to details and properties of the projects. Moreover, the details are the deciding factor of success in the course of implementation of projects. Our practice also testifies for it.
Question: How do you think, is the life for Mr. Agalarov is comprised of successes in business, or business is success of your life?
Answer: Painstaking, systematic work is a security of business. It is what we do every day. During the entire period of business activities nothing has been achieved easily. All has been achieved through painstaking work. This is the success of people, who dedicated their lives to concrete work.
Question: In what sphere of Azerbaijani economy do you see your business? Do you have definite plans on investing in the country?
Answer: Of course, I do not lose links with Azerbaijan. However, the current plans and projects in Moscow are so large-scaled and demand so much time, strength and finances that it is almost premature to speak about big investments in Azerbaijan. These are our priorities for the time being.
Question: How real do your plans on establishment of tourist complex in the historic motherland in the nearest future seem?
Answer: I should say that for its geographic and historic location Azerbaijan is too attractive region for the development of tourist industry. Rapid economic progress in the country will undoubtedly give intensives to the progress. Perhaps, shortly we will become an active participant of the process.
Question: How do you spend your free time? What about your hobby?
Answer: As I told you, the implementation of projects takes too much time and efforts.
I spend my free time in this way at work, including the weekend. The realization of plans is also my hobby. In this sense, I can say that Im a very happy man at work I carry out my private interests and passions.