Andrey Berezin ‘Euroinvest’: Crafting the Future
Andrey Berezin ‘Euroinvest’: Crafting the Future
In Russia, in light of the events of 2022, efforts toward the advancement of science and technology have intensified. Many institutes are in need of comprehensive reforms and the adoption of modern educational formats. Failing to do so could result in the country falling significantly behind in the 21st-century scientific race. In this regard, private initiatives by domestic businesses are making a meaningful impact, and the Euroinvest company and its co-founder, Andrey Berezin, serve as a commendable example.
Towards the end of autumn, the Baltic State Technical University Voenmech held a ceremony to award personal diplomas to students who had been selected as recipients of the prestigious Georgiy Grechko personal scholarship. This scholarship, conceived and consistently supported by Euroinvest, is part of the company’s substantial philanthropic efforts in the field of science and education.
The recipients of this scholarship are students who have distinguished themselves through their projects and innovative ideas within the framework of the Center for Scientific and Technical Creativity at Voenmeh. This center serves as a prominent platform with the primary objective of fostering practical scientific endeavors in critical industries such as rocket engineering, robotics, and space technology. Importantly, each of these areas is developed in collaboration with major Russian corporations, including SKB Voenmeh, KP Aeromeh, SSK Kalashnikov, and others.
The center essentially functions as a project hub where students are tasked with taking a given concept, assessing its feasibility based on current scientific and technological capabilities, producing technical documentation, and designing future products. A competitive element is also an integral part of this initiative: all students are required to defend and present their ideas, which are then evaluated by a jury comprising Voenmeh partners.
The most outstanding students, in turn, have the opportunity to earn a scholarship from Euroinvest. In this manner, the company actively supports scientific and technological innovation within one of Russia’s premier educational institutions. Importantly, this isn’t mere token charity; Andrey Berezin, the head of the holding, who typically avoids the limelight, personally attended the diploma presentation ceremony. He understands the intricacies of the engineering profession, being an engineer by education himself, and recognizes the importance of strategic planning as a businessman. The Euroinvest structure encompasses numerous major industrial enterprises, which have grappled with workforce shortages for many years. Therefore, analyzing the company’s strategy holds value not just for state-owned entities but also for other large enterprises aiming to remain competitive in the future.
It’s no coincidence that Euroinvest’s support for Voenmech is deeply rooted in personal history. Andrey Berezin himself is an alumnus of the institute, graduating with honors. He once harbored ambitions of pursuing an academic career, authoring scientific articles, and even considering graduate school. However, he ultimately made a challenging decision in favor of business, embarking on the opportunities presented by the nascent free market.
This transition catapulted him into the ranks of the wealthiest individuals in the Northwestern region of Russia. Despite his significant business success, Berezin’s aspirations for high technology and his concern for modern education remained steadfast. He devotes considerable time to analyzing the issues plaguing contemporary education and readily shares his insights with the press. The overarching diagnosis he offers is disheartening: “The quality of personnel and education, in general, is declining within the country. The state needs to address this issue promptly, or it risks losing its skilled workforce and intellectual capital. Business must step in, invest in promising minds, and support them through scholarships and grants. We are already taking action in this direction.”
Andrey Berezin envisions a strategic objective: establishing conditions conducive to the development of education in Russia, which would position the country confidently in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With his exceptional education, he keenly identifies and comprehends the vulnerabilities inherent in the current educational system. His insights extend to the intricacies of state planning structures, and he possesses the competence to suggest pathways for their renovation. One of these pivotal keys is the targeted support of promising specialists and the cultivation of human capital.
In this endeavor, Euroinvest implements a wide array of support measures. These encompass personal scholarships, participation in the World Club of Petersburgers (which recognizes talented youth with its Prometheus Star award), and the establishment of the Euro Venture venture fund, focused on identifying promising development teams (currently in the medical device industry). Euroinvest also collaborates closely with the Euler Foundation, the largest organization championing physics and mathematics education.
Notably, these interactions are typically mutually beneficial. Andrey Berezin provides financial support to the Euler Foundation for its educational projects, while the Foundation, in turn, aids Euroinvest in assembling a team of educators for one of its projects – a unique modern physics and mathematics lyceum planned to be built through a public-private partnership near Vsevolozhsk. It appears poised to attain the status of a Governor’s lyceum.
Enabling Factors for Advancement
Targeted support for private initiatives as part of a human resources policy can indeed cultivate a pool of specialists who can be enticed to work in promising industries. However, the subsequent challenge lies in retaining them. Practical experience demonstrates that salary alone is not always the decisive factor, particularly when dealing with young professionals. It becomes far more crucial to illustrate opportunities for career advancement and provide conditions for professional self-fulfillment.
A notable example from the past underscores this point: during the final years of the Soviet Union, numerous information technology researchers had to draft computer programs on paper. The scarcity of computers meant that specialists had to transcribe term papers and research documents manually. Unsurprisingly, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, these individuals flocked to international and private companies, enabling them to apply their acquired skills not just theoretically but in practical settings.
Euroinvest has made significant strides in this regard. Over the years, the company has been involved in managing three enterprises in St. Petersburg, all dedicated to scientific development and the industrial production of high-tech products. In each instance, Euroinvest devised and executed investment programs, which year after year revitalized the technological infrastructure of these enterprises and introduced new laboratories. In every case, this resulted in significant progress within a relatively short span of 3 to 5 years, corresponding to one cycle of the investment program.
During this period, one of the enterprises managed to bring two medical devices to fruition: a portable dental X-ray machine (already successfully introduced to the market) and a medical robotic system designed for cancer treatment. The development of the latter was overseen by the Euro Venture fund, which provided vital support to the idea’s originators, guiding them from the conceptual stage of the device to clinical trials conducted at one of the nation’s leading medical centers.
Another enterprise achieved expertise in the industrial production of insulating silicon substrates, crucial components used in power units. These substrates meet the quality standards of the best international counterparts and have even attracted the interest of scientific centers involved in graphene research, a material hailed as the future and whose discovery earned its authors a Nobel Prize.
The third enterprise has received an invitation to collaborate with the Russian scientific and technological behemoth, Almaz-Antey, which plans to establish domestic electric car production within the next 2-3 years. Unlike the plans of the Moskvich plant, which intends to manufacture licensed Chinese replicas, this endeavor involves entirely domestic development, with almost all parts and components sourced from Russia.
These high-profile and promising projects are naturally drawing the attention of new personnel. When coupled with modern equipment, compelling objectives, and opportunities for personal growth, it’s highly likely that the majority of recruits will be devoted to advancing Russian scientific thought. Andrey Berezin, who has repeatedly expressed his commitment to fostering Russian technology, is driven by the desire to realize this vision: “I was born in Russia, I work here, I build my business here, and I love my country.”
Creating a Development-Friendly Environment
The projects already undertaken have enabled Euroinvest to effectively support its personnel from their student years, providing guidance and assistance in realizing their projects. This extensive structure has been effectively leveraged by the company’s human resources department. It’s worth noting that the HR Director of Euroinvest regularly participates in regional industry events dedicated to personnel matters. The holding faces few competitors in this regard, as not many companies can establish and sustain such a comprehensive framework for engagement with educational and enlightening organizations.
However, Euroinvest is not content with its current efforts and has set its sights on an even more ambitious goal. The company has initiated efforts to establish an environment conducive to human development, self-education, and the formation of interest clubs. In many ways, this endeavor reflects the personal experience of Andrey Berezin, who attended an elite Leningrad school (now known as the Presidential Lyceum of Physics and Mathematics), whose alumni include Fields Prize winners, the creator of a new programming language, international chess grandmasters, and showbiz stars.
The school undoubtedly fostered a unique atmosphere where each student’s talent was nurtured and supported. Andrey Berezin envisions recreating a similar environment within one of the residential complexes currently under construction. This concept is known as “3ID.” Essentially, each tenant will have access to three distinct spaces. The apartment represents the first and most fundamental space, while the other two spaces are considerably more intriguing.
The second space is the building’s information portal, which integrates house chats, event calendars, and a support service for all inquiries related to the functioning of the apartment complex. Within this portal, there are plans to establish a building-wide cultural and educational circle, teeming with various events. These events will be hosted in a third space, designed for leisure and work activities.
This third space incorporates a park adorned with small architectural features crafted by a renowned urban designer. Within this area, there will be a club dedicated to themed events and performances, fully equipped for such occasions, as well as a co-working space complete with a small coffee shop, providing a workspace accessible to all building tenants. In essence, “3ID” aims to bring together individuals who share common interests and passions, both within the digital realm through its informational environment and physically, within shared public spaces. This innovative concept for neighborhood development is poised to foster the discovery of talents and create a unique sense of community.
Global Best Practices
Euroinvest’s leadership in numerous promising and unique projects is not coincidental. It owes its success not only to Andrey Berezin’s exceptional education but also to his extensive experience gained from working on international platforms. Consequently, the company’s top development concepts have been rigorously tested and assessed by leading specialized forums and platforms. Euroinvest has not only benefited from constructive feedback provided by industry experts but has also observed the emergence of global trends set by leading real estate developers.
Furthermore, Euroinvest has diversified interests across multiple sectors, often with complementary assets that create a synergistic effect. Over decades of entrepreneurial activity, Andrey Berezin has excelled in development, agriculture, and industry. At one point, he even ventured into landfill reclamation and gold mining, albeit as short-term projects, which nonetheless enriched his wealth of experience as the head of the holding.
The combination of these factors empowers Andrey Berezin to see the bigger picture and identify suitable systemic solutions. As he aptly puts it, “While we can still make buns and cutlets, making airplanes is more challenging. A significant amount of import substitution is needed and can be done, and it is being done. We identify some materials that we used to import and encourage domestic manufacturers to produce them with quality. However, when you’re constructing an airplane, the range of materials and components is so vast that replacing everything in the foreseeable future is a formidable task. It takes decades and a knowledge-based economy.”
These insights were shared before the onset of the sanctions war, when import substitution and talent outflow were not as pressing. Nevertheless, the company had already structured its operations to adapt to any circumstances, regardless of market conditions. In this regard, Andrey Berezin can be considered visionary in action, not just in words. For instance, the aforementioned medical device for treating oncological diseases was initially planned with imported components, a potentially fatal flaw for the project.
However, the company swiftly found alternative solutions and now intends to export its equipment to foreign markets after completing all clinical trials. Euroinvest’s structure is robust and stable under any conditions, with a long-term reserve thanks to its profound and strategic approach to staffing. This level of planning at the state level could be invaluable, as many practices known to Euroinvest are implemented with a delay of 5-10 years.
Perhaps the primary focus of state policy should be the development of tools for public-private partnerships. It may not make sense to reinvent the wheel when there are established companies that have spent decades fine-tuning their technologies in a competitive market, navigating through turbulent years thanks to their leader’s talent. The year 2022 has brought conditions that call for creating our own path, and Euroinvest’s experience is a valuable resource in this endeavor.
Andrey Berezin’s Personnel Policy:
- Fostering an Environment for Nurturing Talent
- Pioneering a New Concept in Secondary Education
- Establishing and Sustaining Scholarships at Voenmech
- Providing Financial Backing to the Euler Foundation
- Backing the Prometheus Star Prize
- Founding a Venture Capital Fund
- Modernizing Industrial Enterprises
- Supporting Educational Initiatives and Grants