Many state programs and initiatives in modern Russia aim to support domestic business, primarily in manufacturing. There are more than 60 mechanisms of support under the national project to help small and medium-sized enterprises. Among them are subsidizing rates on some credit products, accelerated VAT refunds, and a range of other payments. In addition, there are programs of targeted support for industry and the transport of export goods.
Undoubtedly, each of them bring results. Moreover, some of them appeared as a reaction to the crisis shocks first in 2020-2021, connected with the pandemic of new coronavirus infection, and then in 2022, in which the most significant negative factors were the breaking of international economic chains and the strengthening of the sanctions pressure. They managed to achieve their goals, if at least only partially.
The overall financial situation in the country remains challenging and variable, however, with the business community remaining dissatisfied with the overly regulated business climate. In conversations with experts, government officials complain that support programs often stall due to a shortage of potential recipients. These complaints, too, have objective grounds.
This is why companies and businesses that demonstrate the potential for internal growth are precious in the current situation of the national economy. Entrepreneurs who find their way to development and modernization even in conditions of a damaging economic crisis. A vivid example of such a responsible business aimed at development, despite objective difficulties, is the investment company Euroinvest, working in the northern capital of Russia and St. Petersburg.
Development in a Club Format
The company’s history began in the 90s when two young entrepreneurs joined forces: Andrey Berezin and Yuri Vasilyev. Each are still co-owners of Euroinvest and remain close business partners. Based on the start-up capital earned on the trade of groceries and necessities, the company’s founders were looking for an area for strategic capital investment, and they found it in housing construction.
Since the early zero’s, the company actively realizes development projects, managing to take a leading position in the construction market in St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas of the Leningrad region.
Its most notable projects are related to Kudrovo and Murino locations. When the company came there, they were small suburban settlements. After decades of active construction, both received the status of towns and became leaders in population growth rate.
Berezin and Vasiliev succeeded in the new sphere due to several proactive decisions – the partners anticipated the trends that would later dominate the mass housing market.
One of them was to abandon single-point construction to build large areas outside the city. Consequently, the company was one of the first to construct complete residential complexes that include houses, public spaces, and recreation areas.
An equally important factor was the choice of the so-called Euro-format housing. Most developers continued to build apartments under the scheme familiar to Russians from Soviet times. The main point of interest rested in the number of rooms, kitchens, toilets, and storage areas were planned by a leftover principle. Euroinvest was one of the first to propose a new configuration in which the kitchen zone was combined with the living room. The layout of nonresidential areas was designed no less thoroughly than living rooms.
At the time, many viewed this as a risky move, but time has shown that it was worth the risk. According to recognition of marketing specialists from Euroinvest and other construction companies working in big cities, consumers more commonly buy apartments built by European design in the first place.
In the 2010s, the company Berezina and Vasiliev made the next step. It began to offer the customers housing and a more complex product: a new quality and style of life in the built complexes.
The new ideology was called 3id, combining the technological approach, including the reliance on innovative home technologies and the maximum presence of public spaces, both open and under the roof.
Fundamentally important attention was paid to the requirements and needs of families with children. For example, the developer’s playgrounds are very different from what other market participants offer. They are diverse and multi-component, opening up the possibility of implementing a countless number of play scenarios. Along with the outdoor areas, the company also provides insulated areas for leisure during the cold season. The playrooms were also equipped with a modern and diverse equipment, allowing children and parents to spend time without boredom.
The main point worth noting is that the ideology of 3id includes the event-filling leisure time of the residents. Therefore, Euroinvest was the first to offer its customers the club communication format. Clients can access regular events, meetings with interesting people, master classes and lectures, and film screenings. This helps introduce people to each other and gives them more reasons to spend time outside the apartment in public residential complexes. Given the closed nature of such a club, such communication gets a certain degree of safety, which also positively affects the quality of life. Add to this an extensive system of discounts for members, both for services provided on the territory of the quarter and for goods sold.
Today, all the residential complexes the company builds strictly within the 3id, and, despite the fears of industry analysts, receive a lot of positive feedback from customers and colleagues in the industry. This year, for example, the Union of Construction Associations and Organizations of the Leningrad region called Euroinvest, the most client-oriented developer in the region. The holding looks well from the point of view of quantitative indices and is one of the leaders in the area and one of the significant participants in the market in St. Petersburg.
The first ten developers of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region in the first half of 2022 (according to BN.RU):
|Builder||No. of apartments||Total area of apartments, ths. sq. m.|
|Setl City||5 761||216|
|LSR. Nedvizhimost-SZ||4 854||176|
|Aquilon Group||1 690||80|
|Construction Trust||1 061||66|
|Legenda Intelligent Development||834||64|
|Euroinvest Development||1 205||57|
|Novoselie Development||1 301||47|
From Agricultural Products to Medical Robots
Even if Euroinvest’s successes remained localized within the development industry alone, it would be difficult to call the company a model of dynamic and comprehensive development. However, this is all appreciated given the fact that for ten years, Berezin and Vasilyev have been actively searching for ways to move beyond the usual territory and achieved significant results.
One of the first attempts was the purchase of an agricultural farm in the Dnovsky district of the Pskov region. The new owners got arable land and a dairy herd. Having invested about two hundred million rubles in the modernization and expansion of the technical base of the farm, the investors got a full-fledged agricultural cluster, producing raw materials and finished dairy products under the MoleMe brand. The successes of the new production are noticeable, although they remain local. Sales of the cluster’s products are mainly concentrated within the Pskov Region. However, this year the company made an important symbolic step to expand these boundaries and signed an agreement with the Leningrad Zoo. According to it, the animals in the zoo will receive fodder grown on the fields of the cluster.
Of course, the worsening economic situation has led to the restriction of plans for the further development of Euroinvest’s farm. Still, it has by no means forced the owners to abandon them. At the beginning of the year, the holding acquired the assets of a neighboring farming enterprise, including a milking herd and cowsheds, for its dairy production.
Berezin emphasized his forthcoming efforts to develop agricultural clusters in a recent interview: “In the future, we will be more actively engaged in the agricultural project. It is already clear that there will be trouble with food worldwide. […] even in this zone of risky agriculture, which includes our land in the Pskov region, it is necessary to develop agriculture.”
Investments in agriculture were only a prologue, however, to a much more powerful story of entering the field of industry and innovation. In 2012, Euroinvest began to form its industrial portfolio by becoming one of the owners of the Svetlana plant. It was then joined by two more enterprises, all based in St. Petersburg and belonging to the electronic industry so crucial for the country today.
According to some reports, the total investments in the modernization of their production base amount to a billion rubles, but the results are commensurate with the expended efforts. The holding enterprises have already become a platform for developing some promising projects, including those in the medical sphere.
The media has repeatedly written about a new-generation robotic complex designed to take part in operations to remove lung tumors. It was created by one of the teams under the enterprises of Euroinvest. The complex is expected to help dramatically increase the effectiveness of treatment of this dangerous pathology, primarily because it will allow surgeons to influence the X-ray radiation precisely on the tumor zone without damaging healthy tissue.
It took several years of work and the involvement of doctors, scientists, and roboticists to turn the idea into an actual prototype. Finally, the result is nearing completion, and the device is being prepared for mass production.
Biochips developed with the help of the holding company have bright prospects. Today, similar instruments are used in tests for viruses, including coronavirus. The next generation will be offered even more fantastic opportunities, particularly in analyzing the human genome and identifying predispositions to genetic pathologies.
Gifted Children as a Long-Term Investment
We believe that even the above examples would already be enough for people to acknowledge the validity of Euroinvest’s choice as a model to follow, but the holding executives have continued developing, just recently launching a new intellectual capital expansion stage. Berezin and his team have moved from supporting specific developments to supporting the education industry.
Signs of the transition phase were noticeable before. The holding was actively supporting young talents, helping schools and gymnasiums to renovate, and participating in educational programs of partner organizations. Now the last doubts are cast aside: Berezin announced that the company plans to build an entire educational center for gifted children from scratch.
The company plans to build the center at its own expense, aiming to build several buildings at once, as well as a sports center and a laboratory unit. In this case, the holding intends to invest in personnel selection.
Berezin spoke of his plans for these developments in detail: “We want to open a governor’s academy for gifted children of the North-West boarding type with a developed infrastructure for sports and additional education. We have a teaching staff from the former 45th boarding school, which is the most important thing. We’ve already selected a location, and agreements in principle have been reached. We have made a preliminary design, received the terms of reference, and begun the project. We will pay for the design, and we will support the team of teachers who will come to work there when the school is ready.”
Experts say that, by investing in the education industry, Euroinvest intends to solve its personnel problems by providing itself with competent specialists for years to come. Attention and respect should be paid to the approach that allows all to benefit the company, the city, and hundreds of talented children. If there are examples of socially active businesses worthy of state support in today’s Russia, then the St. Petersburg holding should be at the top of their list.
Andrey Berezin was born in 1967 in Leningrad.
He graduated from high school No. 239 with an advanced degree in mathematics. In 1990 he graduated with honors from Leningrad Ustinov Mechanical Institute (VOENMEKh) with a degree in automatic control systems engineering. In 1990, he enrolled in postgraduate studies at LMI and started a similar business.
In 2017 he was awarded a certificate of honor by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia for his significant contribution to the development of Russian industry and many years of diligent work.
Euroinvest Investment Company is a multi-profile holding company that has been carrying out investment activities in St. Petersburg, the Leningrad Region, and other regions of Russia for several decades. The range of Euroinvest investment interests includes high-tech industry and innovative developments to real estate development and comfortable housing construction.
One of the critical elements in the structure of Euroinvest Group is its construction division, Euroinvest Development, which is engaged in the construction of housing and other facilities, thus forming a full-cycle development business.