Interview with Mikhail Slobodin

CEO VimpelCom Russia

What is important here is to build strong and well-structured partnerships, where people will generate the right high-quality products, which will be in high demand and supported by our infrastructure.

I have worked in various industries and it is a normal exercise to plan your budget, say, for the next 15 years. Honestly, though, in telecoms it is difficult to make such plans even for a two-year horizon. Everything changes very fast, and three years for telecoms is already a long-term horizon.

We are seeking to build an economically sustainable model, where we would be the favourite mobile operator for customers... We want to demonstrate to the market and prove to ourselves that the client-oriented strategy builds value.

Competition makes companies do many things differently, more creatively, faster and more efficiently. It eliminates inefficient management, which is not up to the task, as the results of financial reporting make things crystal clear.

I believe that the current model established in the telecoms industry demonstrates that a reasonable level of government influence and promotion of competition creates an efficient industry, which drives the growth of the national economy.

Customers are important to me. They pay our salaries. We need to understand that it is not just sim-cards that we sell. These are real people with different needs and problems. Our task is to minimise their problems as much as we can. This is our key focus.

As part of PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Mikhail Slobodin, CEO of VimpelCom Russia. In this short video, Mikhail shares his views on building value through having a client-oriented business strategy. He also highlights VimpelCom Russia's strong focus on delivering excellent customer service and explains that competition in the marketplace makes for a more efficient industry.

Mikhail Slobodin graduated from the Ural State University in 1993, majoring in Economics, and has an Academic degree as Candidate of Science (Engineering). Before joining VimpelCom, Mikhail was an Executive Vice President of Strategy and New Business Development in OJSC TNK-BP Management. Prior to this, between 2003 and 2011 he held key positions in several companies in the Oil & Gas sector including as President of OJSC Russian Utility Systems; General Director, President of CJSC Integrated Energy Systems; Vice President for Energy of OJSC TNK-BP Management and as Director of the Engineering Business Development Department of OJSC TNK Management. Mikhail started his business career in 1998, as Head of the Economics Division in OJSC SUAL.

 These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.