Anton Khodarev, EMBA 7

Anton is now 32. 10 years ago Anton completed his post-graduate thesis and moved to Moscow. At the age of 28 he received a doctorate degree and became one of the youngest among high scientific profiles in Russia. Anton also graduated from two universities almost at the same time, enriching his academic baggage with economic and legal education.

Anton’s first job experience came at the age of 13 working as interpreter. It’s not that we were starving – as he often jokes, but I felt I had to start doing something not less hang out in the street and stay away from problems with law that some of the kids my age had at that time. This is one of the reason’s Anton now appreciates his father’s decision to push him towards early work. In the end this shaped his personality and laid a strong foundation to his future.

A quarter Jew, a quarter Armenian, but Cossack in my soul, Anton views the South of Russia as his homeland.

Anton continued to work as interpreter in high school and moved to a bank internship in his early years of college. As a part of his college group he was also involved in consulting engagement with Rostov Water Utility Company. Primarily hard work on that engagement led to an attractive offer. After Anton graduate, the firm invited him to move to Moscow and join Russian Utility Grid Company where he shortly became deputy head of financial department for one of the service lines.

After a while though Anton received a position of financial director in a different company – Russian coal, department of housing maintenance and utilities. Here Anton participated in privatization of several large parts of utility infrastructure, wrote of debts for local coal companies and pushed his career forward becoming a financial director for distribution division of Russian Coal.

Later Anton could have been noticed working for one of the Russian Forbes. As his test assignment Anton received the most risky and remote assets in the portfolio located on Kuril Islands. His job was to look after fish factories. Getting rid of the fish heritage through selling the business successfully, Anton proved himself as a trusted person and was promoted to a large scale advisor on variety of projects.

When he was little Aton, as most boys, dreamt of being a secret service agent. Later he intended to become a baker. And after that decided to be a financial director. But looking back, Anton thought that civil professions weren’t quite what he wanted, taking the firm character and motivation he got form his childhood. So, what today makes Anton’s responsibility to a large extent looks his first childhood dream, with an exception that it functions in a relatively peaceful environment.

Huge amount of money by your side. Quick wittedness to act in any conditions. Out of the box thinking for numerous problems that occur. Buying large production sites. Running bankruptcy procedures. Planning business reorganization measures. Buying real estate abroad. Acquisition of a foreign soccer club. Paying back the debts. Those some of the routine tasks that Russian oligarchs face.

Anton admits that likes his job. Scale. Complexity. Risk. Adrenalin. He is young, good looking and talented. When asked if he plans to open business on his own says “not now, may be in 5 years”. So what are his goals? Where is he heading? What he wants to prove? What is he looking for in SKOLKOVO?

It’s pretty common that his job makes Anton a tough guy. He admits he can sometimes be too cynical. It seems that over his career he has witnessed many cases of people acting cruel and mean. But this is not more or less than doing business in Russian, which was captured in numerous books and movies of the time.

“When you notice that the number of people who turn you soul into darkness becomes overwhelmingly big, and one morning you think that may be you’re now just like them, there is only one escape – find new network of people with fresh looks and better attitudes” – Anton says.

“I’m lucky to find such people in my EMBA group, studying next to me in SKOLKOVO. I’m really thankful to them, as their company gives me a break and recharges my batteries, as we talk, smile, laugh”.

As we speak I have an impression that Anton is a kind person with delicate feelings. He pays attention to people. We met in the lobby bar of Lotte hotel. I walked in and threw my jacket on the chair with my usual negligence. Meanwhile Anton picked up my jacket and hung it. Of course, we ladies love when someone is courteous. Back this is not
what amazed me. “I’ve known the waitresses for quite a while here. Their manager will think they don’t pay enough attention to clients. That will get them in trouble.” – Anton explained. Really?! I didn’t even think from this perspective.

After meeting with Anton I realized that he is in the process of some big transformations. He wants to refine his life goals. This is something very familiar to anyone who has succeeded. I don’t know yet what focus of his efforts Anton might choose – single standing project, recurring business or social involvement. But it will be his own way of making life better. Not long ago Anton’s group has crossed the line in the middle of their education. There’s still time ahead. So I would really love to see Anton taking full advantage and finding what he’s looking for in new knowledge and people that he’s net and will further meet on his way.



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