Marat Abasaliev, EMBA 9

Marat’s software for airplanes, which he developed, is used in Cuban Airlines, Krasair, on several Areoflot planes, several private planes of various state officeals, such as the formar Prime Minister Mikhail Yefimovich Fradko and the Sheikh of Sudan.  Marats solutoins included intercome systems, and various passanger entertainment programs (flight maps, flight parameters, music, movies) … They say Sheikh was very pleased.

When did you start Skolkovo?

“We, EMBA1, were the first to graduate and throw our hats in the air, and now two and a half years later, SKOLKOVO already has EMBA 10!”

Marat has a technical degree in Systems Engineering.  After graduating from University he worked at SRI, a company which designs radars.  In general, he has worked as a computer programmer and has more than 15 years experience working in the IT industry.

Marat came to Moscow in 2006 from Makhachkala.  Leaving the chairmen and sheikhs behind, Marat became a developer in IT-ONLINE GROUP with the thought that a good software product needs not only to be useful, but also needs good businessmen to sell and grow the business.  After  2 years of programming he became the Head of Development and managed several projects, including the development of an internal payment system for credit cards.

Today Marat is the Director General of the processing center of PayOnline, with more than 1,000 Russian and international e-commerce enterprises as its clients. PayOnline is part of the holding company IT-ONLINE GROUP.  The company provides security payments to five million cardholders worldwide.

“Our clients are online shopping sites from giants like to startups, travel agencies and ticket offices. We have both Russian and Foreign internet projects, in sectors from  insurance, finance companies, housing and utilities. In general our clients are all those, whose business is on the Internet and who want to provide their customers with a convenient and secure payment service.  PayOnline offers reliable and secure payment solutions that enable payments for all types of credit cards through the most popular payment instruments such as Yandex, WebMoney, QIWI for consumers around the world.   We work in a very dynamic market and we believe that the potential market in Russia is huge. There are tens of thousands of compnaies, and the market is growing at an average of 36% per year.  PayOnline is among the three largest service providers of online payment and we have acheived these impressive results in just three years.  Now there are around  30 players in the market but with such market growht there is enough work for everyone.

Have you thought of becoming an independent developer and making use of the opportunities in the market?

“I like to work in a team and with the holding company . PayOnline has a lot of partners which provide professional expertise and assistance in the organization of business processes as well as support in crisis situations.  For example, Dmitry Volkov, a graduate from SKOLKOVO EMBA 2, made considerable strides in  organising internal business processes and building a team spirit within the holding company.   As CEO in PayOnline I try to stick to the established policy of holding management personnel and maintain an effective creative working atmosphere in the team. I am a big supporter of teamwork as well as motivating the personal growth of each of the team members.

Marat has extensive practical experience in programming and management. In SKOLKOVO he hoped to gain practical knowledge that would help him become a more successful entrepreneur.

Marat, you are so passionate about your work, how do you manage to find time for a personal life?

“I’ve been married 5 years, 5 months and 14 days. We met at work. Actually their have been 7 weddings in our company. Wife laughs that I only now look like a CEO. Before, when I worked as a programmer, I could easily come to work in a sweater, dressed in trousers and socks in different colors.  I have changed as a person but my family has always been my first priority.  We try to vacation together, plan together and learn. In Spain I taught my wife to ride a bike. We rode along the waterfront there, knocking over pedestrians like skittles, but no one was hurt (hw laughs).  Our daughter is 10 months and 6 days old.  We’re together, «log book» of the child, decide together how to raise other issues. Work takes a lot of time, but of course, I want to spend more time with my family.  Sometimes I am successful in this, sometimes not!”

— Marat, what would you wish for SKOLKOVEITS?

“More communication. We need more initiatives to help students from different groups to become more familiar with one another.  For example — to play mafia or mountain climbing.  That we are all in SKOLKOVO is no accident.  We are all very interesting from different backgrounds, cities, countries, and cultures. We are a mix of business owners, government officials, leaders, and much more. We need to be able to share our knowledge, contacts, and experiences with one another and to find common ground which can help develop our existing businesses and the creation of new projects.”

After a pause, he adds:

“It is already clear that our study included not only knowledge, but also to become part of a unique community.  In Makhachkala, when I have issues I simply call a friend, with whom I studied in school or in college for help.   When I arrived in Moscow it was not like this. It was hard to find friends when you are in your 30’s.  To build friends means going out together, building something together, getting into mischief together, achieving success together. Since my arrival in Skolkovo, I realized that I found a community to do this.  It was good to be a student again!



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