"The right people know me"
How Andrei Gerasimov from Kostroma build a business on state purchases of medical equipment
For almost a quarter of a century, Andrey Gerasimov owns and runs the company, which became the first among the equals on the Kostroma market of medical equipment. "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" took the third place in the regional ranking of "Kings of the State Order" - only budgetary institutions and only in the Kostroma region signed contracts with it for 1.8 billion rubles.
Along the wall of the spacious office of the owner and director of the "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" - from floor to ceiling - the spacious shelf is aired. There are vintage radiolas, players, radio receivers, TV sets with lenses in bulky, wooden cases. The owner of the office says that collecting antique equipment replaces such usual men's hobbies as hunting or fishing.
A rival of the state
Andrei Gerasimov calls himself a native kostromich. He was born in Kostroma but spent his childhood and youth in Tajikistan. After graduating from Dushanbe School No. 44, he studied one course at Tajik State University. Afterward, he entered the Kiev Institute of Aerospace Control Systems and got the specialty of an engineer of radio electronic equipment. Having worked for a short time at the factory in Kiev, he returned to Kostroma in the early 1990s and got a job at the state company "Medtehnika", which was selling and repairing medical equipment according to the name.

That was a moment of change, and many people rushed to start their own businesses.

Gerasimov decided to turn his work into a business one because he already knew specialists, suppliers, and clients. He wanted to name the company "Kostromskaya gorodskaya medtehnika" (Kostroma's city medical equipment), but the mayor of Kostroma Boris Korobov suggested to remove the word "city". Thus, in April 1994 a private company "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" appeared, becoming a competitor of the state "Medtehnika" - the legal successor of the Soviet company of the same name.
Where's the business money from? "I took a loan from Sberbank, and it wasn't hard to get it then," explains Gerasimov. - Everybody was terrified of how we were gonna give it back. But we gave it back to the bank in two months.
State partner
By now Gerasimov has created a whole group of companies, which in 2017 received revenue of more than half a billion rubles (and for the period of 2012-2017 - 3.8 billion rubles.)

However, the core of the business is government contracts. Since 2011, Gerasimova's companies have won by 2.6 billion rubles, of which 2.1 billion rubles were allocated to the flagship asset - research and production company "Kostromskaya Medtehnika".

This company supplies a wide range of goods: from rubber gloves to the most complicated equipment to the city and regional hospitals, polyclinics, and medical institutions. According to "Kontur. Focus", since February 2011 it has participated in 4461 competitions, and more than half of the time it won.

The relations between Gerasimov and the Kostroma Regional Clinical Hospital named after Korolev are especially good. Over the past five years, "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" has signed contracts with it for almost 370 million rubles. In addition, other Gerasimov's companies - "Kostromskaya Medtechnika Servis" and "MD Light" - have contracted for 153 million rubles. For comparison: the nearest competitor, the "Milga" Company, has supplied the hospital with goods worth 45 million rubles over the same period.
A man with connections
What is the secret of Andrei Gerasimov's success? One of his competitors thinks it's all about connections.

If we are really fighting with our competitors on medicines and our markup as a result of this cutoff is miserable, then on medical equipment there is a different picture: the more expensive the goods are, the more controlled their turnover is," he says. - For example, ultrasound machines are produced by several companies. And they are approximately the same by their parameters - there are some differences, but not fundamental ones. At the stage when the requirements are prescribed in the documentation, the customer specifies the characteristics that only one particular manufacturer has. Then, someone who knows these prerequisites, calls the manufacturer and reserves the necessary position. It is unprofitable for a manufacturer to supply his products to several companies in the same region, as this may result in lower prices. That's why he's making a deal with the first one, and he's refusing everyone else.

In addition, the choice of model and manufacturer of equipment is not made by the specialist who will work on it, but by the one who manages the money - the official of the Health Department, - continues the entrepreneur. You go to the department, and you ask: why did you prescribe a Samsung purchase? They answer, "That's what doctors want. And then the doctors confess that nobody asked them about anything. Manufacturers simply pay lavish rewards to those who promote their products. And this system kills competition," concludes the 7x7 interviewee.

Gerasimov does not see any crime in the fact that his employees and himself are familiar with the heads of medical institutions, heads of departments and many medical specialists. Doctors don't always know the latest medical technologies," he says. - We help them figure it out, we can advise them. Our specialists are constantly going to their studies and specialized shows, so they are informed about all new trends.

The antimonopoly authority believes that there is nothing wrong with competition in this market. "Two years ago, we did a procurement analysis, which showed that the "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" does not dominate the Kostroma market," says Oleg Reveltsev, Deputy Head of the Kostroma UFAS.

According to him, the Russian market of medical equipment is focused primarily on public institutions. And there's a buyer's dictatorship in it. There is equipment that is manufactured by more than a dozen companies, and then there is medical equipment, which is produced by one company in the world. Like, for example, the unique mammograph installed in the Kostroma oncology clinic.

Competition could be increased by major federal companies acting as dealers of manufacturers or importers, argues Gerasimov's competitor. But they prefer not to contact the Kostroma hospitals because of the huge delays with payment:

"They would rather sell the goods on a pre-payment basis to an intermediary than wait for months or even years for money," the entrepreneur explains. His company sues the courts for contracts which are approaching three years in arrears. Otherwise, they'll expire and you'll get nothing at all.

Over the past few years, money for delivered goods has been collected only through the courts, Gerasimov agreed. Over the past 10 years "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" has participated 408 times as a plaintiff in arbitration proceedings on non-fulfillment of the obligations under delivery contracts. The claim amount is 166 million rubles. Defendants are the regional health care department, therapeutic and preventive and budgetary educational institutions.
Avid complainer
Gerasimov's connections do not prevent him from writing complaints to the antimonopoly service. According to Reveltsev from the UFAS, "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" was the first organization to file a complaint regarding the purchase of medical equipment in 2008. The regional hospital purchased a diagnostic device - quite complex and expensive equipment - and required the installation of a three-dimensional heartbeat sensor. "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" outraged why they need a three-dimensional sensor if we don't perform such operations, and there are no doctors who know these techniques? This category has similar equipment but without a sensor. But the customer explained that the sensor may be needed in the long run, and the UFAS acknowledged the complaint as unfounded, says Reveltsev.

He recalls how 8-10 years ago the Kostroma region used to spend two billion federal money under the program of health care modernization. "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" was an active participant in the auction and no less actively filed complaints to the FAS on procurement, which, in their opinion, had been violated. "About 80 percent of the complaints were received from them," says Reveltsev.

For example, in 2011, "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" filed 17 complaints to the UFAS. Five of them were considered to be valid and three partially valid. The company disputed the rejection of bids, refusal of access to the tender, unlawful requirements in the auction documentation.

We're not stopping anybody's work, we're just correcting the inaccuracies," explains Gerasimov. - Our employees are highly qualified experts who are even involved in the drafting of the standards. That's why they're good at what they do. So if no one listens to them, we have to contact the anti-monopoly team.
Not a king, but a philosopher
At the end of the conversation, Gerasimov asks not to use the expression "king of the state order" against him. In the minds of ordinary people, they say, corruption is in the nature of public procurement and is associated with the mafia and oligarchs. And the "Kostromskaya Medtehnika" isn't like that.

"My selfishness is that I live in Kostroma, and all my relatives, too," says our interviewee. - I am interested in them being able to receive the necessary medical treatment here, rather than going to Moscow or neighboring regions. Over the past five years, we have received a number of technologically advanced medical equipment, including high-tech ones, such as tomographs. Now Kostroma residents do not need to go to the hospital No.8 in Yaroslavl, as it used to be, because we have good equipment both in state institutions and private clinics. However, there is a problem with specialists, without whom the new equipment is useless. But it's not just a problem for our region, it's a national issue."

Gerasimov says he lives modestly in his grandfather's house, which is about 200 years old. Drives a Russian-made Ford car. No boat, no yacht, no helicopter.

Gerasimov calls his best place to rest... the sofa. Says there' s nothing to do abroad, it's better to go to a country house or just to the countryside.

"You need to create a well-being zone around you, and then you will feel comfortable in it," says the entrepreneur. - Saving for savings is pointless. So you'll go to Miami. A Mexican guy's gonna beat you up there, and you can' t do a thing. Are you happy now? Or to sit in a condominium in Spain and keep your head down because you don't know the language. Is that what you call happiness?

Gerasimov explains his nonpublicity simply: "Those who need me know me. And that' s enough."
Kings of State Order. Kostroma region
How the ranking was made

The initial sample frame of companies was done with "SPARK-Marketing" database and included all companies, which between January 1st, 2011 and October 28th, 2018 have made 94/44-F3 contracts in that region worth over 300 million rubles. Then, the government and municipal companies were removed from the list, as well as the companies which 94/44-F3 contracts made less than a half of the sum of their total contracts (94/44-F3 and 223-F3) in that region; the companies which were in fact just branches of the major regional companies were removed as well.

The remaining companies had their owners identified with the help of both "Kontur. Fokus" and "SPARK-Interfax" databases. The companies with common owners were added to a common cluster and their contracts summed, after that the ranking was ordered by the owner. In the cases where the owner was unable to identify (which mostly took place in cases with ZAO), as an exception, a general director's name was written in the "Owner" field (all such cases are specified separately).
1st place
2nd place
3d place
4th place
5th place
6th place
7th place
8th place
9th place
10th place
Anatoly Yablonsky
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
3.8 billion rubles
Kostromskaya Sbytovaya Kompaniya
A graduate of the Military Academy Anatoly Yablonsky, 53, Kuibyshev, is the founder of more than 20 companies and the deputy chairman of the board of directors of Avangard Bank. In December 2017, the news agency "Ruspress" called Yablonsky a neighbor of the former governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko: according to the newspaper, he owns six hundred square meters of land in the Ples of the Ivanovo region near the house of his son Poltavchenko.

Kostromskaya Sbytovaya Kompaniya (KSK) was separated from "Kostromaenergo" in May 2004 during the reorganization of the company, and is a guaranteeing electricity supplier in the region. The total amount of contracts concluded — 4.4 billion rubles. Revenue for 2017 — 8 billion rubles.

92.59% of KSK is owned by "Rusenergokapital". It manages the KSK, as well as EIRKTS (calculation of utility payments) located in Kostroma, "Rusenergotekhnologii" (building of engineering structures), "Vodokanalservis" (water intake and purification for drinking and industrial needs), Kostroma fish industry (hunting, trapping and shooting wild animals). Yablonsky owns 100% of "Rusenergokapital", the general director of the company is Irina Samarina.
Tatyana Grevtseva and Olga Vasilyeva
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
2 billion rubles
Tatyana Grevtseva and Olga Vasilyeva indirectly, through other companies, own 43.32% and 44.34% of the investment construction project association "Kostromagorstroy". Grevtseva is a co-owner and CEO of more than a dozen companies (including the Samokovskaya Hotel, Samokovskiye Bani, "Salokha", KFK No. 1). In particular, she manages the construction company "Parus", owned by businessmen Sergey Kozljutsky and Yevgeny Yakiv, well-known in Kostroma (according to his pictures in social networks, Grevtseva is a sister of Yakiv).

"Kostromagorstroy" has been active in the construction market for over 20 years, had a good material and technical base, and successfully participated in the bidding. In November 2017, "Kostromagrostroy" took the third place in the regional reliability rating of developers. In the same month, the Investigation Committee opened a criminal case on the non-payment of wages to the employees of the design institute "Kostromagorstroy". At the beginning of 2018, payroll debts in other holding companies were added to it. In the summer, claims against the construction giant appeared among the real estate investors: "Kostromagorstroy" broke the deadlines for five houses, leaving hundreds of Kostroma residents homeless. Today, the property of "Kostromagorstroy" has been arrested, shareholders of unfinished houses hold pickets, a criminal case has been opened against CEO Yevgeny Nagorov for failure to comply with the court decision, he was expelled from "United Russia and lost the mandate of the deputy of the regional duma.

The total amount of contracts — 3.5 billion rubles. The company's revenue for 2017 — 169 million rubles.
Andrey Gerasimov and Marina Bakulina
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
1.8 billion rubles
Kostromskaya Medtekhnika
In April 2019, Kostroma citizen Andrey Gerasimov will celebrate two important dates at once — his own 55th anniversary and quarter-century anniversary of the Kostromskaya Medtekhnika scientific and production company, established by him jointly with the 56-year-old Marina Bakulina, the company's chief accountant (they have 75% and 25% respectively). Gerasimov is also the owner of Kostroma Medtekhnika-Service and a number of companies in the manufacturing, medical and construction industries. Before creating his own private company, a graduate of the Kiev Institute of Aerospace Control Systems by profession "engineer of electronic equipment" worked at a factory in Kiev and in the state "Medtekhnika" in Kostroma.

Kostroma residents know the company "Kostroma Medtekhnika" because of the same network, consisting of three retail stores. But the main income of the company is made by wholesale trade — since 2011, it has concluded government contracts for 2.1 billion rubles. Justifying the name of a research and production company, Kostromskaya Medtekhnika also produces its own products — medical furniture, sterilization equipment, disposable syringes and even mammographs. The company's revenue for 2017 — 312.5 million rubles.
Vladimir Borzov
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
0.7 billion rubles
Vladimir Borzov has owned 100% of MMS since 2017. The main activity of the Moscow company is the construction of buildings, but for Kostroma people, it is known as a bridge building, or rather, bridge repair company. It was MMS in 2017–2018 that carried out the overhaul of the only auto-pedestrian bridge across the Volga in the regional center.

The other customers of MMS for the last two years have been REM and Moszhilcomplex, as well as Schelkovsky Vodokanal, which were established by the Moscow City Department of City Property. The total amount of MMS contracts — 1 billion rubles. Revenue for 2017 — 1.1 billion rubles.
Alexander Matvienko
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
0.63 billion rubles
Since May 2017, Alexander Matvienko is the sole founder of the Venetsiya Company. He is also a co-owner of "Kostromastroyremont", "Olaks Development" and "Stroyservice". Before him, the owner of "Stroyservice" was Yevgeny Yakiv, and the company "Olaks Development" was owned by Yakiv and Sergey Seklyutsky. This tandem of businessmen was engaged in the construction of the Venetsiya residential district in the Zavolzhsky district of Kostroma. Today, Seklyutsky and Yakiv own a group of construction companies, KFK No. 1, which is the largest player in the regional construction market. Firms of Matvienko are registered at the same addresses as the companies of Yakiv and Seklyutsky: st. Samokovskaya, 10A and Inzhenerny lane, 3.

The main customers for "Venetsiya" were the construction and overhaul administration of the Kostroma administration and Oblstroyzakazchik, who in 2011–2015 purchased apartments to relocate citizens from emergency housing and provide housing for orphans. Apartments were provided in the houses of the new neighborhood of Venetsiya. The company's revenue for 2017 — 347 thousand rubles.
Vladimir Yakhontov and Ilya Yakhontov
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
0.49 billion rubles
The main shareholders of the family firm, the successor of the Department for the Mechanization of the Trust Spetsstroymekhanizatsiya of the USSR Ministry of Environment Protection, are 56-year-old Vladimir Yakhontov (32.91%) and 47-year-old Ilya Yakhontov (21.31%). Vladimir Yakhontov is the head of five companies and the founder of 16, Ilya Yakhontov is a co-owner of 12 companies.

The founder of "Stroymekhanizatsiya" and the father of the current owners is Albert Yakhontov, he still has 18.18% of the shares, although he died in July 2017. Albert Yakhontov made his way from a mechanic at the construction site to the head of the trust department. He participated in the most large-scale construction projects of the 1970s: he built residential districts in Yakimanikha, Chernorechye, Yubileyny, Davydovsky, Motordetal, SMZ, automatic line plant, DOS. Since the 1980s, his younger brother Vyacheslav worked alongside Albert Yakhontov, and later his sons Ilya and Vladimir came to work in the company. Now the third generation of builders is already working there.

In August 2013, the Sverdlovsk court of Kostroma found Albert, Vladimir and his son Roman Yakhontovy guilty of commercial bribery. It was found that the management of "Stroymekhanizatsiya and two other citizens received a payoff for refusing to participate in the competition to clean the bottom of the Selenga river in Buryatia. All five were fined. Despite this, in October 2015, Vladimir Yakhontov was awarded the regional medal "Labor. Valor. Honour". Currently, the most famous representative of the Stroymekhanizatsiya company is Ilya Yakhontov, since 2015 he has been a deputy of the regional duma.

"Stroymekhanizatsiya" works not only with Kostroma customers, it has contracts for construction work in the Ivanovo, Yaroslavl and Vladimir regions. The amount of contracts for eight years — 599 million rubles. The largest is the contract for the reconstruction of the rowing base on the Rechnoy Prospect in Kostroma — 255 million rubles. The company's revenue for 2017 — 130 million rubles.
Arseny Baranov and Sergey Sibrin
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
0.38 billion rubles
The company "Stroitel" was registered on December 19, 2008 in the city of Ivanovo. Its founders in equal shares are Arseny Baranov and Sergey Sibrin.

Arseny Baranov is a co-owner of six companies (four in Ivanovo and two in Kaliningrad), all of which are somehow related to the construction. The same number of firms were founded by Sergey Sibrin, five of them also work in the construction industry. The leadership of "Stroitel" over the 10 years of its existence has changed five times; the current CEO, Yakov Ukhanov, also heads the "Stroy-Region" established by Baranov and Sibrin, which has the same address as "Stroitel".

On the seventh line of ranking of Kostroma suppliers and contractors, the Ivanovo company got with a single contract "Construction of the building of the Makarievsky intermunicipal department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Kostroma region" concluded at the end of 2012 in the amount of 377 million rubles. After 2013, the company did not conclude any government contracts, but there is a significant amount of enforcement proceedings, debts on tax payments.
Anton Rybin and Natalia Alekseeva
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
0.36 billion rubles
The owner of the Nedra company in Sharya is for 95.2% its own, and 4.8% is owned by Natalia Alekseeva, the co-founder and manager of more than a dozen companies in various regions. CEO Anton Rybin is listed as the founder of four and the head of 13 companies, of which only three are active.

From 2012 to 2016, Nikolay Perevozchikov, who now heads the department of architecture, construction, and housing and public utilities of the Sharyinsky District administration, worked as the general director of "Nedra".

Under contracts of 2012–2014, "Nedra" provided Sharya and Oblstroyzakazchik administration apartments for the relocation of citizens from emergency housing and housing for orphans. In November 2018, the company was excluded from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities as an inactive legal entity.
Rafail Ulbekov
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
0.34 billion rubles
Rafail Ulbekov is a 100% owner of "KANT-Stroygarant", a company founded in 2000, based in the town of Chernogolovka, Moscow Region. Ulbekov has no other assets.

In 2011, the company concluded eight small contracts for the repair of buildings of the Kostroma police, in 2012, won two large contracts for building of the inter-municipal department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Vokhma and the building of the dog training center in Kostroma. Since 2012, "KANT-Stroygarant" has not concluded any government contracts, but it continues to work: in 2017, the company's revenue amounted to 89 million rubles.
Vladimir Romanov
Amount of government orders in the Kostroma region:
0.3 billion rubles
FST Contract
The founder of the Moscow-based construction company "FST Contract", established in March 2000, is Vladimir Romanov, the owner of two liquidated companies — FST Group (wholesale) and FST Project (wholesale food and beverages), as well as "Security Service FST" which is in the process of liquidation.

The large amount of contracts of "FST Contract" is accounted for the purchase of apartments for the relocation of citizens from emergency housing in the city of Manturovo Kostroma region in the period from 2011 to 2014. The customer for all contracts is the Municipal Property and Land Management Committee of the Manturovo Administration of the Kostroma Region. Since October 2015, the company has been in the insolvency proceeding.
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