3.4 billion with love
How a student from India became the main medicine supplier in Smolensk region
Back in 1991, the 17-year-old Indian Kumar Abhay Singh left his home in warm Balangure to go to cold Russia and enter the Moscow Energy Institute. Fate smiled at him: he became one of the largest regional suppliers of medicines. Only in the Smolensk region and only budgetary structures since 2011 brought him and his wife contracts for 2.8 billion rubles, while in total in Russia they won 3.4 billion rubles. Kumar Singh comes second in the "Kings of State Order" local ranking.
"You can learn a language but don't get the people"
"Back in the old days, Singhs did not work at My grandfather was a big landlord, he had people working for him," says Kumar Singh. His parents weren't poor, in fact, they owned the crushed stone mining business. By the age of 17, Kumar had already graduated from school and received a chemical and biological education at the college. But his father dreamed of an engineer son, and Kumar obeyed - he traveled to India to study aviation mechanics. - On my way home, I saw an advertisement inviting to study in Russia - to the best universities in the world. And not so expensive: 700-800 dollars a year, all included.

I thought it was interesting. Besides, I'm gonna look at the new country. I came home and told my dad: I have two news, the first one - I entered a university, and the other - I want to study in Russia. At first, he resisted, but then he let me go.

Kumar remembers that he lived in hunger and cold in Moscow. So he decided to come home. But at the Moscow Energy Institute, he was offered to visit their Smolensk branch first - in case if he would like it there.

"When we met and they brought me to the dorm - I didn't know a single word in Russian. Not a single word! I'm hungry, and I don't know where to get food. I had been eating only cookies and drinking tap water for a week. It was like that," remembers Kumar. - Perhaps that difficult period that I went through helps me now.

Kumar stayed in Smolensk and started studying. "At that time, the Smolensk branch of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute began training for international students. They were students from India and, if I'm not mistaken, Sri Lanka. Our specialty, Industrial Electronics, included two such students. One of them was Kumar Abhai Singh," recalls Sergei Amelin, Associate Professor of Electronics and Microprocessing Engineering. - They were still not very good at speaking Russian, and I had to work with them individually, explaining the basics of electronics. Both of them were quite intelligent, and despite the language barrier, they did assignments to the minimum. And then, with mastering the language, as I can see, their learning improved, and they studied in a regular group. But I didn't catch it - I went to Moscow. According to Kumar, it was hard to study: " The first year I had only C's, I still had a poor understanding of physics, mathematics. It was a new experience for me.

Kumar was lucky to have a good Russian language teacher. Natalia Kimovna Filina was not only teaching the Russian language but also accompanied the students to museums and introduced them Russian culture and traditions. She explained: if you don't understand the culture, you'll never learn the language. "That's where my love for everything in here comes from. Because she was the one who taught us the right thing, the right thing to do. Because you can learn a language and don't understand the people," says Kumar.

His success in Smolensk business shows that he has fully mastered Russian culture and traditions.
A man who is at peace with his wife doesn't need to look for treasures
In his third year of college, Kumar Singh married Elena. "It was the very first and only love," he says. Dad didn't approve his choice: Singh could only marry Singh to keep the caste blood clean. But eventually, he accepted a Russian daughter-in-law. And so Kumar had a Russian wife and then a child.

Their first pharmacy Kumar and Elena Singh opened in 1996. There was a lack of drugstores in Smolensk, and the pharmaceutical business was in its infancy, Kumar recalls. They had to purchase medicines in other cities, make connections.

In the meanwhile, studying at the institute was nearing its end. Kumar wanted to leave, but Elena was against it. I probably had a desire to stay, but later, when the government changed, because in Yeltsin's times it was very stupid to stay there", says Kumar. - And then after Yeltsin, when the country became more or less prominent, sustainability appeared, it was clear that nothing would fall apart and we could stay here. I guess it's the fortune that I stayed here - I don't know how else to describe it. In 2002, Kumar Abhai Singh became a citizen of Russia.
A friend in court is better than a penny in purse
When Kumar and Elena started their business, they were getting more and more interconnected. The registry lists a dozen of legal entities established by them at different times. Among their members, you can find people who can be useful for the business.

Thus, Kumar and three of his partners are listed as co-owners of the PKF "Smolenskfarm". One of them was the director of the Gastroenterology Department of Smolensk Regional Clinical Hospital and a freelance expert of Smolensk Region Healthcare Department Gennady Volk.

At the very end of 2002, just after becoming a Russian citizen, Kumar became one of the five founders of the Smolensk Medical and Pharmaceutical Association. The organization was headed by one of the founders - Gennady Starovoitov. Starovoitov appears in the report of the Department of Economic Development of the Smolensk region for 2003 as the Director of the department. Starovoitov worked in the administration of the region until 2014, and at the beginning of 2015, he already held the position of the Deputy General Director in the company "Industriya zdorovya" Kumar and Elena Singh.

In the summer of 2011, Evgeny Elizariev became the Chairman of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Association. Between 1999-2010 and 2012-2014, he headed the Smolensk Regional Centre for Quality Control and Certification of Medicines, which, according to its name, controlled the quality of medicines supplied to the region. Between these dates, Elizariev worked for a year as the director of Kumar and Elena Singh's company "Farm-Innovacii".

"Industriya zdorovya" and "Farm-Innovacii" are the two main Singhs' companies that have been granted state contracts worth billions of rubles.
Perish yourself but save your comrade
In the spring of 2012, Alexey Ostrovsky became the Governor of the Smolensk region. One of the problems faced by the new governor's team was the crisis of the Medicine Assistance Program: thousands of patients could not issue their prescriptions. The authorities decided to terminate their relations with the "Smolensk-Pharmatsiya" company, which was responsible for supplying the beneficiaries. Probably the fact that Vladimir Stepchenkov became the new head of the Healthcare Department of the region played its part. He worked as a director of "Smolensk-Pharmatsiya" in the 2000s, and his dismissal from it was followed by a controversy - with criminal cases, courts, and mutual accusations.

Kumar Singh says the authorities have decided to change the whole system. "Smolensk-Pharmatsiya" received budgetary funds, and the company itself first stocked the required medicines and then distributed it between the beneficiaries. The new system was that the region itself would be purchasing medicines and the new operator would be distributing them.

However, it was not easy to find a company that would agree to undertake only distribution activities. One took over but failed, several large companies simply refused. And then, says Kumar, the administration asked him for help.

It was an unobvious venture. "We had only seven pharmacies. We couldn't afford preferential drug coverage with so little. No program, no system, no structure, no logistics - that's ridiculous. In order to do that, you had to fully grasp it," Singh recalls. Creating the infrastructure required money.

But on New Year's Eve, Kumar says, Stepchenkov called him: "You should participate in the auction [to become an operator]. The administration believes that you are to support us until March [2013]. According to Kumar, Stepchenkov implied to him that a negative answer would not benefit his business: "They can make the appropriate conclusions.
Kumar agreed, entered the auction, won and became a logistics operator, which for 10% of the cost (according to Elena Singh) began to supply the people with preferential medicines. And not "until March", but for five years - for the period of 2013-2017.

He had to open the drugstores. Деньгами помогли родители: «Ну естественно, конечно. Where else is the money from?" - Kumar laughs. They had to build warehouses: "We constructed the latest logistics systems - our products were transported from one end of the region to the other within 48 hours. Plus, we created a portal where we fully showed the movements of medicines, it was all automated, that is, people did not operate. Both the patients and the supervisors could see all the movements of the medication," says Singh proudly. - We gave away more than 2.5 billion rubles of medicines through the company, and the claim for five years of work amounted to 17400 rubles. That says something about our system. And even that was a false claim, their mistake, I mean, the medicines that have expired.

To get the medication to the beneficiaries, Kumar Singh had to open more pharmacies.
One good turn deserves another
After providing a service to the new administration, Kumar became a welcome guest at state tenders. "Industriya zdorovya" and "Farm-Innovacii" won contracts for 2.8 billion rubles at Smolensk tenders.

These are interesting numbers. Until 2012, Kumar and Elena Singh did not participate in any tenders. According to SPARK-Marketing, in 2012 their share in the purchases of the Smolensk region's Healthcare Department was less than 3%. And then there was a growth (by years since 2013): 29.1%, 23.01%, 42.96%, 63.69%, 43.23%.

The details are also interesting here - what miracles happened at the bidding process.

For example, in May 2017, the Department of Healthcare held a tender for the purchase of an antitumor medicine called Themosolmide. During the auction, one of the participants reduced the price by 68.5% of the initial one, the other - by 68%, the third - by 56.5%, and "Industriya zdorovya" and "Farm-Innovacii" - by 2% and 1%, correspondingly. However, the tender committee found some mistakes in the documents submitted by all participants, except for Kumar and Elena. The winner was "Industriya zdorovya".

In July 2017, the situation repeated itself when purchasing a new medicine for cancer patients. The competitors proposed a reduction from 86.05% to 66.5%, but the tender committee excluded them from the tender and concluded a contract with the company "Farm-Innovacii", which proposed a reduction of 1%.
Broken friendships may be soldered, but never sound
Finally, a cat ran between Kumar Singh and the Smolensk authorities. In 2017, the medicines for beneficiaries disappeared again. The authorities blamed Kumar for this and announced that they were creating a new operator for preferential medicines - he would both buy and distribute them. In return, Kumar accused the regional authorities of not buying medicines, so there was nothing to give to the beneficiaries. In January 2018, a new regional operator took over the baton, but due to the conflict, no drugs appeared in pharmacies. In February 2018, the head of the medical department, Vladimir Stepchenkov, resigned.

In December, the Governor Ostrovskiy, when answering the question of the "7x7" correspondent, said that the "Industriya zdorovya" tried to make the administration of the region and Smolensk people "hostages of their business interests".

Kumar Singh refutes that: "The governor had a political moment - he needed to create some kind of high-profile story to drown out the scandal with ["Smolenskavtodor" director Vladislav] Apakov and the roads. And he tried instead to create a big case: medicines, insulin deficiency, the supplier is blackmailing. He's got all the law enforcers together. Everyone was visiting and checking me, in other words, they've been imitating such vigorous activity. All of this vigorous activity was nothing. More than that, Kumar also says that he was called the regional operator by mistake: "We've never been operators, we've, let's just say, fulfilled orders.

However, the situation at the tenders has changed. After Stepchenkov's dismissal, the share of Singh's companies in the procurement of the Healthcare Department halved to 25.14% in 2018. And this is in spite of the fact that the record-breaking decrease in prices in tenders was already done by the "Industriya zdorovya". For example, in October 2017, the company managed to win the tender for supply of risperidone neuroleptics only by suggesting a 97% reduction in the contract price.

However, Kumar denies that there is any connection between the work behind the preferential drug program and the success of tenders in general: "It is inappropriate to say that it was a payoff. If so, our company would have to go bankrupt from January 1, 2018 [when we stopped dealing with preferential medicines]. This is first of all. And secondly, if you look back at 2012, we also participated in the auctions and were in the first place among regional suppliers even before we started to deal with DLOs. So I think it's at least illogical to combine these two things. Because medical supply is a completely different business, it has nothing to do with the distribution of the medicine to beneficiaries."

Kumar's disagreement with the authorities has a philosophical, somewhat Russian dimension: "I live in this country and love it, and I will love it as long as I can express myself freely. On the day that I will be dictated what I should do, either by the governor or by other people, I will leave the country. Regardless of what I get and lose.
Kings of State Order. Smolensk 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
Vladimir Tishkov
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
7.2 billion rubles
Company:
Production and Commercial Firm RBDS
According to the register, the owners of RBDS are five citizens of Russia, but "7x7" could not establish the identity. Vladimir Tishkov manages the business.

RBDS is one of the largest contractors for the construction and repair of roads in the Smolensk region. The company owns four production bases and six asphalt concrete plants in the region. The main customer is FKU "Uprdor Moscow — Bobruisk", which manages federal highways in the Smolensk, Kaluga and Bryansk regions. In 2018, the RBDS won two tenders for the major repairs of two federal highways A-130 Moscow — Roslavl and P-120 Oryol — Bryansk — Smolensk for a total of 3.7 billion rubles. In 2017, the RBDS, on behalf of the Governor Alexey Ostrovsky, carried out an urgent repair of the 2nd Verkhniy Volok street.

In 2017, the company's revenue amounted to 1 billion rubles. The total amount of government contracts concluded by the company is 8.8 billion rubles.


Kumar Abhay Singh, Elena Singh
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
2.8 billion rubles
Companies:
Farm Innovations, Health Industry
44-year-old Kumar Abhay Singh was born in India, where he graduated from the College of Chemistry and Biology. In 1991 he arrived in Russia to study. In the third year of Smolensk Energy Institute he married. He has an engineering degree in industrial electronics. Later he graduated from the Roslavl Medical College with a degree in pharmacy. In 1996, he started a joint business with his wife Elena, opened his first pharmacy, then began wholesale trade in pharmaceuticals, establishing the "Health Industry" (owned by Kumar Abhay Singh for 100%) and "Farm Innovations" (owned by Elena Singh for 100% ). In 2012, after the crisis, the system of supplementary drug supply began a close cooperation with the administration of the region as a supplier of drugs to state medical institutions. For five years, he has increased his pharmacy network from several pharmacies to fifty. The total amount of state contracts of the two companies is 3.4 billion rubles. Revenue "Health Industry" in 2017 — 815.9 million rubles, "Farm-Innovations" — 1 billion rubles.
Arshak Pogosyan
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
2 billion rubles
Company:
Road repair and construction management №7
The owner and CEO of the company is Arshak Poghosyan, co-founder of the Tambov branch of the Union of Armenians of Russia. Road repair and construction management №7 was privatized in 2013. The total amount of won state contracts is 2 billion rubles. Most of this amount is one big contract with АKU Uprdor Moscow — Bobruisk for the maintenance of sections of the A-130 highway Moscow — Maloyaroslavets — Roslavl — the border with the Republic of Belarus, located in the Smolensk region worth 1.96 billion. Revenue in 2017 amounted to 244.8 million.
Anton Oseyev, Alexander Oseyev
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
1.7 billion rubles
Company:
Istok-Stroy
The owners of "Istok-Stroy" are brothers — 42-year-old Anton (75%) and 46-year-old Alexander (25%) Oseyevs. In the 2000s, Alexander Oseyev headed the Urals division of the state-owned company "Rosspirtprom", then he was involved in the construction of shopping centers in Yekaterinburg. In 2016, he acted as an investor in the construction of the physical fitness complex "Safonovsky", the opening of which the governor Alexey Ostrovsky visited.

A small company, "Istok-Story", registered in Yekaterinburg, ranked fourth on the list of the largest contractors in the Smolensk region thanks to a contract to repair the workshops of the "Avangard" Safonovsky factory, which is part of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation — 1.69 billion rubles. "Istok-Story" should reconstruct part of the defense enterprise's workshops. The "Avangard" facilities are planned to be used to create a cluster of manufacturers of composite materials, which will become part of the Safonovo industrial park.

Revenue of "Istok-Stroy" in 2017 amounted to 652.9 million. In total, the company entered into state contracts for 1.8 billion rubles.
Maria Firsova, Vladimir Savchenkov
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
1.39 billion rubles
Company:
Georesource-Zapad, Ros Universal Story
"Georesource-Zapad" belongs to Vladimir Savchenkov and Maria Firsova in half, "Ros Universal Building" until December 2018 was fully owned by Maria Firsova. Smolyanin Savchenkov was co-owner of the Iskra football club, revived on the initiative of Lev Platonov, who until September 2018 served as head of the office of the governor of the Smolensk region. His son Dmitry Platonov is the first deputy head of Smolensk, where he oversees the department for the distribution of municipal orders. According to the registry, Moscow resident Firsova had joint projects with Igor Kozyrsky. In the summer of 2018, the Leninsky Court of Vladimir sentenced Igor Kozyrsky to six years conditionally for mediating the transfer of a bribe. The bribe was intended for the Deputy Governor for the construction of the Vladimir region, Dmitry Khvostov, for whom Kozyrsky worked as a driver. During the trial of Khvostov, one of the witnesses, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Vladimir Region, Sergey Kuryshev, said that Khvostov told him that he had earned 1 billion rubles in the Smolensk Region.

Companies received large contracts in preparation for the celebration of the 1150th anniversary of Smolensk. Georesurs-Zapad reconstructed the building of the Regional Puppet Theater, and "Ros Universal Story" built the Tenishev Cultural and Exhibition Center.

In total, "Georesurs-Zapad" won contracts for 783.5 million rubles, the largest was the contract for the construction of the street-road network in the village of Yuzhnaya of Kaydakovsky rural settlement of the Vyazemsky district worth 250 million rubles. Revenue of "Georesource-West" in 2017 amounted to 67.2 million.

"Ros Universal Stroy" in total concluded state contracts for 935.4 million rubles, the largest was the construction of the Tenishev Cultural and Exhibition Center for 351.6 million rubles. Revenue in 2016 — 82.8 million rubles.
Nikolay Yakubinsky, Leonid Konovalov
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
1.17 billion rubles
Company:
Viaduk-M
"Viaduk-M" belongs in half to Leonid Konovalov and Nikolay Yakubinsky, the latter previously headed the Office of Municipal Construction in the Smolensk Mayor's Office. The main customer of "Viaduk-M" is the regional enterprise "Smolenskavtodor". By order of this organization, "Viaduk-M" carried out work on the reconstruction of bridges in the Pochinkovsky and Rudnyansky districts, preparing for the construction of the Velizh bypass, as well as the reconstruction of the Pyatnitsky overpass at the Smolensk-Tsentralny station and the viaduct on Belyaev Street. The company faced difficulties with the last object — the deadline was repeatedly postponed. The viaduct was closed 2.5 years ago and opened only in October 2018.

In total, company concluded state contracts for 2 billion rubles. The largest contract was the construction of a road bypass of Velizh in the Smolensk region for 815 million rubles. Revenue in 2017 amounted to 583.5 million rubles.
Sicame, Igor Gavrilov, Arkady Popov
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
1.1 billion rubles
Company:
Sicame
95.8% of "Sicame" shares are owned by the French manufacturer of electrical equipment, Soc Indust Constr Apparei Materiel Elect (part of "Sicame"). 2.1% each belongs to Igor Gavrilov and Arkady Popov (CEO).

Russian "Sicame" was registered in 2005 in Moscow. In 2011, the French Sicame established a sales office in Smolensk. In 2013, the head of the company, Pierre Francois, during his visit to Russia, met with Governor Alexey Ostrovsky and agreed with him about locating production in Smolensk.

However, the Russian "Sicame" receives government contracts in Smolensk, but the connection with electrical engineering is not obvious. For example, the company agreed to lay a gas pipeline to the village of Koshino, Smolensk region, for 16.6 million rubles, and received 3.7 million rubles for the construction of a section of water supply in the village of Kurdymovo, Kardymovsky district. The largest government contracts are related to the construction of industrial parks — in 2017, "Sicame" won a tender for the construction of engineering networks and highways in the Safonovo industrial park in the amount of 127.4 million rubles. And in 2018 it received 279.3 million rubles for the preparation of the site for the construction of an industrial park in the Metro shopping center in Smolensk — this was the biggest contract for the company of all time. Revenue of "Sicame" in 2017 amounted to 349.7 million rubles.
Igor Maimusov
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
0.93 billion rubles
Company:
Torgservis
The CEO and sole owner of the company is 57-year-old Igor Maymusov. He also owns the company "Aura", which operates in the premises of the cultural center "Gubernsky", founded by a deputy of the Smolensk Regional Duma from the party "United Russia" Valery Razuvaev. The general director of "Aura" and the cultural center "Gubernsky" is the deputy's daughter Natalya Razuvaeva. In the late 1980s, Valery Razuvayev created the Lavash company, which is one of the largest trading enterprises in the Smolensk region.

"Torgservis" delivers food to kindergartens and hospitals of the Smolensk region. In total, it concluded government contracts for 1 billion rubles, the largest of which was the Russian Railways contract for the supply of food products worth 19 million rubles. The company's revenue in 2017 amounted to 241.4 million.
Dmitry Kuznetsov
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
0.85 billion rubles
Company:
Stroytekhmontazh
The CEO and sole owner of Stroytekhmontazh is a resident of the Sverdlovsk region Dmitry Kuznetsov. This Sverdlovsk company, like "Istok-Story" (number 4 of the list), was included in the ranking of the largest Smolensk state contractors because of contracts with the Avangard defense plant, concluded in 2016–2018 by more than 1 billion rubles. The largest is the reconstruction and technical re-equipment of production of products using the method of longitudinal-transverse winding. The company's revenue in 2017 was 360.9 million rubles.
Anton Adakhovsky
Amount of government orders in the Smolensk region:
0.74 billion rubles
Company:
SU-25 Mosasfalstroy
The sole owner of the company was a 31-year-old Anton Adahovsky, a native of Votkinsk and a graduate of Izhevsk Technical University. Vladislav Apakov, the former director of "Smolenskavtodor" (until 2017), who is on the federal wanted list, studied at the same university.

Until 2015, the company's activities were related to the Moscow region. But in February 2015, the company won the Smolenskavtodor tender for the reconstruction of the A-141 Bryansk-Smolensk highway to the border with the Republic of Belarus (across Rudnya, to Vitebsk) and the construction of an viaduct over the railway on the R-120 Orel-Bryansk-Smolensk highway total amount of almost 744 million rubles. In total, the company concluded state contracts for 1.2 billion rubles. Revenue in 2016 — 965.6 million rubles.
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