On the general direction
At the beginning of developing of free market economy a lot of purposeful people went to Moscow in the hope of getting a better job. Some of them were really talented; some of them had enough money for moving to another city. It was the time, the present general director of the distillery manufactory «Kuzbass», left Moscow and came to Novokuznetsk. He is an inherited Muscovite, a well-off person. In Moscow he had a good position in the company «Ross Alco» (it is like the another company «Ross Ugol», but only in the field of distillery manufacture); he was a director of a marketing and connections department. At once he left everything in Moscow and came to Novokuznetsk.
- Do you regret moving to Novokuznetsk?
- I think when you’ve got an interesting job and it is in another city, then why not to move to this city. When you like your job, it’s not important, where you live. Look, when you leave your house at 7 am and come back at 10 pm, it doesn’t matter, if your way home is along Tverskaya-Street in Moscow or Kirov-Street in Novokuznetsk.
- What caused your moving to Novokuznetsk?
- One of my duties was to help to the manufacturers to solve their problems. It was difficult time for the distillery manufactories, the time of deficit. The company «Ross Alco», where I worked, placed big orders for definite brands. Those orders caused the price lowering of drinks in the regions. I visited nearly all factories from Kaliningrad to the Far East.
«Ross Alco» together with the local manufacturer made a project on producing the vodka «Derzhavnaya». Work on that project brought me to Novokuznetsk and I don’t regret it. I defended my theses here, at the Kemerovo Technological Institute of Food Industry. I’d already had a diploma of the Moscow Institute of Civil Aviation. My theses were devoted to the research of interaction of alcohol and milk.
- Can you compare the distillery manufactory «Kuzbass» with other factories, which you have visited? I ask you, because you took part in designing and developing of the factory from the very beginning.
- Concerning the automation of manufactory, the technical and technological equipment and the observance of sanitary-and-hygienic requirements I can say that from Ural to the Far East there is no other factory similar to the distillery manufactory «Kuzbass».
- Does this fact influence the quality of the production?
- I think, yes, it does. The less a manufacturer depends on the human factor, the less violation of compounding, of technology during the producing there will be.
- Can you tell about the vodka industry in Russia? What is it, in general?
- As a rule, all spirit manufactories and distillery manufactories were the main resource of the increasing of the central government budget, and they were situated in the central part of the localities. Even their location proves it – Krasnoarmeyskaya-Street, Lenin-Street, Sovetskaya-Street…
But even during the Soviet time life was changing very fast. At the beginning they used only manual skills in factories. Women washed the bottles, poured vodka into the bottles, filled in with sealing wax. Later instead of manual skills they applied more technical machines. Someone managed to build extensions on the free ground near the factory, someone increased efficiency of basements. But the process of modernization is not momentary; it takes a lot of time; it demands constant attention to itself. That is why, in some factories this process had been stopped at the certain stage. We’ve tried to take into account all mistakes of the past and built the factory, which, despite of up-to-date technologies, could look in the future without fear.
- Why does the human factor frighten you so much?
- It does not frighten me. I, as a production manager, and you, as a consumer, should not depend on it. It will be better to say, we should not depend on the human weaknesses, such as laziness, carelessness, forgetfulness, they often say in Russia: «It will be o.k. so!»
Look, the process of vodka manufacturing is continuous, round-the clock. For example, the hydro alcoholic mix passes a filtration with the certain speed and if this process is not automated it needs the constant control, including the nights. The reduction of the spirit column causes the lowering of the filtration speed. The technologist or the on duty mechanic can be sleeping. Or because of a rigid personnel limit the expert here can not be stipulated. This situation can not cause anything serious, but the change of the speed mode affects the quality of the production. And the quality of the production is very important for us today; it is the only one criterion, which defines our place in the competitive environment. This criterion will stay the number one criterion for us tomorrow. Once become ideal, the certain technology should be observed in future. A person, who bought and tasted vodka «Traditions of Kuzbass» and noted all advantages of this drink, should not be deceived in his expectations when he will decide to bye this vodka ones more in a half a year or in a year. For a consumer it is not important, if the process of manufacturing automated or not. The producer can do different things to turn the attention of the consumers to their product. Only one criterion is important for him – the quality. That’s why I can give a lecture on the high-quality spirit, which is delivered to our manufactory, on the perfect system of the water clearing; on the ionizing the water by silver, but this will not help me to get new customers. Only comparing vodka «Traditions of Kuzbass» with other drinks will convince consumers of true characteristics of drinks.
- What does it mean - «the qualitative vodka»? There is an opinion, that all sorts of vodka are similar.
- All types of metal are identical too, but one type of metal is strong and durable, other does not maintain a minimum of load. Such parallels can always be made. First of all, the quality of vodka is estimated on sensitive parameters – how does it smell and taste. Such basic components of vodka as cleared water and qualitative spirit are responsible for these parameters. The observance of technological process by the automatic production provides the high quality of vodka too.
The second criterion is the mitigation of consequences of an alcoholic syndrome. Sometimes people think that presence of an amber acid and lactose in a drink is almost preservative. But what for is vodka preserved?
Lactose, for example, is the carbohydrate module, one of milk components. Lactose is added to a drink because it can connect the rest of fusel oils and take them out from an organism. In this way lactose preserves the liver and interferes to the products of disintegration with penetration into blood. But its use must be correct.
Other added components influence the taste and the flavouring qualities - a ginseng, a thistle, rye crackers...
We always look for new tastes. Although vodka «Traditions of Kuzbass» is very popular we can not stay at one place. We are in search and taste drinks of our competitors. And if the taste of competitor’s drink is better, it will mean the serious problem for a factory and the serious work for a perspective.
- Why the name of the factory is «Kuzbass» and the first brand of the factory is vodka «Traditions of Kuzbass»?
- Recently the market of alcohol production belonged to the local producers for 70%; nowadays it contains only 30%. The cost of each bottle contains 65% taxes, and all taxes, except for VAT, stay in the region, where it is produced. Our enterprise is a compound part of the regional supporting program of local producers. Our target is to get back the consumer due to the high quality of production which is produced in our region, and taxes should stay in the regional budget for economic and social programs.
- What perspectives has the manufactory «Kuzbass» got?
- There are some directions, which determine the work in the factory. Firstly, some domestic factories which have the right to produce products of federal marks offered the factory «Kuzbass» to adjust their release here. In this way they can reduce the costs for transport ration. Secondly, the release and sale of some not so expensive sorts of vodka, such as «Starorusskaya», «Extra», «Novaya», will be prepared next month. These sorts of vodka are especially for those consumers, can not afford buying expensive goods. And finally, we are going to produce the drinking water, which is cleared by the multi-level system. It is a serious problem for Novokuznetsk, although there are a lot of companies dealing with this business. The main point is the quality of the product. It could be the step to the producing of soft drinks and carbonated drinks.
The factory has got the intellectual, technological and technical potentials. According to this fact, we can hope that the popularity of vodka «Traditions of Kuzbass» is only the first step on the way to the realization of many projects for our citizens and residents of Kemerovo Region.
- Does it mean that you have become an indigenous resident of Siberia?
- There are a lot of things which connect me with Siberia. Yes, it does.