Moving the World. Interview with Ievgen Sydoruk
Ievgen Sydoruk, 33 years old, founder and CEO of SE TRans transport company. Anti-crisis manager with extraordinary business management abilities. Develops transport logistics for his own enterprise all by himself. Uses innovative technologies for optimization of freight transportation operations.
The economic situation in Ukraine leaves something to be desired. The key reforms falter at the highest branches of power under mysterious circumstances. While oligarchs divide their funds, powers and impose additional taxes on the population, small- and medium-size businesses develop in the country against all odds.
It is much more difficult to start one’s own business in Ukraine than in the USA or in the EU. Proper work is actively prevented by corruption, bureaucracy and deficient legal system. Therefore, starting a business in this country is equal to a feat. Considering the above, if one succeeds in developing the company, navigating it through the crisis with minimum losses and implementing innovated operating procedures, one cannot do without extraordinary entrepreneurial and organizational skills.
Ievgen Sydoruk is a prominent representative of a new generation of Ukrainian businessmen. Being just 33 years old, this man is a successful entrepreneur. In 2010, Ievgen founded SE Trans, a freight transportation company that serves customers nationally and internationally.
Over the years in business, Ievgen has perfectly mastered the art of transport company management. During the economic crisis that due to a number of reasons has been lasting in Ukraine since 2014, Ievgen has proved himself to be an anti-crisis manager with outstanding abilities. While a lot of transport companies went bankrupt, Ievgen’s enterprise is still actively operating and bringing income.
During the crisis years, none of the employees has been dismissed, the vehicle fleet has been increased, new innovative methods of work for optimization of transportation costs have been implemented. Read a detailed interview with Ievgen Sydoruk about his life experience and outstanding abilities in our magazine.
— Good day, Ievgen! Please, tell us about yourself. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Tell us about your childhood and youth.
— I was born and grew up in the beautiful Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, in an ordinary Ukrainian family, one of the millions. My mother held a senior position at a communications company. My father worked in the construction. Ever since I was at school, I became interested in cars. I attended model-car construction and aeromodelling study groups. I repeatedly participated in numerous competitions and gatherings of young designers. Regularly, as part of a team, I placed high at such events.
— What was your life after high school?
— After school, I entered Kyiv Military Institute of Control and Communication which I successfully graduated from in 2005. During the studies, I was engaged in research and technology along with other cadets who were fascinated by science and military affair as much as I was. The results of my academic pursuits which, inter alia, are described in my research paper, were later adjusted to and implemented in my transport company. I also have a diploma for gaining the lead in a scientific military contest.
— Ievgen, before starting your own business, you were pursuing a career in the public service. Could you, please, tell us about this part of your life?
— After graduation, being a young and promising specialist, I received an offer to stay in the capital. That’s what I actually did. I started my career at the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU). Over the years, I rose through the ranks to senior lieutenant, but then I understood I was not ready to dedicate all my life to work for the state. The work for the SSU is quite specific, therefore, suitable to far from everyone. Many young professionals eventually go into business or choose another civil specialty. I always wanted to found my own company and try myself in business.
— What came next?
— I submitted my resignation which was signed without any problems. My old dream came true. Now I was left to my own devices, understood very well what I wanted in life, so everything went the way it had to go. My friend and I started a transport company that I lead and develop up till now. Whereas many great businesses started in a garage, my company actually started in a truck cabin where I moved from a cozy official cabinet. For a long time, I was a driver myself, so I know my business from inside. I’ve managed to gain a lot of knowledge in the automotive activity from the lectures on «Automotive Engineering», as well as other disciplines at the University.
— Ievgen, today you’ve got quite a big company, your own vehicle fleet, drivers, administrative personnel. How did you learn to manage such a complex organization?
— I assume I was initially disposed to organizational activities. Moreover, the relevant attributes are stated in my performance report from the University. When it was time to abandon my work as a driver and hire my first employees, I immediately felt much more comfortable. I like people management, doing it efficiently and fairly; therefore, I’ve been gladly performing numerous managerial functions in my company up till now.
— Ievgen, many people heard that starting from 2014, thing were not going well in the Ukrainian economy. The unstable situation continues through present. Freight transportation field is among the first to feel the negative financial consequences of what is happening. How is your company going through this period?
— Since before the crisis, we developed an effective logistic system based on the work with additional goods. Switch to a new operating model for the transport company has significantly increased the efficiency ratio of each car in particular and return on business in total. We’ve managed to install hydrogen generators on some vehicles. This allowed lower expenses for purchase of fuel without sacrificing any performance. Of course, we also felt the effects of the crisis on ourselves. However, the above know-how of anti-crisis management allowed us to stay afloat. Today the company business looks relatively well. We have adjusted to working under unstable conditions, although even several years ago the economy of our country wasn’t predictable either. Those turned out to be boom years that we took for granted. In times of crisis, I learned to squeeze the most out of my business. I am sure the experience of anti-crisis management will come handy in the future more than once.
— Ievgen, all businessmen, especially Ukrainian ones, are very talented people. Each entrepreneur, however, has the important, the strongest attribute which is placed stake on. Do you have such an attribute?
— Of course, I have such an attribute. It is not easy to describe it in one word but I can tell you about it. I believe my chief asset is the lack of fear of starting new businesses. I can easily sell my company in order to, let’s say, start a similar business in another country. Apart from freight transportation, I am also planning to develop a construction business, and I am not afraid of difficulties or obstacles that may arise along the way. I just do and start something worthwhile whenever this appears necessary. Without putting away for later and without hesitating. I live up to the principle: «just do it» — that’s my strongest attribute. Super ability, if you wish.
— Ievgen, what do you think about business abroad, in particular, in better economically developed countries than Ukraine?
— I am very impressed with the rules of business in the USA and in the EU. Unlike our country, they have transparent rules, practically no corruption and more loyal attitude of the state to entrepreneurs in general. If I had to leave for, let’s say, the USA tomorrow, I would start a similar, or rather much more successful freight company.
— Ievgen, to which level would you like to scale your business up?
— I am absolutely sure I don’t want to rest on my laurels. I am sure that in the next few years my company will grow to the level of a national freight operator. I would like to create a successful, well-recognized brand on the market, like FedEx or something like that. I am sure, advanced freight operators utilizing new principles of work will be useful in every country even with the highest level of economic development.
— Ievgen, how much do you think a businessman is useful to society as such? It is believed that entrepreneurs bring great benefit to the country, because they create jobs and raise GDP. What do you think?
— I absolutely agree and share this point of view and I would also like to add something. Businessmen have always provided and still provide a powerful impulse to the development of scientific and technological advance. Just look at the things around — they are good things. Laptops, cell phones, cars. They are all invented by inventors-businessmen, businessmen-inventors or by inventors in cooperation with businessmen. Therefore, I personally believe that any entrepreneur is, first of all, a person who makes a positive contribution to society and to the state, serves as a good example to people and carries out lofty mission.
— Ievgen, business is certainly not all your life. After all, the secret to a happy life is in harmony. Do you have a family, interests or hobbies?
— I do. I adore my wife and three children (daughter Katia is 7 years old, son Vania is 2.5, daughter Ania is 6 months old). They always inspire me to new feats and achievements. In my free time, I like fishing, hunting and tourism. And… I cross-stitch pictures. Yes, such an uncommon hobby to a man. I have no bad habits; therefore, I have to sublimate energy and calm nerves in such an original way. And I’d like to admit that it is more than suitable to me.
— Ievgen, thanks a lot for such an interesting and rich conversation. I wish you new victories and achievements.
— Thank you. I am always happy to talk.
Ievgen Sydoruk, a person with extraordinary abilities in business, opens a new series of interviews with successful entrepreneurs who have achieved success by their own efforts and do not wish to rest on their laurels.
One can tell more and more about Ievgen’s outstanding abilities since this young man keeps pace with everything and everywhere. Apart from business and numerous hobbies, Ievgen is publicly proactive. He is an associated member of the International Automobile Transportation Association of Ukraine, participates in numerous workshops, repeatedly participated and won in contests. He also used to be in an award panel at various competitions and contests. He is an award winner in his field of activities. The young entrepreneur is an active member of the organization for road control in Ukraine, fighting corruption among law-enforcement and other officers. Ievgen is also a member of several business communities where he actively participates in the law drafting and tries in every possible way to guard private sector interests in his country.