Azret-Ali Chotchayev is a director of the Belaya Vezha spa complex in the city of Kislovodsk, situated in the North Caucasus region of Russia. He graciously accepted the request for an interview by the magazine's editor-in-chief, in April of 2012.
We represent an international magazine for cultural and business affairs. Our publication is devoted to the idea of human values, not only from the cultural and spiritual point of view, but also from the point of view of the business world. What do you think about the connection between ethics and entrepreneurship? In your opinion, how spirituality and moral values should be reflected in business?
I think, every person was born as an entrepreneur. Your path in life, your prosperity depends upon the right choices and the right decisions in everything you do. All of your capabilities, strengths, thoughts, opportunities, education, all of these factors must be used for your advancement in life. However, the path you chose in life, whatever that may be, must serve for the common good, must improve the lives of the people, the level of education and culture.
I encountered people of many nationalities and ethnic groups in the business world. I came to a conclusion that if a person behaves in the right manner, there is a 90% to 99% chance that people will react in kind. You must never cheat in business, just like in any other fields.
Business, entrepreneurship, and the spiritual side of life are a part of life of every human being. If we take the right position towards the sun, it will keep us all warm. All you have to do is to find your own place and take it. You must act in the right way. You should never be selfish, caring only about your own good and disregarding the needs of others. You must always see other people as your equals. If the majority of the people in the world will think like this, we will have a much better world to live in. This is my creed; everyone needs to find the right position under the sun.
If you had a chance to speak to all the business people in the world, what would you say to them?
I would say that Earth is our common home. We must love it, improve it, and never hurt it. There is a lot of work to be done. The most important thing, this type of works has a future. We must work on perfecting the modern technology, so that it will stop harming the environment, and improve the quality of life. Humans must not be so greedy, trying to take and claim everything. You will always get what you deserved anyway. God sees everything and everyone, and He will evaluate everyone's deeds accordingly.
Let's change the subject now. Let's talk about horses. You spend a lot of your time dealing with horses. Where and when did you get such a keen interest in them?
I got this interest almost right from my birth. I got interested in horses from the moment I first saw them. I belong to the Karachay ethnic group, and every Karachay has a genetic love toward horses, toward animals. Statistics say that before the Russian Revolution of 1917, the three Karachay valleys of the North Caucasus, namely Khurzuk, Uchkulan, and Kart Dzhurt had 25 000 horses, while the population of those valleys was only 14 000 people. As the Karachay proverb goes, a horse is the wings of a brave man.
My great grandfather was the biggest horse owner in the region before the revolution. He even sold the Karachay brand of horses to France. He owned more than 1000 horses.
So, I always had this love toward horses in me.
Why did you choose Arabic and English horses then?
I love all horses, whatever their breed is. But if we speak about horse racing, the English and the Arabic horses are the best in our region. If you want to go on a mountain hike, then the Karachay horses are the best.
Can you tell us about the most successful performances of your horses on the race tracks?
I have a mare called Alicia. She is a pure breed English horse. She won the main prize at the Russian and the CIS competition. She was also given the oaks title. Oaks is a term that comes from England. Derby is a horse race for 3 years old stallions and mares, and Oaks is a horse race for 3 years old mares only. The term comes from the Oaks Estate, which belonged to the creator and sponsor of this event. Thanks to my Alicia I won this prestigious award in the year 2000, in Moscow.
I also have an Arabic mare called the Crusher. She won an international prize at the President's horse race in the city of Rostov in 2006.
What is the future of the Karachay breed of horses in your opinion?
This is an ancient breed. We inherited it from our ancestors. This breed will always be useful as long as our mountains exist. This type of horses is irreplaceable in the mountain terrain. It's so nice to see how people are coming back to their roots and start to purchase and breed these horses. In their free time more and more people are getting out of their cars and getting on horseback. A car is just a vehicle, but a horse is a source of real pleasure.
Are horses just a hobby for you?
In a way, it's a hobby. However, this is more than just a hobby; it's a way of life. For instance, horse keeping made a very positive impact on the upbringing of my sons. None of them lost their way in life. They always loved horses. They are all adults now. The oldest one grew up to be a lawyer, he works in the city of Stavropol. My second son is graduating as a construction specialist. He decided to follow my footsteps. My third son just entered a university this year. He is studying economics.
Racehorses need a lot of care. Apparently, you take a good care of them...
In order to achieve good results on any kind of work you need to put all of your efforts to it. Racehorses demand a lot of attention. If you lack even one of the components necessary for their well-being, you will never see the results. You need to take good care of them, and you also need luck. Then you will have success. Your workers also need to be the specialists of the highest degree in this field. This is a very complex work. I would even call racehorse keeping a science.
Thank you for the interview.