«All the art of management consists of the art to be honest»
Valentina Alexandrovna Patova, city of Ust-Djeguta, Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
Date of birth: April 11, 1952. Place of birth: village of Krasny Vostok, Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
Education: 1976 — graduated from the Leningrad Order of the Red banner of Labor Institute of agriculture. Work history: after graduating from the Institute — economist, senior economist, leading economist in Karachay-Cherkess regional Department of agriculture.
Since 1987 — key accountant of the state farm-complex «Yuzhny»
(the largest greenhouse complex of Europe) appurtenant to the Department of science
and industrial policy of the Government of Moscow. Since 1996 —
General Director of the State unitary enterprise «Farm-complex «Yuzhny» of the Department of science and industrial policy of the Government of Moscow.
In 1999, Valentina Patova was the only woman to be a candidate for Karachay-Cherkess Republic Head. She takes an active part in public life of the Republic.
Within more than 10 years the all-Russian Exhibition Center in Moscow receives the annual Agro-industrial exhibition «Golden Autumn». This event brings together about 1.5 thousand participants with among them a repeated gold medals winner — the Agricultural Complex «Yuzhny» awarded for the «high quality of vegetable products». In October of the current year, the exhibition opened its doors for the fourteenth time. Here editorial board of the magazine "Golden Plaza" met the Director of the Agricultural Complex «Yuzhny» Valentina Alexandrovna Patova with the purpose to get convinced that a woman to be an efficient manager is not a myth but a reality.
Products exposed on the stand of the Agricultural Complex «Yuzhny's» immediately plunged visitors in the atmosphere of a sunny region: magnificent compositions of vegetables, tomatoes and cucumbers, with near them gorgeous bouquets of fresh roses of different colors. All this, in contrast to the Moscow dull weather, created a bright, catchy impression. That's why many visitors were eager to be photographed against these colorful and tempting compositions.
The production results of «Yuzhny» are eloquent: the enterprise holds from 32% to 50% of Moscow agricultural market and 17% of Russia's market of greenhouse vegetables. Every 30–35 hours Moscow is supplied with products of high quality at affordable price.
According to the labor legislation, employees of the Complex regularly receive guaranteed salaries, which is an indicator of the production stability and of the each family's prosperity. It is necessary to say that the level of salaries paid by the agricultural complex is above the average of the region. The social support is also effective: employees and their children receive regularly free rest home vouchers; social department allocates pecuniary assistance and helps in qualification improving and in career advancement. Thanks to the Agricultural Complex, a new sport and fitness center appeared lately in the Republic where future and actual World and European champions are training; recently sophisticated obstetrics and gynecology equipments were purchased by the plant. This is not the whole list of social activity of the «Yuzhny's» managing board and the Trade Union.
The success of the company is determined by many factors, but the main of them is the professionalism and skills of its Director, her abilities to formulate and to dispatch tasks, to identify market trends and to denote vectors of development, to assume responsibility towards a huge number of employees (about 2.5 thousand in «Yuzhny»). It is a huge task needing a particular sense of responsibility. Quite recently the situation in the Complex was completely different: the crisis of 1993–1995 gravely affected the activity of the enterprise. But it is now in the past. The eagerness to hold out in difficult situation, to resolve knotty problems compelled the «Yuzhny's» chief accountant Valentina Alexandrovna Patova to load on her shoulders, in 1996, the management of the Agricultural Complex. Under her responsive and at the same time strict management within 16 years «Yuzhny» has evolved into an enterprise-model of the Russian greenhouse sector. From a global point of view, there is an exemplary agricultural plant in the country that yearly confirms the name of the profitable and efficient enterprise. The productivity increases due to resource modernization and process optimization, as for example, the construction of mini Power generation station, implementation of the drip irrigation, separation of heating circuits from climate-control systems over the entire plant.
Elaborated within years, an efficient corporative policy of staff support and promotion reduced to naught the personnel turnover and permitted to create a close-knit team of employees working at the enterprise more than 20 or 25 years. Within 5 years a global reconstruction of all the blocks of greenhouses was realized, the seedling unit was put into operation, the boiler-house was revamped, heat insulation and internal cables of power supply were replaced. The agricultural complex «Yuzhny» has its own fleet of cars and tractors; it makes possible to carry out all the technological works without having recourse to outsourcing companies. The introduction of high technologies and the widening of process mechanization permit human resources optimization. The manpower made so available stay in the plant working, after training, in other sectors of the process flow. The company has a system of permanent skills evaluation and the principle of expenses argumentation in each section.
In the course of our talk with Valentina Alexandrovna we touched on more subtle elements of the greenhousing process. It was really interesting to know the way that a tomato or a cucumber runs before being found on our tables.
A good harvest begins with high-quality seedlings growing in the seedling unit of 3 ha of surface according to Dutch technologies of the company "Visser". Vegetables are cultivated on mineral wool Cultilen of the company "Schetelig Rus". These are intensive technologies of greenhouse production and taste characteristics of products do not change. It should be noted that all tomatoes are pollinated by bumblebees, a thoroughly reproduced natural process of vegetables' growth at the agricultural complex «Yuzhny» represents a whole ecosystem permitting to meets today's demands of megapolices for environmentally safe vegetables. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and pepper produced by «Yuzhny» are available in all major retailing supermarkets in Moscow such as: «Auchan», «Perekrestok», «Seventh continent», «Metro», «Pyaterochka» or "Spar".
But there is another urgent question which arose from privatization procedures. The company is actually in the period of tendering for sale of shares. Who exactly will become shareholders of the agricultural complex «Yuzhny» and how events will develop is not clear. This unpredictability makes uncomfortable the situation at the stable enterprise. «Yuzhny» is such a socially significant object in the Republic that the well-being of the Republic and of 2, 5 thousand people depends on its further functioning. We'll hope that the work of the agricultural enterprise, duly built and arranged within years, will not be stop but will gain in strength. A special attention of the government is already drawn by the lately approved state program of the agriculture development and agricultural markets regulation for the years 2013–2020.
Issues of fruitful relationship with the authorities of Karachay-Cherkessia were the culmination point of our talk. Valentina Alexandrovna emphasized the openness and the desire to cooperate of the Head of Karachay-Cherkess Republic Rashid Borispievitch Temrezov, especially concerning social issues. After all, the success of any enterprise is based on the staff. Considering that «Yuzhny» employs mainly women, their welfare, as the live shows, can't keep indifferent the republican administration and personally the Head. New kindergartens and schools are opening their doors, social objects are being re-equipped.
Valentina Alexandrovna is well known in the region for her merci and compassion; she also leads private sponsoring activities. But she doesn't like to speak about her charitable deeds, every time changing the subject of the conversation. The fact that Valentina Patova is not indifferent to many problems of her compatriots and solves these problems as far as she can is known from practice, not from somebody's words. True virtue doesn't flaunt itself, true virtue is the state of soul. The notion "conscience" determines all Valentina Alexandrovna's actions, her main wisdom and her life value is to be honest towards colleagues, compatriots, relatives and, first of all, towards herself.
In conclusion of our conversation we asked Valentina Alexandrovna to reveal her formula of success, because it could be useful for beginner entrepreneurs and businessmen. The response was simple: «At the beginning, the main thing is not to waste efforts and time to multiple options, it is important to focus on the main purpose and to work with inspiration, to work a lot! ». Each of us has his own source of inspiration, Valentina Alexandrovna's one is the music composed of figures. These are figures that she sees in everyday reports. They are her music notes, through their harmony she hears and recognizes the melody of the life of her «Yuzhny».
By Ekaterina Gainetdinov