Oksana Kravtsova is the owner of one of the most famous companies-developers of elite housing in St. Petersburg (the portfolio of Eurostroy includes such elite properties as the Privilegia residential complex, the new Priority club houses and the Esper Club). But also Oksana and the mother of four wonderful children. We asked Oksana in our interview about how she manages to combine the position of director of a large successful company and parenting responsibilities.
How do you distinguish between work and family life?
I want to say that we are, first of all, a family company and for us family values have always been at the forefront. And, of course, I try to give my children all the best. For this, in fact, I work 24 hours a day. I try to spend all weekends and evenings with my family, but during the week I need help. Like most busy moms, I get help from nannies and governesses. I have always been very demanding on the level of education, qualifications, clarity of speech of the specialists who work with my children.
Honestly, this is a fairly large item of expenditure in our budget, but otherwise why then earn money if not invest in your children. I don't see a nanny as just looking after a child, a nanny is a specialist who must develop children, teach them something new, broaden their horizons.
Probably difficult to find such a nanny?
I have high requirements for everything - starting from our houses, where we use only the best materials, use the services of trusted and reputable contractors, but in this business I have been for many years and already know where to go. As for domestic staff, the secret of recruiting is also simple. I need to find a leader with a reputation who can understand what I need and find the best solution for me.
I tried to look for staff by friends and used agencies, but the level of my requirements is very high, and at the moment I stopped at English Nanny.
Only after three years of cooperation, I agreed to their request to mention them in an interview. I can recommend them, and I do it just as a gratitude for the work done. And I know that I will turn to them more than once. It's nice to praise those who really help. I'm sure my recommendation will help other families find the right staff, save time and avoid unnecessary mistakes. Especially when it comes to foreign staff - English nannies, personal chefs from Italy. After all, these personnel are very different in their mentality and requests from the Russian that we are used to.
For more than three years, the international agency for the selection of nannies from England, France and Russia English Nanny has helped me in this. They selected an English governess for me, also a French teacher for my children and a music teacher. I am very pleased with the result: it is amazing to see when a small child speaks English without thinking about how to build a sentence correctly. He simply says what he thinks and conducts a deliberate dialogue.
It turns out that in the education of your children you focus on foreign languages?
A foreign language is a tool that is needed today. We use it in communication with foreign partners, in obtaining information, and just when we travel. It is much more comfortable when you are not limited in communication.
I recommend that parents not waste time and start teaching their children English at a very early age. Children show amazing results in learning foreign languages: it is enough to communicate with them in a foreign language in childhood, so that your child at 3 speaks fluently both in Russian and English, and at 5 - already in Russian, English and French.
Why did you decide on this particular agency?
I gave a specific task to my personal assistant: to find the most reliable agency for the selection of nannies. She offered several to choose from, among which was English Nanny. I already heard about him from my friends from Monaco, who were looking for a nanny from England. So, I did not call the agency, but my friends, and they gave me the phone number of the director of the representative office in Russia, Valentin Grogol. I want to say that I have never regretted that I turned to them, despite the fact that the assistant offered more economical options. After all, saving is not always appropriate, there are things in which quality comes first. It's like in construction: you can do it cheaper, but the nuances that distinguish a service or premium product from a business or economy will be lost. You cannot save on education and on yourself. If you need a car, you buy a Rolls Royce and are confident in the quality,if you need a nanny, find the agency that fits, because each industry has its own leaders and its own authorities.
Your oldest daughter is already 20 years old. Did she also have nannies from England?
No, not her, not I had such nannies. But this does not mean that we feel flawed or we really lack something. Everything should be done whenever possible. Now my daughter speaks excellent English and very good French. The carriers deal with it.
Tell us how you like to spend your free time
I love to spend it with my family. We love to travel, see new interesting places. This makes it possible to become even closer to your family, and, on top of that, you can often get new ideas for our construction projects.
We know that you were recently recognized as one of the most influential women in St. Petersburg …
This is said very loudly, but the editors of Delovoy Petersburg really recognized me as the most influential woman in the housing construction industry, and, of course, this is very pleasant. But influence itself is not an end in itself. I like that I have a favorite thing, I am happy that I have a beloved husband and children. For the sake of my family, I am ready to move on and develop, create comfort and coziness not only for myself, but also for our clients.
Is there anything socially significant in your list of hobbies?
We actively cooperate with charitable foundations, we try to attract buyers of our apartments to participate in charitable events. We also work closely with the Stars for Children Foundation by Alexander Kerzhakov, a man with a very kind heart. We all try to help our neighbors whenever possible.
Photo: Dusya Sobol
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