Iveta Manasherova, 45 years old, founder - together with her husband Tamaz - and vice president of the Unident group of companies (1,700 employees; today - the leader of the medical and dental market in Russia)
Projects: co-founder of the U-Art cultural and charitable foundation, as well as the Vivacello cello music festival. The Manasherovs are members of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the National Center for Contemporary Art, and the Olga Sviblova Multimedia Art Museum.
Children: two sons, 23 and 15 years old, and two daughters, 19 and 3 years old.
Education: Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Tbilisi State University; Department of Art History, History Department, Moscow State University.
Languages: Russian, Georgian, Armenian, French, English, Italian
Hobbies: classical music, ballet, opera, theater, collecting paintings of the early 20th century
MS: Are you often envied?
Iveta Manasherova: It seems to me not. Is it worth it? I myself do not possess this property. True, sometimes I think: if only a little free time - happy those who have it!
MS: Business, art, patronage, raising four children - really, that's a lot. Have you deliberately built your career and life the way they turned out?
IM: In life, chance is important, but it seems to me that everything turned out logically. I have always wanted to study languages, although I finished physics and mathematics school and entered the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Cybernetics, where we met my future husband. But I still returned to languages after university - I went to the higher courses of simultaneous interpreters. As a child, she went to art school. I finished school with a medal, and for graduation my parents gave me a Van Gogh album. Then there was my company with my husband, work.
MS: Where did the business topic come from?
IM: In the fourth year, my husband started working as a commercial director at a dental clinic. We thought that we would become programmers - this profession is the future, but then, in the 1990s, people were doing everything. At that time, if you did something well, persistently, purposefully, then everything worked out for everyone. For ten years we worked 24 hours a day without raising our heads. We started together - we had no idea how it could be otherwise. And I'm glad that it happened.
MS: What were your ambitions?
THEM.:We are perfectionists. I think Tamaz is even more than me. And I can't keep up with him. In a couple, it is important to be interesting to each other: if something interests him, then I should know more. And vice versa - such an intra-family competition. The result of our ambitions is that the company is engaged not only in dentistry, but also in the production of products in the field of oral hygiene, and clinics and general medical areas. With toothpastes - the same story. We started by introducing the Rembrandt pasta from the American manufacturer, which was then the best in the world. There was no premium market for toothpastes in Russia yet. The Americans changed their owners, each of them varied the conditions - and at some point we said to ourselves: we need to get down to business. We had to do better and we succeeded. So it is with hobbies. By the way,my husband's passion for music and collecting is even stronger than mine.
MS: Family, business, art - what is your priority?
IM: Family always comes first. Nothing is more important - and everything else can live in parallel. And I can't imagine myself without work or without art..
MS: Why didn't you put your business on autopilot so you can devote yourself entirely to your hobbies?
Iveta Manasherova: In my opinion, you can work as long as you are interested. If so, you will not want to retire. I always tell children: choose what you like and do it well. And then you will be successful and happy. Doing what you love is the main thing.
MS: And the money?
IM: They have never been an end in itself. If you do something well, there will still be a return. Financial or otherwise. But pleasure is more important. Of course, money for us is also an opportunity to give children a better education. For example, my daughter studies at Columbia University - they have two thousand people on the course, and only two students are from Russia. She graduated from school in Moscow, entered school on her own, is a good student, now she helps those who lag behind with mathematics, volunteers in the summer months, wants to be a doctor, she believes that this is her calling. She works in the hospital once a week, heads the council of the hostel and the society of lovers of the Italian language, organizes a dance competition for 1,200 people. I am proud of her, she is very clever. True, he says: "I have such parental guidelines that it's a little difficult for me."
MS: How much do you give the kids for pocket money?
I. M.: For our 15-year-old son, we calculate the amount of pocket money based on how much he needs, for example, how much a school lunch costs - and dad gives him a little more, just rounds up the amount so that the son can save something … Then he always gives us small gifts for birthdays - and he thinks that he buys them with his own money. It seems to me that our children have a good understanding of the fact that until you start earning yourself, you spend only parental money - this is not your work. Therefore, you need to treat them with care. By the way, last year my son worked for a month in the summer - he helped in our office, in the marketing department, received his 15 thousand.
MS: Do you have security ?
IM: No, and never was.
MS: In married couples there is a distribution of roles, responsibilities - what is yours?
IM: I am responsible for the house, life, but my husband is never indifferent to anything. We do not have decisions that we make each one separately - perhaps because we have known each other since the age of 18. At work and in the family, we discuss everything, there are no closed topics.
MS: Business does not interfere with personal life? It is generally accepted that these are different areas
IM: No, it's not difficult for us. When we started, we had one office where we sat together. Then an assistant appeared, we worked in adjacent offices, then we went to different floors, and now we are engaged in different directions. My responsibility is the production of toothpastes, and Tamaz has the rest - equipment, clinics, service. We consult with each other..
MS: Business is tough. There is no desire to criticize?
IM: Well, we love that. How without it! But I can't be tough. You just have to be principled, you don't have to be tough. What we like or dislike - we all speak openly, do not hide from each other, do not make indulgences. If you have to do something, then you have to. It even helps us that we are a family: sometimes there is an opportunity to discuss something outside the work setting. We are often asked: would you like to disconnect from work? We have vacations for this - we always have them for families. A couple of years ago my husband and I first went not on a business trip, but to have a rest together. And the children were outraged: how, without us ?!
MS: You give the impression of a very gentle, delicate person - how do you act if you have to make some extreme decision? For example, in times of crisis?
IM: You are responsible for the people who work for you. To hold out, not to cut employees and salaries - every time it was the number one task. But, let's say, in 1998 it was easier than today. We always choose the key people ourselves. It seems to me that the atmosphere remains family-like, like in a small company that was once. In general, all these crises provide an opportunity to look at the situation anew and find another solution. Flexibility is important, you must not give up. And there is always a way out.
MS: And this attitude towards the staff justifies itself?
IM: At least it's easier for us to live this way.
MS: In what way?
IM: In the moral - first of all. If you manage to keep people, the company may not receive the same profit for some time, but then you will have growth. Due to the loyalty of employees, their interest in what they do.
MS: Don't you think this is a bit of a "feminine" approach?
Iveta Manasherova: Female or male - there is no division in business for me. In general, an intelligent woman is a force. My husband always says, "For me, a beautiful woman is an intelligent woman." Both men and women occupy leading positions in our country - I do not feel that they do business differently.
MS: Choosing from several candidates, who will you take on and who will not?
IM: I always listen to intuition. But I will not take a careerist. People who are not interested in anything other than work. A person should have hobbies, then he will bring something interesting to the company.
MS: How can you bribe you?
IM: Clever look, open smile. Honesty and decency are the most important indicators. Here you are very rarely deceived.
MS: Do you feel like a successful woman?
IM: As soon as you say to yourself: this is success, everything ends for you. Although, of course, it was pleasant when, the year before last, our pasta was recognized as the best in Europe. And when the concert halls are full and there are no tickets, you always worry about how it will go, maybe even more than the musicians.
MS: You have a very personal attitude - you seem to arrange the world "for yourself", according to your views
IM: Yes. If you see the sense in this and there is an opportunity to help, then we always help. And this is important for children. We went to charity concerts, fairs and orphanages together. Children need to see a lot. Tamaz always says: even if you earned 10 thousand, save a thousand to help people. Even if you have few opportunities, you can still do something for those who have even fewer of them.
MS: How do you manage to combine everything? Any special time management?
IM: I keep an organizer - I can't keep everything in my head for a long time. I write by hand, on paper - I like to write. If meetings are not in the office, it is impossible to hold more than 2-3 a day. I try to answer letters immediately, the phone is always at hand. The main principle: if you can do it today, never put it off until tomorrow. As mom says: don't leave dirty dishes. And of course, the interests of children are always a priority.
MS: What in life would you most like to warn them against?
Iveta Manasherova: From being idle. There are so many people living boring lives. I want them to be surprised, so that they always want to do something so that they can keep themselves busy. To be able to be friends, to love. But you know, no matter how much you teach, they always grow up by family example. It remains in the head.
MS: And what is the main family example for you?
IM: It seems to me that when you honestly live with yourself, everything turns out well. Although the family, of course, there are difficulties. Love should always remain the leitmotif. You can't just talk about respect, some kind of friendly feelings - there must be a desire to surprise, to make a surprise. We must be able to give in, listen. And it is very important that there are common hobbies. For example, I first came to the stadium for the tenth anniversary of our wedding - we flew to the World Cup, it was my gift to my husband for our anniversary. And he is happy to go to the ballet with me, although I cannot say that he loves him very much.
MS: Do you manage to take care of yourself?
IM: To be honest, I don't have much time for this. I try to do sports twice a week: one day is nordic walking in the park, the second is fitness in the gym. Spa treatments are only when we go on vacation. And on ordinary days - cream, hair, a little makeup.
MS: When do you feel like a real woman?
IM: When I receive guests at home. Children around, I cook deliciously …
MS: You also cook
IM: At the weekend. These days I am always at home, we love our guests very much, friends come to us. I often feel confident, but at home, surrounded by my husband, children and friends, I am in complete harmony with myself.
Photo: Anastasia Khavzhu, personal archive
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