Why did the Executive MBA students in Russian go to the farm? "Entrepreneurship lessons from John Kopiski" - so it was written in the program of the visit. The topic of agriculture has been extremely popular lately. The participants (some of them out of habit in suits and with briefcases) visited a farm, a cheese factory, an agricultural tourist complex "Bogdarnya", a stable and many other interesting things.
John Kopisky came to Russia from the UK back in the early 90s. He was engaged in various businesses, then became interested in agriculture. Not without difficulties, but the business is developing successfully. During this time, $ 20 million has been invested, the business is profitable, but it has not always been like this. How to maintain steadfastness, which gives strength to believe and move forward? What are the lessons of entrepreneurship that John shared with us? John told us about something himself, we managed to "spy on" something.
Attitude to risk
"An entrepreneur should take risks and should not be greedy. We were close to bankruptcy twice, but we did not lose faith, mobilized and found a solution each time."
Strong rear and family support
It would be impossible to create a complex business without family support, John has a wonderful wife, Nina Valeryevna, with no less bright entrepreneurial talent, and five children, many of whom also take part in business. "Our goal has always been to build a business for our children. But we were ready to corporatize the business if the children did not support us – after all, it was our choice, not theirs."
The role of the case
Once, the President tasted milk from John's farm at an agro-event, and he liked the milk. Since then, John Kopisky's farm has been a reference point for novice farmers, and this year John will share his experience at SPIEF 2021. "The best support from the state is a long–term loan and leasing of equipment," says John.
"In order to work on a farm, you must first of all be a financier and an economist. That's what I spend a lot of my time on," John shares. John's son Timofey continues his studies, and the management staff is actively studying. "I want to figure everything out myself. Now I'm studying genetics, there are practically no specialists left, I have to dig into everything myself," says the farm director.
Love for my work
"For me, the best working time on the farm is 2 o'clock in the morning, the fuss has subsided, and I can calmly think and plan everything, looking at the farm from my bridge."
Optimism and attitude towards Russia
"Many in Russia believe that somewhere abroad is better. In America, somewhere else. Before coming to Russia, I worked in many countries of the world, and I am absolutely sure that Russia is a wonderful country. Although I have not been able to get used to the Russian habit of complaining and whining over all these years. Russian Russians are the most terrible propaganda."
John now has a Russian passport, but for almost 20 years he worked in Russia on a tourist visa. Such is an English entrepreneur with a Russian soul. We definitely have something to learn from him!