"State property should be not just property, but national wealth" – Dmytro Klimenkov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine

On September 27, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine appointed Dmytro Klimenkov First Deputy Chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine. We interviewed Dmytro Klimenkov on the first day of his work at the Fund.

First of all, we congratulate you on your appointment. How do you start working at the SPFU?

Thank you for your congratulations! The situation with large enterprises managed by the SPFU is critical. Enterprises that have been heard for a long time and were considered the highlights of the Ukrainian economy – Zaporizhzhia Titanium and Magnesium Plant, Odesa Port Plant, Centrenergo – are now idle and accumulating debts. Centrenergo and OPP`s losses just this year have already reached UAH 5 billion.

In my opinion, it is necessary to proceed from the fact that today these enterprises cannot count on the financial support of the state, which is currently focused on providing the defense sector. It will be extremely difficult for many other enterprises to independently resume profitable activities for various reasons. We will deal with each individual enterprise separately. In fact, there are only two relatively fast ways: either to close or privatize. Other solutions require money and time, and both of these resources are now in short supply for both the state and enterprises.

Disappointing is the state of other enterprises. To begin with, out of almost 900 enterprises in the SPFU portfolio, only 120 submitted reports for 2021. Some of these enterprises are also shut down and also accumulate debts. And now the state does not know for certain either the condition or the value of most of these objects. Therefore, it is necessary to put things in order with reporting.

It is also necessary to introduce uniform international procurement practices. After all, transparent and effective procurement can save significant funds and make economic activity more productive.

You have worked at Eriksson for a long time. What was your responsibility, what do you consider to be achievements?

At the Swedish company Ericsson, I actually started my career. This work brought the greatest business and professional experience in my life. I got to Ericsson almost immediately after the Igor SikorskyiKyiv Polytechnic Institute. I immediately immersed myself in a unique and large project that the company implemented on the territory of Ukraine. It was the construction of mobile communications for the company "Astelit" (mobile operator Life). The turnkey equipment supplier company built a mobile network for the customer. In this project, in 7 years I have gone from a technical specialist to the head of the whole project.

Since Ericsson is a global brand in telecommunications, competition among those who wanted to get into the company was high. Therefore, the team consisted of talented managers and specialists. Here I have gained tremendous international experience. I had to work with Swedish, Norwegian, Turkish, Romanian colleagues.

My area of responsibility included construction, communications, procurement, coordination with state institutions. And in all areas, there was an incredible pace of work.

My managers were strong leaders. By the way, when I came to work at Ericsson, the director of the parent company was Carl-Henric Svanberg. He is a legendary personality in Sweden. After completing his work at Ericsson, Svanberg joined the Supervisory Board Chairman at British Petroleum. I received a personal acknowledgment from him for my work and I am very proud of this distinction.

How did you decide to work at UIA? What was your responsibility in "Ukraine International Airlines"?

After completing the project with Astelit, I managed part of the work that Ericsson performed for the technical development of Kyivstar.

In 2013, I received an offer from Yurii Miroshnikov, president of UIAat that time. He invited me to explore the technical side of the company's work on logistics, procurement, aircraft repair. It was also necessary to establish a system of transparent procurement, to change the processes that were inherited from the state and at that time were already outdated.

At UIA, I created a team that completely changed the approach in the technical directorate. We created a procurement technology that excluded the possibility of corruption. This technology was tied to the AMOS system (this is an operational aviation program), and the human factor was practically excluded from procurement. The technology was effective and passed many checks. At the same time, the efficiency of supplies of spare parts has only increased. And efficiency is very important for aviation. After all, if the plane is idle, it must be raised to the wing as soon as possible, because otherwise the company incurs losses, customers do not receive the service.

How will your experience be useful for the SPFU?

I have a task to integrate modern processes and standards of management in general and in the corporate governance sector in particular into the activities of the SPFU. It makes no sense to create something new and complex. We just need to disseminate world practices that have already proven themselves and are commonly used in modern business. It is worth taking proven systems, implementing them, joining them. State property should not just be property, but national wealth. That is, to have liquidity, to increase capitalization. There is no place for experimentation or for Soviet customs.

In your opinion, what is the difference between the companies you worked for and state-owned enterprises?

The SPFU itself is now essentially a fund of the USSR property`sremains. Nothing to do with modern world funds. The task is as follows: to transform the SPFU into a modern institution in each of its functions. And among other things, the creation of a Sovereign Fund will allow Ukraine to cooperate with world-class investment funds.

The big problem of a significant part of Ukrainian business is that enterprises are often managed not by management, but by shareholders directly. This has nothing to do with the world practice of doing business. In the modern world, management makes decisions and works, and shareholders can only set KPIs and ask about dividends once a year. In our country, management is often afraid of everything, decides little, and it is impossible to count on business development with this approach.

I am convinced that at the enterprises in the SPFU`s portfolio, management should work based on responsibility, trust and the application of best management practices. Under such conditions, the best results will not be delayed.

Is there life besides work?

I am the father of many children. I have three daughters and a son, aged one and a half to eight years. Their upbringing and education are outside of work, this is the number one task.

In addition, I participate in social projects.  In particular, after 2014, my friends and I purchased land and built a cultural center "Birlik" for immigrants who were forced to leave their homes. We opened schools for primary and high school, as well as kindergartens.

The priority task now is to help our heroes who are on the front lines. I participate in the purchase of ammunition, cars, food, in a word - all that our soldiers need.

Thank you for the conversation and wish you success on the new front of your work!