‘We are given a million rubles, I will be happy to spend it in Skolkovo’

Winners of the Leaders of Russia contest from Tatarstan shared their impressions about participating in the competition

Three representatives of Tatarstan (out of seven superfinalists of the republic) won the superfinal of the Leaders of Russia management contest. The winners of the fourth season of the locomotive project of the presidential platform “Russia — the land of opportunities” included Tatarstan experts in the fields of banking — Rafael Valeev, education — Timerbulat Samerkhanov, information technology — Mikhail Fokin. The leaders defending the honour of the republic told Realnoe Vremya what motivated them to participate in the contest, what this victory was for them and what their plans for the future were.

“It was interesting to try your hand and test yourself”

The Leaders of Russia contest is the flagship project of the presidential platform “Russia — Land of Opportunity”. This is a competition for the leaders of a new generation, forming a community of leaders who will determine the future of Russia — this is how the organisers position the project.

This week, the winners of the superfinal of the fourth season of the competition were announced at the Musical Theatre in Moscow — these were 106 managers from 32 regions of Russia and three foreign countries. Among them — three Tatarstan citizens (in total, seven representatives of the republic passed the superfinal). Each winner receives a grant for training in the amount of 1 million rubles and gets into the personnel reserve of the presidential administration of Russia.

Managing Director for Information Technologies of DB Alfa-Bank JSC (Republic of Kazakhstan) Rafael Valeev participated in the competition for the first time this year, and therefore the level of organisation and complexity of the tasks pleasantly surprised him.

“Firstly, it was interesting to see what it is, to try your hand and test yourself. Secondly, these are people, communication, networking, master classes from mentors. And thirdly, of course, is an educational grant. I'm participating in this contest for the first season, I haven't had any attempts before, so I expected the worst. A very high level of organisation, very interesting people come to talk. According to the cases themselves, the tasks strongly resemble some real circumstances when there are a number of managers with different opinions and you have to come to some decision in a limited time.”

According to Rafael Valeev, the competition helps to solve management problems both in business and in public service. Although the winner himself admitted that he does not plan to leave his current place of work and change his occupation.

“In fact, the competition is not only about the civil service, for example, there were a lot of additional tracks this season. Specifically, I reached the superfinal from the information technology track. And on the first day at our table of 10 people, only three were from the track of public administration. And the specifics of the tasks to be solved are both about business and about public administration, IT was connected with information technologies on the IT track. I did not set myself the task of getting any career opportunities in the civil service, as I work and will continue to work in banks. But thanks to participation in the competition, I acquired the management tools that we had in practice during the solved cases. Secondly, between the final of the IT track and the superfinal, we managed to pass a mentoring programme, for me this is also an interesting experience that can and should be applied in real work. Also, as part of the project, I managed to take a management course based on data from Innopolis," he noted.

“We have received a vector of development”

The head of the NGO, the founder of the private school of Educational Culture ANO educational organisation, Timerbulat Samerkhanov, in the competition “Leaders of Russia”, on the contrary, is already an experienced participant. Achieving victory in the next season for him was one of the main motivations.

“There are several reasons why I took part in the competition. Firstly, many friends and acquaintances have participated and won before, saying that this is a cool story, primarily from the point of view of getting to know the best managers in Russia. The second is such a boyish story. I have participated for the fourth year, before that I could not pass the tests at the proper level at various stages, and this time I got into the superfinal for the first time. Another reason is an educational grant, we are given a million rubles, I will be happy to spend it in Skolkovo, as I have dreamed for a long time. The last reason is a chance to try to change your future career path, to use new opportunities.”

It is forbidden to disclose the details of the contest tasks to participants. As Timerbulat Samerkhanov emphasises, all cases are related to real situations, and their solution may push many participants to switch to the civil service.

“I cannot disclose the details of the tasks under the terms of the competition, but in general they are relevant today and will be relevant in the future. These are good cases from the real sector. Getting to know people, their experience and solved tasks will be useful even in everyday work. We got a vector of development, a kick in the good sense of the word. I think that during the competition I felt that I was ready to work in the civil service. Let's see how life goes on. In any case, I hope that I will work with dignity. And to those who think it's worth it or not to go to the contest, I will definitely answer: “Yes.”

“An opportunity to see how other people think and make decisions”

Mikhail Fokin, the head of the Data Management Centre of Tattelecom PJSC, notes that the competition allows all participants to gain useful experience by communicating with mentors and well-known speakers.

“This year I am participating for the third time. At first it was interesting to test myself, in the course of participation I realised that there was every chance of some good results, of winning, for the first time I only reached the semifinals. And then the excitement and desire to win appeared. I would certainly recommend those who hesitate to take part, because participation in such projects is an invaluable experience, an opportunity to look at how other people think and make decisions, share their own and learn from someone else's experience, listen to speakers. At almost every stage, there are so-called Development Days, when either well-known businessmen or heads of state bodies speak, this is also very interesting. The tasks were quite practical. The participants' ability to make decisions with a shortage of time and information, the ability to systematise this information was evaluated. The cases are about the same as in real life. There were tasks focused both on the civil service and on some commercial projects.”

Mikhail Fokin has not yet decided how to spend the grant and in which direction to move on. Nevertheless, the experience gained, according to him, is also applicable in everyday work.

“It's still difficult to talk about the given vector, the final ended just the other day. In any case, all the winners received a grant for training, this is a great opportunity. You get the advantages already from the stage of preparation for the competition, because it is difficult to solve those test tasks that are given even at the remote stage, without knowing their specifics and some examples of solving cases. Already at the stage of preparation during the passage of these tests, you begin to study literature that is sometimes unknown to you, some approaches that in the future there are all opportunities to apply in practice. Therefore, participation is useful at any stage.”

Emil Ziyangirov