23 November 2018
Ernst & Young Russia Entrepreneur of the Year Award
I’ve always been skeptical about business awards; there is no more important award for a businessman than a cool product, high profit, and happy customers. Juries, competitions, and expensive formal attire are for exemplary high school students, not for rebels going against the current. Yesterday, however, I went on stage at the Ernst & Young Russia Entrepreneur of the Year Award ceremony. And I’m grateful for that. I was always a dreamer. I dreamed I would create something extraordinary, I dreamed I would build a global company. A statuette and a prize in the Restaurant Business category awarded by a reputable organization will definitely help a Russian company to expand internationally. And the main thing is, it’s really important to me. Seven years ago I was just a guy who opened a pizzeria in a basement in the small town of Syktyvkar. Now Dodo Pizza is a big chain with annual revenue of 197 million dollars and a leading pizza delivery service in Russia. As I was standing on that stage looking at all those respectable people in formal dress, it occurred to me that our story is a fairy tale, and it tells that nothing is impossible. Have faith in yourself and build your business. It’s not I who have won, but all of you. We could do it, and so can you. To be able to inspire you is my most important prize, and it makes us go forward.
Photo: Ernst & Young Russia