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March 31, 2020

Serhiy Yevtushenko, co-founder and managing partner of UDP Renewables, shared his own experience of working in an open system and the effectiveness of the methodology of the School of Strategic Architect program in  Kyiv-Mohyla Business School (kmbs) .

It will be recalled that UDPR is an investment and development company in the field of renewable energy. The company adapts and implements global technological trends in Ukraine, seeks investment opportunities for partners and opens the Ukrainian market to global players, as well as uses its own capacity in renewable energy sources.


How did you come to understand that co-creation with partners would be most effective?

Intuitively, I felt, and during the program I gained a thorough theoretical knowledge and confirmed my hypothesis that the ecosystem approach to the organization of cooperation will be useful to all participants in the system.

When there is a market opportunity to build a large business in the field of "green energy", but there are limited resources, both time and financial, there are many other limitations, the application of the ecosystem concept is the most competent, most productive step. This is what allowed us to grow from scratch, from a stratap to a large company with a capitalization of over € 150 million in less than 3 years.

How did your business start?


At the time I made my decision, I was faced with the task of building a business from scratch. We were a small company that owned a couple of solar power plants and I realized that in order to make the next qualitative leap, I need to improve my management skills.

I understood that I wanted to build a company with a vision of the future in 5-10 years. And to see it not as an illusion, but as a clear goal that can really be reached. I understood that the world around us is turbulent, everything is changing fast and there is no guarantee that everything will go well. But this was the moment when you need to take and use the opportunities that the market gives you and not be afraid of change, not afraid of hypothetical risks. You need to take control of the risks and start managing them. The ecosystem minimizes these risks.

What are the risks in the first place?


It is worth remembering that there is no business without risk, and in general, any company starts from the moment when you are ready to accept this challenge and take responsibility for your choice. Part of the curriculum was dedicated to this.


Risks of changes in the regulatory field, changes in the rules of the game, changes in legislation, lack of opportunity to obtain bank financing. Also - the risk of lack of resources, insufficient qualifications of their own team. We validated this already during the work. So there were a lot of risks. But at the same time we had the opportunity to observe how large companies, which had huge resources and considered the possibility of entering our industry, did not do so, because they did not want to accept these risks, take them under control and work with them. And they did not go into this business. As a result: today we have a large company, and they did not grow such a company, although the conditions for this were.

What are the benefits of ecosystem interaction?


Working in an ecosystem and its biggest advantage is speed. You very quickly create a minimum viable product or service and bring them to market very quickly. And all this takes place with minimal resource costs - this is a key advantage. When you are a startup, both of these parameters are extremely important.

We are an investor in green energy. We are building solar power plants, and now we are starting to build wind power plants. A significant part of this work is engineering, design. We can do it ourselves. To do this, I need: a separate direction, team, resources, time. And my portfolio alone may not be enough for this. I need to enter the market of engineering services. Accordingly, I must take responsibility for the quality of work of these people and give myself the appropriate guarantees.

Anyone who has ever started to do something on their own, understands that it is ideal to do everything from the first time, without mistakes will not work. And another resource - time - is very limited. We are constantly competing with some deadlines, with some dates when we have to hand over objects, because we have obligations to shareholders, bankers, etc. If we went into this engineering, it would be a completely different activity.

We decided that we would outsource these things, as well as construction, although our holding is a construction company and we are known (primarily in Kyiv) for our projects.

Of course, it was not difficult for us to organize a company that could build our facilities. But this is another business. We did not want to waste effort. In addition, if we did it on our own, it would be much cheaper for us, but we would release a certain amount of risk out of control.

And so, the participants of the ecosystem received orders from us, received decent payment terms, and we received from them quality, speed and guarantees. In this way we have achieved maximum efficiency.

Has the ecosystem approach affected your company's strategy and business model?


Of course. We think in terms of the ecosystem approach, but we use many different tools. First, we are in no hurry. You can develop a quality strategy for several years. That is, you will not come up with it right away. It needs to be constantly refined, formulated, it needs to be lived. We hold strategic sessions from time to time. When we were just starting out, the first strategic session was held with key players and shareholders, we came to certain CRIs, key indicators of this strategy, which we then implemented for several years.

We are now in the second stage, when we have to accept the fact that the legislative field in our industry is changing greatly, competition is intensifying, opportunities for growth are running out quickly and we urgently need to reach the next level of the next transformation. After all, it is not possible to go forever on one business model. Therefore, we have now again reached the point where we need to convene the next strategic session, re-evaluate what has been done, consider options for further development and analyze our key value proposals and vision. Our mission does not change, but changes can be made in the process of achieving the goal. Our strategy will definitely be changed, because the strategy is also a dynamic tool.

How do partners affect results?


It is important to understand the values of the diversity of opinion of the people with whom you talk the concept before making a decision. For example, while studying in the program in the group we had a very interesting selection of people - and entrepreneurs, and the military, and artists, and civil servants. We could "pump" any idea and consider it from different angles, because specialists with different experience, with different mindsets, made fresh and unexpected decisions, and you had the opportunity to assess this point of view and look at the situation from another angle. If I sat in a working group exclusively with entrepreneurs, we would never achieve this effect. And I felt how enriching it is when you learn to listen and accept other points of view.

This program has helped to create many puzzles in my head. For me, the most valuable conclusion was the development of such a technique as the customer line. It allowed me to very clearly break down all stakeholders, all participants in the process of my work in order of their priority and understand what value proposition I will make to each of them, what they expect from me and how I can cover their needs, provide them with the necessary. And this technology of a client line in kmbs very much pumped up my logic of thinking. It allowed me to form a vision of my value proposition more clearly.


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June 5 2020, 03:46

Mykola Palienko, CEO and co-founder of EVO, a graduate of the School of Strategic Architect at the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, described how his company manages not only to stay afloat during quarantine, but also to launch new products and maintain business profitability.

Jun 27 2019, 09:35

I have been managing ecosystems for over eight years. The experience of creating business ecosystems, managing them, joining other ecosystems allowed me to painlessly increase the value of businesses by 2-3 times.

Jun 19 2019, 15:20


Alexander Savruk - Candidate of Economic Sciences, Dean of kmbs. He specializes in strategic management, business philosophy, change management. He is also a member of the Academic Council and Rectorate of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the Ukrainian Association of Management Consultants and has worked as an advisor to the Minister of Economy on microeconomic issues. Partner "Mohyla Strategic Agency" - Action Tank.

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