A Catastrophe as a New Opportunities Driver: MIM’s Management Café Discussion

12 September 2018

Management Café’s discussion was devoted to the role of catastrophes in doing business. Mr. Andriy Synelnykov, deputy technical director of Donbasenergo energy generating company initiated the discussion by sharing his experience of overcoming the consequences of military actions in the East of Ukraine as a keynote speaker. Prof. Vyacheslav Pokotylo and Dr. Oleksandr Sudarkin, director of the M&L pre-MBA program moderated the discussion.

Ukraine has been waging a war for 4 years already. The war was unexpected, so businesses which had operated in the territories which later became a war zone had to adjust to the new reality. The Donbasenergo with its two power plants left in the war zone was one of those companies. “Because of the shelling in 2014 the Slaviansk power plant stopped its operations,” Mr. Synelnykov told the participants. “Our task was to shut the equipment down correctly. What was even more important we had to keep all our people alive and uninjured because we were forced to close the plant down during the shelling.”

After securing the survival, assessing losses caused by firing, coordination of repairing activities and re-launching the plants did not seem that bad. To do that, special task forces were created. Immediately after ceasing repairing started. Whereas the losses reached 202 million hryvnias, the Slaviansk TPP managed to renew its work in early 2015.
Donbasenergo’s case triggered the discussion of the nature of catastrophes we were facing currently and how they influenced businesses development. In particular, Prof. Pokotylo compared Donbas situation to 11/09 which surprisingly opened the window of opportunities for many businesses. Such an approach may be right for Ukraine which suffers from war. It is clear that new ways of doing business and new businesses are in demand now. An example of Donbasenergo, its resilience, and determination to thrive against all odds is very inspiring for all Ukrainian entrepreneurs.