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Ч Mr. Regen, you are an old friend and a frequent visitor of our publication. The Pobeda/Knauf Co. is well known in Russia. Hardly any building site in the Northwest Region can survive without the products of your company. Its high rate of development proves this. The company was granted with the Russian Federation Quality Award for the year 2000. What do you think allowed you to receive such high recognition from the Russian government? Ч First of all, it is necessary to mention that Pobeda/Knauf is the first company in the building industry (with the participation of international investors) to be awarded so prestigious a prize. It is further important to keep in mind that this is a large-scale prize and is awarded on the grounds of the collective consideration of a great number of indices. But what is most important is that it is not just the quality of products and services that is taken into consideration, but the system of management in general. We are successful because we have introduced contemporary methods of management in both production and educational processes. We have developed a very strict system of documentation and decision-making. And last, but not least Ч the operation of the companies of the Knauf Group in Russia and the CIS is absolutely transparent and clear to the partners and the consumers of the Pobeda/Knauf. The prestige of the award is also heightened by the fact that a great number of companies representing various branches industries participated in the competition. Such an award has existed for a long time in many countries of the world. Three years in a row our company has been participating in this competition, and twice we have been awarded a diploma. In fact, this work has been going on in our company for six years now, since the moment of introduction of the investment project in our company. And we are especially pleased that that in the new Russia our efforts have not been in vain, and the work of the whole staff of the Pobeda/Knauf has been granted with such a high award. Ч The award has been granted to you. The highest peak has been scaled, so to speak. What next? Ч We believe, that there are no limits to development. Both problems Ч the quality of products and the overall culture of production Ч remain valid. It is just that one stage of our work is over and another stage, of even more importance, is about to begin. Because now the goal of Pobeda/Knauf has been set higher that it was before. Our production capacities are in full operation now. On the same grounds six companies coexist, giving stable jobs to 2,800 citizens of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Knauf has fifteen plants on the territory of the CIS, and Pobeda/Knauf is the leader. It is not by chance that a third of all investments of Knauf went to create modernized production facilities in the Northwest of Russia. As a matter of fact, Knauf in the CIS is one of the most dynamically developing groups of the Knauf company in the world. Ч The Pobeda/Knauf company is deeply involved in charitable activities. Could you, please, tell us in more detail about those you have recently taken part in. Ч An active social position and widespread charitable activity have always been part of KnaufТs philosophy in general, and our subdivisionТs philosophy in particular. It is important for us to feel that we work not only for our profit, but also for the benefit of our personnelТs families and the benefit of the Region where we develop our production facilities. Our attention is always centered on solving social problems. We financially support medical institutions (to be specific, with our help renovations on the obstetrics division in the city hospital of Kolpino were carried out), we offer our services to schools and institutions for invalids. As regards our cultural programs, we have special relationship with them. And, of course, St. Petersburg, as the cultural capital, occupies a special place here. Thus, on charitable grounds we supply bricks and other materials for the restoration of the Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Holy Mother in Kronshtadt. Recently, Mr. Nikolaus Knauf, Honorable Consul of Russia in Germany, organized charity concerts with the participation of Russian and German artists. All proceeds will go for the development of a childrenТs clinic in the city of Kolpino. Ч Your company maintains fruitful cooperative relations with the Peterhof State Museum-Preserve... Ч ThatТs quite true. Our friendship began in 1995. The general director of the museum at the time, Vadim Valentinovich Znamenov, visited Germany and stayed in the city of Yphofen, where the head office-apartment of the company Knauf is located. There is also a museum there, founded by the predecessors of the current owners of the company, the Knauf brothers. Twice already, in 1996 and 1998, exhibits of Saxony porcelain and gilded bronze, a collection consisting of pieces belonging to the holdings of Peterhof, traveled there. It was very important that we were able to organize the expositions, in spite of the period of the Ђcold war in the area of cultureї that reigned during the time between our countries, thus demonstrating the strength of good will. We, on our part, helped to restore the ЂNeptuneї fountain in PeterhofТs upper park. The most recent activity that Knauf has been involved in is the restoration of the Crystal Column at the ЂKottedzhї palace in Peterhof, destroyed during the Second World War. One might say that this project has significance for all of Europe. It was also realized with the help of the German company Siemens. The grand unveiling of the column took place this autumn on 11 September. Ч Mr. Regen, our last question: what are the future plans of Knauf? Ч One of the things that distinguishes Knauf is that wherever it has worked, all of its earnings have been invested in the development of production in the given region. Time has proven that we have chosen the right path. Our products our in demand, and this demand continues to increase. For this reason, we expect continued investment in the economy of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. 9 Zagorodnaya ul., Kolpino, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 196650 Tel. +7 (812) 461-4212 Fax. +7 (812) 461-5555
Interview led by Alexander SIMONOVSKIJ
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