Valerii Makovetskyi – biography

Valerii Makovetskyi was born in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan. The city is the administrative center of the Almaty oblast. Most readers may know Russian spelling of the city name - Taldy-Kurgan. The former is the current name given to the city in 1993, according to Kazakh pronunciation.  So, Valerii Makovetskyi was born in Taldykorgan, on February 15, 1961.

Valerii Makovetskyi – education

In 1978, he finished comprehensive school №9 in Kommunarsk (today’s Alchevsk). In 1984, he graduated with honors from the Kommunarsk Mining and Smelting Institute (mechanical engineering).  

Studying in the institute, Valerii Makovetskyi worked at the Kommunarsk Metallurgical Plant in 1981, and also at the October 23rd Machine Tool Factory of Melitopol (today’s Melitopol Engine Plant) as a lathe operator.  

Upon graduation, Valerii Makovetskyi moved to Kyiv to start working at the Kyiv Artem Production Association. Today it is the Artem Holding Company. He was an engineering workshop foreman at a restricted-access production area. The plant has been manufacturing military equipment since World War I. Over the period when Valerii Makovetskyi’s worked for the plant, it manufactured air-to-air guided missiles, antitank missiles, guided missile support equipment, air vehicle equipment and devices.

Valerii Makovetskyi in business

In 1994, Valerii Makovetskyi and his business partner Gennadii Vykhodtsev founded a wholesale household appliances and electronics business.  

Over the course of time, they expanded it with a retail division. The first outlet of the chain known to most readers as Foxtrot opened in Kharkiv. The first Foxtrot outlet in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, opened in 1997.  

In 2004, Valerii Makovetsky headed the Foxtrot Group of Companies. The holding develops Ukraine’s most famous retail household appliances and electronics brands – Foxtrot. Home Appliances, Technoshara, elite watch retailor Secunda. Besides, the FGC team started a property management business. All the Group’s property development activities are based on DEPO't Center and Fantasy Town platform in Ukraine’s oblast centers: Chernivtsi, Mykolaiv, Cherkasy and Kropyvnytskiy.

Secrets of Foxtrot brand birth

Let us site Valerii Makovetskyi as telling about how the Foxtrot brand was created:

– In the 90es, when Ukraine became independent, many Soviet economic laws were liberalized. Everyone got an opportunity to run business.

That time I worked at the Artem Plant. It was a defense-related company producing guided missiles, air vehicle equipment. As a result of the Soviet Union collapse, many companies lost their government contracts and their employees lost their jobs. The question was “What am I going to do?” I decided to take chances and start a business. Naturally, not on my own – I had like-minded business partners. That time it was advantageous to sell household electronics – they were almost unavailable from shops. First successful deals suggested us our current focus area – trade in household appliances and electronics. We were wholesalers. We turned our garages into warehouses and our apartments into offices. First we bought electronics from the Arab Emirates. Later we contacted leading international manufacturers of household appliances and electronics– Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Ariston, LG Electronics, and Indesit – and started receiving direct supplies from them.  

In 1996, we opened our first retail shop in Kharkiv. That is how we established Foxtrot. Home Appliances, which is currently a well-known retail chain of household appliances and electronics outlets. Valerii Makovetskyi: Foxtrot managed to do what others failed - to meet customer needs to the maximum.  

– We had competitors even in the turbulent 90es. We managed to distinguish ourselves - to create our USP (unique selling proposition), tells Heads of the Foxtrot Group of Companies Valerii Makovetskyi.  

– It’s about well-developed logistics. That time we were the first to use shipment by rail. It was innovative at that time. We used it to ensure that our wholesale partners in oblasts of the country would receive their products within specified time. Along with developing guaranteed and timely delivery, we started granting loans to our partners. It enabled us to create a pool of loyal clients. Our business grew 10 times over a year. We were client-friendly. As you can see, the focus on customer is Foxtrot’s basic quality that drove and keeps driving the business, Valerii Makovetskyi concludes. Foxtrot – branding, naming and all, all, all Readers are always interested in the history of Foxtrot’s name. The brand name sounds like the name of a famous ballroom dance. The one danced at the tempo of about 28-30 bars per minute and considered to be the father of the usual waltz. The name of the Foxtrot dance originated from Fox’s trot. 

In the 90es, when we opened the first Foxtrot outlet, there was no professional naming in Ukraine. That is why the cofounders - Gennadii Vykhodtsev and Valerii Makovetskyi – chose a bright, dynamic and nice-sounding word.  

What’s next? Foxtrot developed into a strong brand. Nowadays many people in Ukraine would think of the household appliances and electronics chain rather than the dance when they hear the word “Foxtrot”. And the Foxtrot Group of Companies has been supporting one of Ukraine’s most professional dance tournaments – The Parade of Hopes – for as many as 17 years in a row. Besides, a part of the festival is the world’s only foxtrot tournament. Guess who initiated and sponsored this mono-competition within frames of the large-scale dance tournament? Yes, it is Foxtrot.

Stages of Valery Makovetsky’s business development in brief

Today, looking back at Foxtrot’s 25-year history in the Ukrainian household appliances and electronics market, one can easily see key stages of the brand development:  

1. Supplementing wholesale business with retail. Starting their business, Valery Makovetsky and Gennadii Vykhodtsev focused on wholesale of imported household appliances. The first retail household appliances and electronics outlet they opened in Kharkiv gave Valery Makovetsky and Gennadii Vykhodtsev a direct access to end consumers.  

2. In 2011, the Foxtrot chain joined Euronics. It is Europe’s largest buying group for consumer electronics and household appliances. 

3. In 2010-2013, the chain “Foxtrot. Home Appliances” found itself in the CEE Top-500 Ranking made by British accounting organization Deloitte & Touche.  

4. Creating private labels. In 2007, Bravis was created. It was followed by Delfa and LeChef. Private labels give the company competitive advantages over other players in the market. Today Foxtrot has three private label brands in its portfolio. The production facilities find themselves in China. The brands are as follows:

I. Bravis – electronics (TV sets, mobile devices, audio and video equipment). 

II. Delfa – climate equipment, other major and small domestic appliances. 

III. LeChef – dishes and kitchen accessories.  

5. Launching online sales and developing omnichannel sales. Customers can select, order and buy products and services available from all the brands developed by the Foxtrot Group both online and in traditional outlets. This makes Foxtrot an omnichannel brand available to customers in every mode. In 2013, Foxtrot started developing the pickup service (having enabled customers to order products online and receive them in any Foxtrot outlet). In 2019, the service was reformed and the Foxtrot team’s results were as follows: easy online ordering (1 minute when paying in cash or by card and 3 minutes when buying on credit), fast delivery of goods to the selected outlet and customer pickup the same day, easy pickup – up to 2 minutes for the items paid for in cash or by card and up to 3 minutes for those bought on credit. Besides, when reforming the service, Foxtrot focused on delivery of goods from warehouse (in cases where they were unavailable from outlets) within 24, 48, 72 hours or at the specified time in anchor cities. 

6. Supplementing household appliances and electronics retail business with real estate development and construction of commercial real estate in oblasts of Ukraine, purchasing small liquid facilities of up to 10-15 thousand square meters in oblast centers. Depot Development Group’s portfolio includes about 150 retail, warehouse and office facilities in Ukraine and Moldova. In whole, the company manages the property of about 260, 000 square meters. The first Depot Center of 20 thousand square meters opened in Chernivtsi (Ukraine) in December 2009. The second one of 8 thousand square meters opened in Lubny in December 2010, and the third one (11 thousand square meters) started working in Mykolaiv in 2011. In 2016, the company opened Depot Centers in Kirovohrad and Cherkasy.

Company’s business results under Valery Makovetsky

As a rule, figures are used to present results. In civilized countries, businessmen and companies specify the taxes they pay rather than their income when reporting their results.  

For instance, in 2018 the Foxtrot Group of Companies paid taxes of UAH 655,665,164.06 to the state budget of Ukraine. The taxes paid in 2017 amounted to UAH 534,781,357.00. The increase was as much as 22%. By the way, the Foxtrot Group of Companies has been demonstrating the steady growth of + 20…30% several years in a row.  

The picture we can see when adding the social component to these figures is as follows: all the members of FGC employ several dozens of thousands of people. All these people have families.  

Besides, all Valery Makovetsky’s business projects feature high social responsibility levels. The businessman supports the projects that aim at making the state of Ukraine stronger, charitable initiatives and the initiatives that minimize human impact on the environment.

Valery Makovetsky’s public life

In 2004, Valerii Makovetskyi joined the organizing committee of the Foxtrot Group of Companies’ project «Memory March» launched to preserve the historic memory and support military and labor veterans.  

In 2006, the head of the Foxtrot Group of Companies, together with his business partner Gennadii Vykhodtsev, joined the organizing committee of the social project “A big heart of a little life”. Covering the whole territory of Ukraine, the project aimed at socializing gifted parentless children. In partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Mission for Social Care of Children, the Ministry for Family, Youth and Sports of Ukraine, the Ministry for Culture and Tourism of Ukraine, the NIKO Auto Group, and several NGOs, FGC involved 13 thousand inmates of Ukrainian orphanages in the project.  

The participants sent their works on the topic «Spiritual bonds: hopes and dreams» and shared their thoughts about their future. About 100 children whose pictures were found the best were invited to visit the National Kyiv Pechersk Monastery and received valuable prizes for their works. At the final stage of the project, the organizing committee selected 10 most gifted and resourceful participants who had the potential to change for the better not only their own but also others’ lives.  Psychological and pedagogic support was given to these children for two years to facilitate their socialization. 

In 2007-2009, the Foxtrot Group of Companies and Valery Makovetsky supported creators of the feature film «Little Life» (after the same name novel by Oleksandr Zhovna and directed by him). The film told about a little boy who brought back an unfamiliar girl’s health at the expense of his life. Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Volodymyr gave his blessing to this good deed. At the Miolodist-2008 cinema festival, Little Life was the only Ukrainian full-length film in its category. The film took 2nd place at the Pokrov international festival. In 2009, the film was presented at the Ukrainian Cinema Days in Cologne.  

In 2008, Foxtrot headed by Valery Makovetsky was named the Industry Leader by the National Business Ranking. It is one of Ukraine’s oldest business ranking programs. It popularizes honest and transparent companies. Scientific methods are used to estimate companies on the base of their financial statements and the statistics reported by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.  

In 2008, Valery Makovetsky was awarded by Ukraine’s Orthodox Church for his charitable projects. He was granted the Order of St. Equal to Apostles Prince Volodymyr, 3rd Class for his historical preservation contributions and supporting the needy. 

In 2009, businessman Valery Makovetsky received a commendation from the Prime Minister of Ukraine. For the years of dedicated work. For his significant contribution in reforming the domestic trade. For developing business and forming Ukraine’s market infrastructure. 

In 2010, Foxtrot. Home Appliances joined Euronics, the largest buying group for consumer electronics and household appliances that works in 30 European countries. At the Euronics congress, the brand presented Ukraine for the first time. 

In 2012, Deloitte & Touche included the company headed by Valery Makovetsky into its CEE top-500 ranking.  

In 2012 and 2018, Valeriy Makovetsky was an Olympic torch bearer. Eight Ukrainians were torch bearers at the London 2012 Olympics. In 2018, the businessmen took part in the Olympic torch relay at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games, South Korea. Torchbearer selection criteria are noteworthy: the people charged by the Olympic committee with this honorable mission are the personalities who achieved visible results and can lead the way.  

In 2019, Valerii Makovetskyi received a commendation from Dmytro Boyarchuk, executive director of CASE Ukraine, one of the country’s oldest and most respected organizations engaged in the state policy research, for the support granted to the educational project “The Price of the State”.

Valerii Makovetskyi: we work to make Ukraine stronger

Trade and service companies working under brands of the Foxtrot Group of Companies create working places and retain employees. They continuously invest in consumer communication development and the values they share with customers and the society as a whole.  

Valerii Makovetskyi and Gennadii Vykhodtsev are aware of the talent problem faced by every entrepreneur in Ukraine. There were 352.5 thousand unemployed people in Ukraine at the end of 2017 and 341.7 thousand ones (down almost 3%) in 2018. 55% of young people are going to leave Ukraine to study or work abroad. Ukraine is losing its human capital.  

In 2018 alone, Foxtrot employed 2,843 people. Actual annual factor of the retail chain’s administration labor pool efficiency is 82%. In 2018, specialists of the Foxtrot chain conducted 10 job fairs in Ukrainian partner higher educational institutions, offering their students on-the-books jobs and declared wages adequate to work load.  

Another social economic problem that Makovetskyi and his team are helping to solve is grey imports dominance in Ukraine’s household appliances and electronics market.  

According to GFK, up to 20% of tablet computers, mobile phones and laptops, up to 25% of cameras, up to 15% of refrigerators and washing machines, up to 10% of TV sets, up to 13% of multicookers, and up to 18% of vacuum cleaners are grey. All these uncertified appliances and electronics are dangerous for customers’ health and may cause damage. Having no fiscal receipts (unauthorized sellers issue no fiscal receipts), affected customers are unable to be compensated for losses incurred, confirm their purchases and have their consumer rights guaranteed. 

In 2018, Valerii Makovetskyi supported the educational campaign “The Price of the State”. A goal of this project was to show people how the taxes they pay are spent. The project specified the ratios of pensions and other social transfers, learning and medical services, the army and administrative staff machinery maintenance, environmental contributions in the amounts paid to the state budget. Making people aware of how their taxes were spent, the Price of the State was supposed to stimulate them to control the state budget flows and cultivate responsible taxpaying. 

From December 2018 to January 2019, Foxtrot distributed envelopes with materials about the project “The Price of the State” among customers in Kyiv and 15 other cities. Customers were suggested to not only read useful information about taxes paid and the project but also use the envelopes to store to all the papers given to them at checkout stands – fiscal receipts, warranty sheets, user manuals, etc. Foxtrot clients were also invited to visit (the web address was put on the envelopes) to use an online calculator and estimate the taxes they paid over the past three years. Besides, a social video about taxpaying that invited viewers to visit was broadcast about 500 thousand times on plasma screens in Foxtrot outlets. The video told how large taxes the average Ukrainian paid and how the money was spent. According to Google Analytics, 200 thousand people used the calculator, and more than 11 thousand visitors of viewed their “Invoices from the State”.  

Head of the Foxtrot Group of Companies Valerii Makovetskyi took part in the concluding press conference of the project “Price of the State” and commented on his position:  

– To develop the state, strengthen the economy and create equal market conditions for all the companies are the keys for the company’s further growth and strengthening the brand that has the history of 25 years.  In the consumer electronics market, where the shady sector sometimes is as big as 90%, is it our civil position and the win-win strategy.

Informal Makovetskyi

Valerii Makovetskyi’s Zodiac sign is Water Bearer. His element is Air.  

Water Bearers born on February 15 feature forward-looking imagination and high ingenuity. They are always full of original and advantageous ideas that may be ahead of their time. They are always ready and willing to reform and optimize non-perfect issues. Male Water Bearers can anticipate results of every their move. They are sure of their decisions and deeds. And they are charming, communicative and enthusiastic – this is a portrait of Water Bearers born on February 15. 

Water Bearers also feature the ability to combine technical thinking and creativity. These people are ideal inventors, designers and, naturally, initiators (for instance, of Ukraine’s biggest retail chain of household appliances and electronics outlets). 

Valerii Makovetsky finds himself in the company of many famous male Water Bearers – tennis player Marat Safin, signer Justin Timberlake, philosophers Galileo Galilei and Francis Bacon, musicians Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn, actor John Travolta, inventor Thomas Edison, and theoretical physicist Lev Landau. 

Hobbies: alpine skiing, travelling. Valerii Makovetskyi likes travelling by plane and considers flying the safest way to travel. When travelling alone, without his business partners, he likes talking to fellow travelers (if they are a good company). His favorite countries for family holidays are Austria and Switzerland. 

Favorite cuisine: Mediterranean 

Favorite airline: KLM 

Favorite dance: foxtrot 

Favorite sports: alpine skiing 

Favorite car brand: Rang Rover 

Favorite country: Ukraine.
© Foxtrot Group Text and photos are published under CC BY 4.0 License

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