Leitis Igor Mikhailovich
General Director of JSC "Adamant". Born October 12, 1963 in Leningrad. Graduated from the Leningrad Engineering and Construction Institute. From 1985 to 1988 worked as Superintendant of "Santekhmontage-62", complex number 18. From 1988 to 1989 - Chief of "Santekhoborudovanie" plant's construction project. From 1989 to 1991 - Deputy Chairman of "Industry" cooperative enterprise. Since 1992 he has been General Director of JSC "Adamant". Married with two children.
JSC "Adamant", headed by I.M. Leitis, is a network of St. Petersburg's and the North-Western region's largest and most well-known houseware stores.
JSC "Adamant" has been operating in St. Petersburg since 1992, specializing in housewares and interior design products. The company's name was created spontaneously. A contest was held once for the best name, which would reflect the firm's future prestigious status. The word "adamant", derived from a Greek root meaning "firm, strong", was brought up. The word used to be a synomym for diamond, and later was transformed into "diamant", a form closer to its present-day English equivalent.
Why houseware ptoducts? In early 1990's "Adamant" consisted of a single small store, 120 square metres in area, and sold exclusively sanitation technology equipment. The choice of such matter was largely accidental, but that accident was a happy one, allowing a man who has found the right spot for himself to take advantage of his capabilities fully. Experience accumulated over a short time period helped Mr. Leitis choose the right direction of development for his company, that started out so successfully. Its rapid growth over a relatively short time period (in 8 years it has gone all the way from a single store to a large holding) was possible due to a competently formed business philosophy.
The company's leadership has always structured its business in a way not oriented towards instant super-income, but aiming at the things always in demand and thus providing a perpetual source of income. Besides this, the firm's initial strategy was to create a network of stores with a broad assortment of goods. Every store space required severe struggle. Today the firm possesses stores in the city located in places advantageous for medium-cost retail sales. 10-15% of the city's population having a more or less stable income are "Adamant"'s clients.
The company's growth perspectives have been initially presupposed by its strategy. For instance, JSC "Adamant" gradually got rid of its brokers. There are no middle people between the store and its suppliers, who would make the firm's spendings higher. Our next step will be the opening of our own production facilities. The company already produces metal and plastic windows and closets and is beginning production at its kitchen shop.
The construction of shopping complexes is one other sphere of the company's activity. "Adamant" has previously been only an important stock holder of such complexes, renting them for its needs. Now the company has become an owner of several shopping malls, and it also builds them, which naturally is beneficial for the city, as it creates new jobs. "Baltiysky" is the latest such shopping complex built by "Adamant".
The company's team is united by the desire to work and earn together. Professionalism, manifesting itself in the desire to achieve results, is the key concept for "Adamant" employees. A personal approach to workers ensures high stability of the company's team (very few people leave the company, 85% of employees work on a permanent basis). In the beginning all specialists were trained by the firm itself, now there is an opportunity to invite professionals, offering them better work conditions.
Today "Adamant" is a trade network consisting of ten stores with a total area of over 6,500 square meters, selling several thousand items of goods: wallpaper to lighting fixtures, refrigerators to bathtubs, furniture (for bedrooms, kitchens, guest and dining rooms, children's rooms) to blankets and linen, as well as a variety of household appliances. "Adamant" also owns two restaurants, a bar and a nightclub.
The company owns 30% of stocks of such shopping complexes as "Balkansky", "Shuvalovo" and "Aerodrome", of "Eurostroystandart" door and window factory. It possesses an automobile transportation enterprise, having 32 vehicles.
The number of "Adamant" staff members is 700.
"Adamant" may be called an "encyclopaedia of comfortable living" without any exaggeration, where everyone can draw some useful personal information for oneself.
In addition to a wide selection of goods, "Adamant" offers a wide assortment of services, including free consultations with interior designers and the option of buying goods by catalogue. Each customer can create a special interior design in his apartment, unlike any other, according to his own idea of comfort. Everyone is offered an opportunity to apply the principle: "My home is my objectified soul".
Goods offered to customers by the company are of the highest quality and can satisfy even the most sophisticated taste. The prices are very competible, while guarantee terms are extended. The secret of moderate prices and long-term warrants is simple: "Adamant" works with its suppliers directly, without resorting to mediators. Europe's leading companies are among "Adamant"'s suppliers, including such well-known firms as BOSH, SIEMENS, TEFAL, IDO, ORAS, ARISTON, INDESIT, ELECTROLUX and others, a total of over 40. The company is the official dealer of JACUZZI, a popular maker of shower cabins and hydro-massage bathtubs.
Aside from retail, "Adamant" is actively involved in wholesale trade. Wholesale trade amounted to 40-45% of the company's total sales volume as of summer, 1998. An intensive increase in wholesale trade is planned in the future, based on mutually advantageous cooperation with Russian firms working outside St. Petersburg. It is planned to implement a franchise trade system. The company already cooperates with over 30 Russian regions. Bashkiria, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Arkhangelsk and Pskov account for greatest shipping volumes among other cities and regions.
Sales are not the company's only field. In 1996 "Adamant" has created its own facility, producing metal and plastic doors, window sills and partitions based on technologies provided by the German firm RENAU. New production facilities are also planned.
New technologies have also been introduced by "Adamant" into the organization of sales, allowing all employees to be interested in the end result of their work. All of "Adamant"'s trade complexes are independent legal parties, having their own bank accounts. President Igor Leitis is confident in his belief that no "common piggie-bank" should exist. Each team should know exactly how much it has earned and see the specific results of its labors.
"Adamant" customers have also had a chance to experience sales using new technologies. All "Adamant" stores are very conveniently located, "always near the metro station", they attract St. Petersburgers and visitors by their high quality of service and great variety of products. "Adamant"'s new shopping centers with their well-planned infrastructure, consisting of bars, cafes and game machines, are especially popular. Everything is made in a way that enables those who wish to visit an "Adamant" store to relax and have a good time with the entire family besides making the necessary purchases.
"Adamant"'s successes are quite prominent: the monthly turnover of its first store amounted to $8,000, while today the turnover of an average trade complex totals about $200,000. Still, the company is not inclined to stop at its present achievements. Only in the year 1996 it invested 20 billion rubles into construction. The company also actively seeks and finds partners for the realization of its promising projects. Competition is fine, but cooperation is better.
"Adamant" owns shares of "Stroyinvest" and "Stroyinvest-1" stocks. It participated actively in the construction of such trade centres as "Kupchinsky", "Shuvalovo" and "Adamant" by Pionerskaya metro station, open during the years 1997 and 1998. All these trade areas are rented by various firms for their stores. 111 such stores, a true shopping empire, operate within the trade complex near Pionerskaya metro station. The company's development benefits everyone and, above all, the city itself. This benefit manifests itself in very specific matters: taxes, that are paid to city budget regularly, new jobs, including jobs for handicapped persons, that amount to over 2,000 in their present number, renovated public areas adjacent to "Adamant" stores, involvement of Russian architects and construction companies in the design and building of new trade centers, and - not least - charity. The company has spent a total of about 100 million rubles on charity purposes by spring, 1998. And, lastly, "Adamant" is an active and constant sponsor of the city's young artists. It is sufficient to mention its "Admiralty Steeple", "Podium Stars" and ballroom dance contests.
Today it is very hard to imagine the business life of St. Petersburg without "Adamant". We want to believe that this will be even harder in the future.
Company leadership links its future development with the implementation of the thesis "Adamant" is a lifestyle", rather than a simple expansion of the network of stores. We want people to feel that we care for them constantly, that we are ready to do things for our clients free of charge.
The President of JSC "Adamant" is a serious and dedicated man who has little free time. Like any businessman with a large team of workers under his command, he is reserved and does not hurry. He thinks carefully before saying anything, for he knows precisely his degree of responsibility for his words. He speaks little, only saying things that are important. He respects justified risk and a healthy degree of passion in business.
Leitis is an enterpreneur who cares about things beyond the scope of his business, such as the general strategy of Russia's commercial development. In his opinion, Russia should have as few special advantage laws in the sphere of private enterprise as possible, because they set initially unequal conditions on the development of businesses. "Adamant"'s General Director is a man of patriotic beliefs, who thinks it is interesting to work in Russia, even though it is also difficult. There are many undeveloped and unexamined areas in Russia's economy, where one can still do a great deal and then see the result of one's actions.
I.M. Leitis is an active and creative person. His favorite occupation is construction, which involves working with his hands, here and now. In his approach to people he combines strictness and high demands with an understanding that there are things which people under his command cannot change, that difficulties are best solved in a team, where everyone feels a degree of responsibility for the common task and does not wait for incentives or disciplinary measures from company leadership.
190000, St. Petersburg, Moika River Embankment, 72
Tel.: 7(812)311-5222, fax: 7(812)314-3119.