Biography of Evgeny Chichvarkin
Evgeny Chichvarkin is a talented entrepreneur and just an interesting person. In the mid-2000s, the authoritative Forbes magazine included him among the richest businessmen in Russia, and in 2008 he also named him one of the most eccentric and extravagant millionaires on the planet.
But what is so remarkable about this smiling “half-Leningrad-half-Muscovite”? Today we will try to understand the intricacies of the life of the founder of the Euroset chain of stores.
Early years, childhood and the Chichvarkin family
According to Yevgeny Chichvarkin himself, he happened to be “physically born” in Leningrad, however, in most sources to this day, Moscow is often indicated as the place of birth.
The reason for this confusion is that the parents of our today’s hero transported him to Moscow immediately after his birth. In this city, he was registered with the competent authorities; here he lived, in fact, most of his life. The parents of the future entrepreneur were from the two largest cities of Russia, and therefore Evgeny Chichvarkin often called himself a “half-Leningrader-half-Muscovite”.
Developing the theme of the family, we note that the parents of the future businessman had nothing to do with business and commerce. The father of our today’s hero was a civil aviation pilot, and my mother worked as an engineer-economist at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (formerly the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade). Speaking about his origin, Yevgeny once also noted that his distant ancestors belonged to the Moksha people.
After graduating from high school, the future entrepreneur entered the State Academy of Management. In this university, he began to study “Economics of management on vehicles.” However, the meager student scholarship was constantly lacking, and therefore very soon Evgeny began to earn money as a seller in the clothing market. Here he was able to look from the inside at the world of retail, understand the laws of the “street economy”, as well as gain the necessary experience.
In 1996, our today’s hero entered the graduate school of the State Academy, and in parallel with his studies, he began to hatch plans to create his own business.
In April 1997, our today’s hero, together with his friend Timur Artemyev, created a company called Euroset, which subsequently began to grow rapidly and develop rapidly.
The growth of personal fortune and the subsequent scandal of the owner of Euroset
The first cellular retailer’s store appeared in Moscow on Leninsky Prospekt. In the next few years, the network of salons began to grow rapidly. The first points of sale appeared outside Moscow. Some time later, representative offices of the company began to appear even outside Russia. A record year in this regard was 2006, when 1976 (!) New salons were formed in just twelve months.
In the late nineties – early 2000s, Evgeny Chichvarkin developed a concept for advertising promotion of his company, which was based on the use of shocking, extraordinary and deliberately provocative marketing moves. A striking example of this is the advertising slogan of the company – “Euroset – prices just … get away!”. In addition, the scandalous PR-actions “Undress for the Phone”, “Miss Breasts” and some others deserve mention. This approach attracted great attention to Euroset and laid the necessary foundation for all subsequent successes.
The network of mobile salons was growing rapidly, but it was at this moment that serious scandals began to flare up around Yevgeny Chichvarkin’s business. It all started with accusations of understating customs duties when importing phones into Russia. In addition, the Euroset company was at the center of the proceedings related to the disappearance of its former freight forwarder Andrey Vlaskin, who had previously been convicted of stealing mobile phones. In 2009, Chichvarkin was charged under the article “Kidnapping.”
Going back a little, we note that back in 2008, Yevgeny Chichvarkin actively supported all the political campaigns of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, but a couple of years later he radically changed his political views. The reason for this was pressure from the official authorities, who insisted on the sale of Euroset and allegedly extorted money from the businessman.
One way or another, in September 2008, the lucrative mobile phone business was sold. Chichvarkin agreed to the proposed conditions and transferred the full block of shares to the ANN investment group and businessman Alexander Mamut. A month later, our today’s hero left the post of head of the Euroset company, and in December of the same year he flew to London.
During this period, Yevgeny Chichvarkin was still in the status of the head of the branch of the “Right Cause” party, but later he actually interrupted his political activities in Russia due to leaving the country.
Chichvarkin: “Instead of a new Russia – a rollback to the Middle Ages”
While in London, Chichvarkin made accusations against the Russian government, noting that after the arrest of his longtime associate Boris Levin, hepatitis C was found. In addition, Evgeny questioned the accidental death of his mother, who was found dead in her Moscow apartment in April 2010.
Personal life of Evgeny Chichvarkin
Evgeny Chichvarkin was married to his longtime friend, Antonina. The family lived in London and raised two children – the son of Yaroslav and the daughter of Martha. In early 2016, the marriage broke up.
In March 2017, Chichvarkin was married to a new lady of the heart – the director of a wine store owned by Chichvarkin, Tatyana Fokina.
Evgeny Chichvarkin today
To this day, many circumstances of that high-profile political process are hidden by a veil of secrecy. It is only known that in January 2011 the criminal case against Chichvarkin was dropped. What caused this decision is not known for certain.
Currently, the entrepreneur owns a lucrative wine business in Europe. According to Yevgeny Chichvarkin, his return to Russia is possible only if the current regime changes.