Biography of Vladimir Krupchak
Vladimir Yaroslavovich Krupchak is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, the Titan group of companies and CJSC Lesozavod 25.
In the photo: Vladimir Yaroslavovich Krupchak
Vladimir Krupchak was born on January 29, 1958 in the Arkhangelsk village of Bykovo, and grew up in the village of loggers Sorovo, lost in the forests along the Viled River. Children from an early age were taught to work – an extensive subsidiary farm required constant attention. Vladimir learned the lesson from childhood: “life is work.”
Vladimir graduated from the Sorovskaya eight-year school with an honors student, and once he was awarded a ticket to Artek. At the end of the 8th grade, Krupchak decided to get a complete secondary education. There was no such opportunity in his small homeland, so he had to spend the next two years in a boarding school 20 kilometers from Sorovo.
After school, the young man decided to get a medical education. He was inspired by the example of a nurse mother, who also suffered from pain in her heart all her life. Vladimir wanted to be useful – not only to his parents, but to society as a whole. However, when entering the Arkhangelsk Medical Institute in the summer of 1975, the guy applied not to the medical faculty, but to the dental faculty – the passing score was lower there. Although, as it turned out later, the results of the entrance exams would have been more than enough for a medical one.
During his student days, Vladimir still lived up to his school nickname Professor. In addition to academic success, the young man was engaged in boxing, played for the university teams in tennis, volleyball, basketball, and was a physical education teacher of the faculty. There was also a military department at the university, so after graduating from the university, Vladimir received an officer’s rank.
In 1980, Vladimir graduated from the university, having mastered the specialty of a dentist. Even in the 4th year he got married, and after the fifth year he was assigned to the 53rd garrison dental clinic in Arkhangelsk. The young family, huddled in a communal apartment, did not have enough money, so Vladimir had to earn extra money every day as a janitor.
The second half of the 1980s brought serious trials to the Krupchak family. I didn’t have my own housing in Arkhangelsk – I had to rent it. Together with the spouses, their little daughter Polina, whom they did not want to take to kindergarten, lived a paralyzed grandmother. Vladimir’s parents remained in Sorovo; my father had a heart attack, my mother was paralyzed. But Vladimir was not used to giving in to difficulties, and gradually everything got better.
In the late 80s, Vladimir Yaroslavovich had the opportunity to go on promotion – to get a job as the head of the medical unit on a nuclear submarine. To get this position, it was necessary to improve qualifications. However, during this period, an event occurred that completely changed his life.
Visiting a friend, he saw a VCR – a gadget outlandish at that time. Immediately he came up with the idea – to organize paid film screenings in the hospital. Having rented a video recorder and a color TV, Vladimir more than recouped the investment. Having awakened a commercial streak in himself, the man soon earned enough money to invest in his business.
And the native of the forest-rich Arkhangelsk region did not have to choose an industry for his own business for a long time. The solution came by itself – the forest. Krupchak, who grew up in Sorovo, knew the whole “kitchen” of logging inside and out. With the help of a friend of his father, the director of the local timber mill, Yuri Mamontov, Vladimir arranged for the supply of wood to the Arkhangelsk pulp mill.
In 1990, Vladimir Krupchak founded the Titan company. And almost immediately, young businessmen had to face harsh realities – the USSR collapsed, the industry was collapsing before our eyes, the well-established system broke up into many independent parts. “Titan” adapted to the new reality and occupied its niche: it started supplying timber, as well as coal and fuel oil, products and equipment to business entities. Often had to work on the barter method.
Cooperation with the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill continued, but by 1997 the plant was on the verge of bankruptcy: its debt was estimated at $400 million, and the employees had not seen their salaries for a year. Equipment depreciation at the end of the decade was 87%. At some point, due to debts, even the railway refused to supply fuel to the plant. In forty-degree frost, the workshops of the plant, as well as the houses of Novodvinsk, were left without heat. The then leadership of the ACKB turned to Boris Yeltsin and Viktor Chernomyrdin for help, but to no avail – enterprises throughout Russia were in a similar situation.
It was Vladimir Krupchak who proposed a plan to save the plant. Among the first steps are investments from companies from Germany and Austria: Conrad Jacobson, Jurgenson Papier und Cellstoff and Wilfried Heinzel AG. In the same year, at the meeting of shareholders of APPM, the management was changed. The plant was headed by Vladimir Yaroslavovich.
According to Vladimir Krupchak, only employees helped the company to survive – 12 thousand people selflessly worked without pay for a whole year. “It was the most valuable, risky and responsible loan in my life,” he later recalled. The leader tried to keep up with his subordinates: he worked 22 hours a day, slept fitfully right at the workplace, and after three months of work in shock mode he had a heart attack, but after three weeks he was back in the ranks, despite the health risk.
The efforts of the entire team helped the ACB to hold out until 1998, when two events took place that turned Novodvinsk from almost a ghost town into a prosperous industrial center: the exchange rate jumped sharply, and world pulp prices doubled. The regular payment of wages was followed by the modernization of the plant, the consolidation of shares with shares of timber industry enterprises, and the creation of a system of motivation for workers. The city was also changing before our eyes: APPM began to finance social and cultural facilities in Novodvinsk – a swimming pool, a sports complex, a House of Culture, etc. In the period from 1998 to 2016, the volume of capital investments in fixed assets of APPM alone amounted to more than 32 billion rubles.
From 1998 to 2011, ACKB was recognized as the winner of the “Best Russian Exporter” contest annually. The enterprise approaches the development of Russia’s forest wealth wisely: every year more than a billion rubles are spent on environmental protection measures.
In 2001, the geography of business expanded to Pomoskovie. A plant producing corrugated cardboard and corrugated packaging was launched in Podolsk. 12 years later, a similar plant opened in Istra. Both enterprises are considered almost the largest in Eastern Europe.
Personal life of Vladimir Krupchak
Vladimir is a father of many children. He has seven children. The elders – Polina and Daniel – are already adults. The youngest son Alexander was born in 2013.
Vladimir Krupchak now
From June 2018 to present – member of the Boards of Directors of the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, Titan Group and CJSC Lesozavod 25. As a member of the Boards of Directors, he is responsible for the investment policy of three companies in order to achieve a multiplier effect within the existing VIS (vertically integrated structure).
GC “Titan” is the general supplier of raw materials to APPM and CJSC “Lesozavod 25”. Such a system of timber supply allows production to be practically waste-free: pulpwood and wood chips go to the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, sawlogs go to CJSC Lesozavod 25. Sawdust is used to make pellets – at present CJSC Lesozavod 25 is the leading enterprise in the European part of Russia for the production of granulated fuel (the capacity of three sites is 200 thousand tons of pellets per year). All other sawmill waste is fed to the own boiler house of CJSC Lesozavod 25 in order to generate heat.
Vladimir Krupchak developed and implemented a new investment strategy for Pulp Mill Holding, expanding the product line to high value-added products – packaging and sanitary and hygienic products (SGI) – with the necessary logistics base. Within the holding, there is horizontal integration between APPM, its subsidiary for the production of corrugated packaging – Arkhbum JSC in the Moscow and Voronezh regions, SGI production – Arkhbum Tissue Group LLC in the Kaluga region, the Arkhbum transport and logistics complex (with its own wagon parks and vehicles).
Such a synergy of the holding’s enterprises ensures a highly competitive position in the market. First of all, by minimizing the raw material risk: all processing assets of Pulp Mill Holding in the regions operate on high-quality cardboard and pulp FSC-certified raw materials from Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill (license code of APPM – FSC-СОО2853).
Today, the installed capacities of the three Arkhbum sites allow the production of up to 700 million m² of corrugated products per year, in 2023, taking into account the commissioning of Istra-2, the production potential will be about 1 billion m² of corrugated products per year. Thus, the company becomes the largest player in the packaging market in Russia.
Arkhbum Tissue Group LLC plans to occupy up to 15% of the SGI market in Russia. The company launched a product line with its own brand Soffione with the prospect of expanding it to different consumer segments and launching a second brand on the market.