CEO OF ARTEL ELECTRONICS LLC
Industry & ICT I Interview I Uzbekistan 2023
_BIOGRAPHY He graduated from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy. He has over a decade’s experience in finance, business development, manufacturing and management, and has been a central figure throughout the Artel Holding Group for the majority of his career. He rejoined Artel as CEO in 2021 and is leading the ongoing transformation of the company.
“ONE OF ARTEL’S KEY ADVANTAGES IS OUR STRONG TECHNOLOGICAL BASE. WE HAVE BUILT UP THE KNOW-HOW AND RESOURCES TO MANUFACTURE HIGH-LEVEL PRODUCTS AT SCALE, AND AT A COMPETITIVE COST”
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE THE COMPANY WAS FOUNDED IN 2011?
Artel Electronics is one of the leading manufacturers of household appliances and electronics in Central Asia and one of the most recognizable brands in Uzbekistan. Since the foundation, Artel has grown rapidly from a small manufacturer of limited product lines to one of Uzbekistan’s largest companies. We now have manufacturing facilities in 5 regions and employ around 10,000 people across the country. In recent years we have made a substantive transition from a national, to a truly international business. Not only are we exporting to multiple markets, but we are professionalizing our operations. Thanks to recent reforms, we have consolidated our businesses under one roof – Artel Electronics LLC – allowing us to audit our consolidated accounts and become the first private manufacturing company in Uzbekistan to get and re-confirm the international credit rating of Fitch Ratings at the "B" level with a stable outlook.
The transformation of business processes and the transition to international financial reporting standards allowed us to receive refinancing from international banks and issue our first domestic bonds in 2022. Our team has also worked tirelessly to make progress in all areas of ESG and has gained recognition for its commitment to ethical and responsible business practices. With a focus on transparency and accountability, the company has used international legal, financial and management consultants to overhaul its business structures. It has introduced anti-corruption codes, whistleblowing functions and audit committees. By prioritizing its employees’ health and professional growth,
Artel Electronics LLC has been able to establish trust and mutual respect with its stakeholders. Its strong corporate governance has not only contributed to the company’s success, but also set a positive example for others in the industry. With continued dedication to responsible business practices, Artel Electronics LLC is positioned to remain a leader in corporate governance.
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT HISTORICAL MARKETS AND YOUR STRATEGY FOR REACHING NEW MARKETS?
We started the first export of our products in 2013. The first export markets were CIS countries, such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, where naturally we have experienced particularly strong growth. We are constantly increasing our production capacity and to date, Artel products are represented in more than 15 export markets throughout the CIS, the Middle East and even in Africa. In 2022, the volume of our foreign trade turnover increased by 50% compared to 2021.
As a strategy, we test target markets with certain products based on our customer research, and build up our local reputation before expanding our product ranges. Several products have received European certifications, and test deliveries have been made to the EU, as well as MENA regions. As the customer base becomes more familiar with Artel, we are confident our market share will grow. Further afield, exporting to the MENA region is the natural next step for us geographically, and we are also exploring new markets. We have participated in trade shows in Berlin, Hungary and the USA, in order to introduce the international market in more detail with the products of the national Uzbek brand and the capacities of local production. We are targeting a truly international market presence in the midterm.
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES IN R&D FOR 2022/23 AND YOUR INVESTMENT PLAN?
In 2016, we opened one of Uzbekistan’s first private sector’s company R&D Center in Tashkent, whose focus is on developments in the field of smart home IoT ecosystem and eco-friendly production. We have an expanding team of specialists who are continuously developing our product portfolio and optimizing our production processes.
Our experts are conducting research in areas including automation and robotics; we have started to integrate Smart Technologies so that our products can work together harmoniously. Naturally, increasing the sustainability of our products is a high priority. We are steadily introducing innovations that save gas, with energy efficiency, low water consumption and environmental range into many of our product lines. These developments not only make the products more environmentally friendly, but make them more efficient for the consumer. The company is also working with international consultants to assess its emissions and create a sustainable development strategy.
Our hard work in this direction will continue. Perhaps most importantly, we are investing in young talent. We initiated the creation of an Artel Innovative Training Center to train the staff reserve and improve the skills of our specialists. Our active partnerships with several national and international universities provide training and mentorship for aspiring technicians and engineers. In the future, we will see these trainees play an active part in the continued development of Artel products and our company as a whole.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR COMPANIES TO HAVE ARTEL AS THEIR PREFERRED PARTNER IN THE REGION?
One of Artel’s key advantages is our strong technological base. We have built up the know-how and resources to manufacture high-level products at scale, and at a competitive cost. Our company is a manufacturer of products under the brands “Artel”, "Shivaki", "Avalon", "Vesta" and "Royal", as well as an official regional partner of "Samsung" and "Viessmann". Both these partnerships offer best in class quality control measures which ensure that all our products meet global standards of safety and performance.
Our partners benefit from our advanced production capabilities and established local footprint in the manufacture of their products. Furthermore, it is Uzbek government policy to support the development of the electro-technical sector - among others - as a key driver of the economy. Domestic manufacturers benefit from favorable business conditions and wider reforms aimed at promoting growth. These include support for exports, and incentives for investment in many regions of the country.
More generally, Uzbekistan presents a very attractive proposition to any prospective investor or partner. There is a young and growing population, improving levels of technical education and a rapidly improving business environment. Our location opens new horizons for our partners; from Uzbekistan products can be exported to the CIS region and beyond with logistical ease. Artel is a trusted partner with which to enter these markets and take advantage of these benefits.