The imaginative one: Igor Chernogolov doesn’t like recalling the way he ’thought up’ his business

Only very few business owners actually enjoy recalling the way their companies were set up. However, when they do go through with it, some quite fascinating things are revealed. President of Penetron Group Igor Chernogolov, someone whose bodacious bearing grew proverbial among the business elite in the Urals, made quite a speech to the public recently. Chernogolov developed his waterproofing construction mix business in every way one could think of; he never resorted to understatements while extolling the virtues and competitive advantages of his product and sometimes descended to overtly cunning methods.

Penetron Group makes a range of dry compounds that can be used for waterproofing concrete structures, enhancing strength and cold-resistance of the chosen type of concrete, and protecting it against inimical environmental factors.

This may sound like a very serene kind of business, yet the company did not manage to avoid regulatory checks. Two years ago, the anti-monopoly committee started looking closely into Penetron Group; the fact that the company disseminated some information which its rivals saw as detrimental to their own goodwill served as a springboard for the investigation.

Igor Chernogolov’s company insisted that Penetron, a mix made at their waterproofing materials plant, was, in contrast to its counterparts produced by other businesses, purportedly the one and only product that could be categorized as penetrating waterproofing compound. Besides, there was also some unfavorable referral to Penetron’s Novosibirsk-based competitor: based on the test and trial results, Kalmatron manufactured by OOO Kalmatron-N from Novosibirsk supposedly did not have any penetrating properties.

Sverdlovsk Region division of Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service ruled that the actions of a number of Penetron Waterproofing Materials Plant employees (who acted on behalf of Penetron-Russia Group) should be classed as unfair business practice. Sverdlovsk Region Arbitration Court fully sustained the claim laid against the Urals-based company.

Yet this particular instance of exaggerating one’s strong points is not the only one in the company's history. Igor Chernogolov admitted at one of the round table discussions in Yekaterinburg (which, as a matter of fact, took place quite a few years ago) that he had knowingly doctored some facts in order to boost his business.

’We masterminded and cultivated this legend about our company. Remarkably, this was us who was doing this and not the Americans who had actually founded the business. We kept on telling everyone this story of how the technology was elaborated some fifty years ago, of how its properties were absolutely and decidedly unique to and exclusive to this particular technology, and of how it grew to become world-renowned. We counted on the stereotypical way of thinking: the longer a product has been on the market, the more trust people have in it. To be frank, this technology has only been around for two decades, and, naturally, when we went into this business, it didn't really have a big enough name on the market. We then decided to run ahead of our own plans, yet this proved a winning strategy. People believed us, and as a result, the business really took off impressively. For instance, we now sell our product in Europe twice as expensively as the Americans did before us,’ the businessman said.

Interestingly, Igor Chernogolov’'s revelations have already been removed form the website of the round table discussion coordinators, yet they can still be found through cache of the search engine Yandex.

UrBC editorial board asked the businessman to comment on his own statement and to clarify why he chose to dispel the myth of his own creation and why the comment had been removed from the round table discussion coordinators’ website.

’The know-how that is at the core of Penetron mass-produced penetrating waterproofing compounds is actually over fifty years old. The idea took root in the mind of George Revera, the founding father of ISC\Penetron Int. In 2008, the official celebration of this happy event took place in Russia, namely, a round table discussion was held on the issue of ensuring safety in housing and office space construction by self-regulatory organizations. The agenda of the discussion covered such points as forecasts, the sector's potential, and the experience of our U.S. counterparts. What is more, a new production line was launched at Penetron Waterproofing Materials Plant in Yekaterinburg, and a show dubbed Time to Start a Business took place as well,’ Penetron Group's press service told UrBC.

Since the businessman chose not to answer any of the questions directly, one can only juxtapose two of his statements and come to the conclusion that the technology itself may well date back to five decades ago, but it has only been used in the building industry on a large scale for the last twenty years. Twenty and fifty years make a crucial difference as far as this industry goes, as the actual reliability of construction technologies and materials can only be proven after several decades.

Supposing one does make an assumption that Chernogolov had been misinforming his customers for a while, what methods he would employ to do his work at the Legislative Assembly becomes an intriguing question: Igor Chernogolov is now a very visible participant of the primaries leading up to the State Duma elections.

Other materials on the topic::