It’s the first time the Outstanding Alumni Endowment, formed entirely from the contributions of university graduates, has been boosted by a seven-figure amount. This contribution was made by Ivan Klevtsov, CEO of the Euro-Asian Sales Promotion Service.
In most cases HSE alumni contribute to the endowment in order to express gratitude to the university for knowledge, social capital, and confidence in themselves and in their future. Ivan told HSE University Life why he decided to make such large contribution and what role HSE University plays in his life.
The Outstanding Alumni Endowment is one of the seven endowments of the HSE Endowment Fund. The total amount of all HSE endowments is now approaching 1 billion roubles.
— Ivan, how did you learn about the endowment and HSE Donors Club? Have you ever made such a large donation before?
— I have never made such a large donation before. This is my first experience as a philanthropist. Of course, I support some charity initiatives aimed at improving the health of the nation, and promoting a healthy lifestyle, but for the first time I am investing a million roubles in the project because I believe that is very important to support talented students in our country.
I always adhere to the principle of effective patronage and charity. If the project brings certain results, i.e. well-trained specialists, and not just a broad statement of intent, I will definitely support this initiative.
I learned about the fund from my former classmates, with whom I still communicate closely today. All of them are successful managers, so I’m sure that investing in HSE University will definitely bring certain results.
The decision to make a contribution did not suddenly spring mind. For a long time I studied what the fund was for, its goals and objectives. I got this information mainly from online articles and through my friends’ pages in various social networks. When I was sure that the project was reliable and effective, I then made my contribution.
— We know that you studied at HSE, but you did not graduate from the university. What was the reason for your decision to leave HSE?
— You know, I like what Elon Musk says on this issue: ‘I didn't go to Harvard, but people who work for me did’. I studied at HSE for two years, but then circumstances changed and I had almost no time to study: I was working on my own business and implementing my own projects.
Today, Eurasia group employs over 400 people, and some of them actually graduated from HSE. I should also mention that the other day I interviewed a candidate for the position of Accelerator Head, and, oddly enough, she is also an HSE graduate.
HSE graduates are the smart, talented and effective managers that Russian business needs. And I am glad that this educational institution prepares true experts.
Will I go back to HSE? I do want to graduate from HSE, but I have no time now. I put most of my energy into the development of the company I run, which is a very complex process that requires my full involvement. Our companies work today in Russia, Poland and Ukraine. It is very difficult to develop an international business, so at the moment, it is too early to think about returning to HSE.
— What memories of HSE do you have? What do you want to gain by becoming member of the Donors Club?
— Student memories are always the brightest and the best. During my studies at HSE I gained not only knowledge that I still apply in my daily work, but I also met a lot of wonderful and intelligent people. For me personally, the HSE Donors Club is primarily a club of interest. It unites HSE alumni who haven’t just graduated and left the university, but who are ready to return to share their knowledge, experience and resources with talented students.
The main value for me as business leader and Russian resident is the personnel that HSE prepares. Today's students are tomorrow's employees of my company, and in the future, potential founders of startups, i.e. people who will move our economy and science forward.
The Outstanding Alumni Endowment (taking into account this contribution from Ivan) is almost 10 million rubles. The endowment was established in early 2017 after the first auction at the Annual Ceremony in honour of HSE Outstanding Alumni.
Buyers of lots joined the Endowment Board of Trustees. They decide how and on what exactly the annual income will be spent. According to the results of 2017 and 2018, an income of 575,000 rubles was spent on supporting students engaged in science.
The financial goal set by the Endowment Board of Trustees is directly related to the full implementation of the Fund's current programmes: support for all winners of the Student Research Paper Competition (about 40 people annually).
In addition, the strategic goal of the Endowment is to fully fund the programme to support student teams traveling to international intellectual competitions. The annual income that needs to be generated is about 5 million rubles. Thus, the assets of the endowment should be at least 50 million roubles.