Development of Euroinvest company and recruitment of new employees

When it first became known that Andrey Berezin, the CEO of the board of the Euroinvest investment company, was interested in buying Svetlana, an electronics company, many people were surprised. After all, Euroinvest at the time was primarily known for being a development company targeting residential complexes built in Murino and Kudrovo.

When the surprise was over, most experts agreed that Svetlana LLC would have an unenviable fate after this purchase. Allegedly, the wealthy property developer would give the factory land for residence, and the production facilities were in danger of sale. These rumors were circulating for a long time, even after Svetlana was joined in the holding’s industrial package by two more enterprises of the related industries, Rigel and Recond.

Eventually, the talks about such a scenario subsided after Svetlana, and the other two factories, started producing exciting products under the new management. Therefore, it is worth considering how Berezin managed to ensure the efficient operation of its industrial facilities and what the direction of Euroinvest sees as the general point of entering this market.

130 Years Lasting Path

It is worth first exploring a little excursion into history. In 1889, the St. Petersburg entrepreneur Yakov Aivaz opened a production of paper tobacco cartridges on Nevsky Prospect. Over the next two decades, expanding and transforming, the enterprise grew into an important production center of machines and industrial goods. In 1913, the production of incandescent lamps under a German patent began on its premises. By the beginning of the First World War, the factory employed roughly 6000 people.

After the revolution, the factory was nationalized and divided into two parts. One became the F. Engels plant, and the second became Svetlana proper, where the production of electric lamps was continued. It later merged with the Leningrad electrovacuum plant, and in the 1930s, Svetlana was one of the leading scientific, technical, and production centers of Soviet electronics.

During the war years, the plant was evacuated to Novosibirsk and transferred to the production of specialized military products. In peacetime, the company expanded its activities to produce X-ray lamps, microwave devices for radar equipment, and transistors, gradually leading to the production of microelectronics.

The changes of the 90s brought a lot of new concerns to the plant and many other companies in the country; it was not easy, but it stayed afloat. Several subsidiaries in the most critical areas were created during this period, and active cooperation with foreign partners, including German partners, began.

The plant management was firmly in the hands of Georgy Khizha, one of the generation of red directors who incidentally rose through the ranks to the position of deputy chairman of one of the first administrations of the Russian Federation in 1992. Back in the early noughties, Khizha began to look for buyers of his assets. There were many interested parties, but a deal could not be closed.

A Billion-Dollar Deal

In 2012, Andrey Berezin’s holding took the risk of taking a defense industry plant under its wing. The exact amount of the deal has remained the same, but experts in the field reasoned that it was about one billion rubles. This price came as perfect for the buyer because, in the same 2012, the plant’s net profit was 469 million rubles, a significant part of what resulted from the deliveries under international contracts.

Six years later, in 2018, Andrey Berezin gave a detailed commentary on the interim results of Svetlana under the auspices of his holding company, and his words gave optimism.

Billion-Dollar Deal

“Every year,” said Andrey Berezin, “the volume of output is growing. We are still summing up the results of last year, but, for example, according to the results of 2016, revenue increased by almost 200 million to 4 billion rubles. The company has four daughters. The first one, Svetlana-Electronpribor, is the leader in its field in Russia and the world. They are mastering new technologies based on silicon carbide. The second daughter company, Svetlana-Roentgen, is actively working on exports. A third of the world’s airport equipment is X-ray tubes produced by this plant. The Svetlana-SET company deals with vacuum microwave technology, and Svetlana Semiconductors deals with semiconductors. So we are not going to close this plant.”

“In general, all enterprises will continue to work at their locations. Moving to high-tech production facilities is a complicated process. You can lose the staff because of them,” emphasized the CEO of Euroinvest, cutting off the latest rumors about the intentions to turn the plant’s territory into a real estate development site.

In 2020, there was an event that indicated that the Svetlana team was not only found in its place under the sun in the new business architecture, but was also able to surpass the significant production victories of the past years in some respects.

For instance, we are talking about an automated device developed at the plant to treat oncological diseases. The portable device equipped with an X-ray tube irradiates affected tissues and organs directly during surgeries. Consequently, radiation therapy received incredibly high precision and, in combination with surgical measures, it makes surgical interventions extremely effective.

It was Svetlana that became the leading platform for the development of this innovative device. Employees of the 122nd City Hospital, as well as representatives of LETI St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University, ELTEH-Med, the Central Research Institute of Radio Engineering, and the MRobot development team all made their contribution.

Two years ago, the product was presented to Veronika Skvortsova, the head of the Russian Ministry of Health; the prototype was effective and convenient due to modern interaction interfaces. Being well-received, the head of the department gave her high marks.

Coming back to modern day, the device is close to being put into mass production, as the last documentation approvals and design revisions are in progress. As expected, those oncologists in Russia and some foreign countries will be interested in the new device, and the yearly sales might reach thousands of units. One of the critical trump cards is the price; they assumed the device would cost about $500,000, three times cheaper than the nearest analogs.

Both for Industry and Basic Science

However, Svetlana’s line of innovative developments is more comprehensive than just one device. The parent company and its subsidiaries are implementing exciting projects that can disrupt various industries, from healthcare to agriculture, road construction, and even the oil industry.

For example, based on the X-ray lamp of the modern generation, a device for assessing the quality of seed material has been created. It makes it possible to see not only infection or parasite infestation, but also some defects in the development of seeds, averting focus to assess their potential germinating ability.

Another exciting innovation uses the principles of ultra-short pulse radiolocation. The device will make it possible to estimate the ice thickness on various surfaces. It is crucial for successful work in Arctic conditions, and it is no coincidence that Gazprom Neft has become a partner in contribution to the development; it plans to include this unit in its uncrewed aerial vehicle.

Devices based on high-frequency currents have become an essential area of work for Svetlana in recent years. To strengthen its potential in this area, employees of a specialized research institute – of which closed down several years ago – were invited to the plant. With their help, they have already succeeded in implementing, among other things, a project of a microwave unit for heating asphalt pavement. Due to the physical principle used, the team can heat the entire thickness of the asphalt, while all existing analogs at the moment heat only the outer layers. This point can radically accelerate the road repair processes.

Moreover, staffing helped Svetlana to reach a new level of interaction with the country’s major research centers. The first contract for the supply of a high-frequency plasma generator for the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia has already been completed. Two more similar units are being created for Rosatom. The immediate plans include assisting scientists from the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in modernizing the plasma simulator unit.

The main areas of Svetlana’s scientific and production activities are development and production:

  • Generator and modulator EBPs
  • X-ray tubes
  • Microwave Devices and Systems
  • Semiconductor devices and integrated circuits
  • Semi-insulating silicon carbide substrates for microwave products
  • Passive microwave elements on silicon carbide substrates
  • Process and Medical Equipment
Svetlana's scientific

Cadres From Scratch

It is difficult to say precisely how much it cost Euroinvest to turn the plant into a modern center of innovative developments; industry experts estimate the total amount of investment at a billion rubles. Nonetheless, it would only be possible to provide such a profound modernization of the production and research base of the plant by money alone.

That is why Andrey Berezin and his colleagues made the structural decision five years ago is of particular interest. They are in the process of creating a venture fund to coordinate all the innovative projects. Following the intra-holding succession, they called it Euro Venture and provided it with a considerable initial capital of 10 million euros, and, most importantly, they instructed it to examine all complex projects to support the most potentially successful ones.

Most of the developments mentioned in the text above are implemented under the auspices of Euroventchur. In the foreseeable future, there will be more of them. The human resources policy in the industrial segment of the holding says something about expectations of such a development.

In particular, we are talking about finding young professionals; they are not only enticed by other industries, they are trying to grow literally from scratch.

Euroinvest signed contracts with the most distinguished St. Petersburg universities several years ago. The partnership allows the holding managers to study and select promising students, and some receive job offers even before graduation.

Andrey Berezin’s company also uses other resources to provide Svetlana and its other production assets with the best personnel. In particular, it organizes interaction with public institutions that support young scientists and innovators.

One example of such work is a partnership with the Leonhard Euler International Charitable Foundation for the Support of Mathematics. Euroinvest helps this organization organize educational platforms and Olympiads, including the international Olympiad Formula of Unity / Third Millennium. Cooperation with the International Club of Petersburgers, an organization founded and directed by Mikhail Piotrovsky, is no less attractive.

Euroinvest launched its initiative in this direction, a scholarship named after cosmonaut Georgiy Grechko. It has lots of awards for distinguished students and graduate students.

Lately, however, the holding owners have decided to make their work in education and talent support even more fundamental. First, they announced the launch of a project to create a governor’s academy for gifted children in St. Petersburg. Andrey Berezin’s company decided to take on building complex’s construction and the teaching staff’s payment.

It isn’t easy to classify entrepreneurs like Andrey Berezin as people ready to donate vast sums of money without hoping to receive a return, even in the distant future. However, considering that the academy will be aimed at selecting and teaching children with an aptitude for exact science, it can be assumed that Euroinvest sees it as the first starting point for preparing vital specialists in production. Yes, it may be forced into the long game, but if Berezin started it, he also expects to be interested in the influx of competent personnel in the long run. This means that he has big long-term plans for Svetlana, with other plants that are part of the Euroinvest empire.


Andrey Berezin was born in 1967 in Leningrad. In 1990 he graduated with honors from D.F. Ustinov Leningrad Mechanical Institute with a degree in automatic control systems engineering.

  • In 1993 he participated in the creation of the North-West Fisheries Company.
  • In 1995, he co-founded Euroinvest Investment Company with Yury Vasiliev and has been its Board Chairman since.
  • Euroinvest is a diversified holding company, which includes companies and projects from different economic sectors.
  • One of the directions of Euroinvest work is legal and engineering support for developing land plots and territories in St. Petersburg, the Leningrad region, and other areas.
  • At the end of 2017, Euroinvest Group created its construction division Euroinvest Development, which is engaged in the construction of housing and other objects, thus forming an entire cycle development business.
  • A relatively new direction for Euroinvest is the agro-industrial sector. For example, Agrocluster Krasnoye Znamya in the Pskov region specializes in producing grain and fodder for cattle breeding.

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