Irina Matskevich – Energy savings in the Altai with German partners

What goes for Kazakhstan goes for Eastern Kazakhstan in particular. The province, which is located on the border with Russia, China and Mongolia has just five inhabitants per square kilometre – four times fewer than in Germany – and is hard to access because of the Altai mountains.

The lengthy transport routes make energy extremely expensive in the raw material-rich country of Kazakhstan, and that has a negative impact on the country’s economic development. This was one of the reasons Irina Matskevich decided to participate in the BMWi Manager Training Programme. She wanted to find partners for low-energy construction projects. Along with her husband, the qualified psychologist manages D-ARC, employing almost 100 people and offering construction services ranging from project development through to general planning. The company also manufactures prefabricated building components for low-energy houses.

In addition to contacts, the managing director also hoped the training scheme would help expand her quality and project management skills. “The seminars on these aspects were particularly valuable to me. With their help I was able to introduce a quality management system within the space of just one year, which we had certified the following year. I also pass on quality management expertise in the courses I run at private and state universities,” says the entrepreneur.

Matskevich was also satisfied with her stay in Germany in terms of business contacts. She acquired software on passive house development and found partners for the energetic refurbishment of a whole series of public buildings in areas that are difficult to access. The new German partners delivered products worth several thousand euros.

“We were able to increase our turnover by 70% compared to the previous year and we also acquired new customers. This would hardly have been possible without the practice-oriented training in Germany,” Matskevich says. If business continues to develop as positively, D-ARC GmbH will open subsidiary offices in Astana and the harbour town of Aktau on the Caspian Sea.

Name: Irina Matskevich
Company: D-ARC GmbH, Oskemen (formerly Ust-Kamenogorsk), Kazakhstan
Sector: Construction, project development
Position: Co-owner, deputy managing director
Training in Germany: 25 October – 20 November, 2009
Training centre: Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig Holstein, Kiel