Zhanajar Tapalov decided he wanted to become self-employed back in the year 2000. With Infradin GmbH he established a small company for the production and maintenance of water, electricity and heating meters. At the time, meters were still a rarity in the central Asian country, which is blessed with oil and gas reserves and is one of the world’s largest oil exporters.
Tapalov decided to participate in the BMWi Manager Training Programme when the installation of energy consumption meters became a legal requirement in 2009. “After households and industry were equipped with meters, my order books were no longer as full. I used this opportunity to participate in the management training in Germany from which I hoped for a great deal of new stimulus and expertise for the future development of my company,” says Tapalov. And he was certainly not disappointed.
The qualified economist and lawyer ultimately conducted countless co-operation talks and sourced a supplier for test equipment and water meters. Moreover, he was inspired to expand his product range to include the manufacture of safety cabinets for electronic equipment and fire extinguishers. He also recently used his valuable new business knowledge to set up two companies, which he now co-owns: Kazekofinanz GmbH offers services in the fields of marketing, accounting and law; Elit-Cleaning GmbH is active in the building cleaning industry – a completely different sector. The companies, both of which are still in their infancy, offer services which have massive growth potential on the Kazakh market.
Tapalov attributes a large portion of his success with German business partners to the intercultural skills training he received on the programme. “It is important to understand the other side, including their history and culture,” he says. As vice president of Astana’s trade association, he willingly passes on his know-how as a multiplier, and regularly mediates contacts for German business delegations.
Name: Zhanajar Tapalov
Company: Infradin GmbH, Astana, Kazakhstan
Sector: Installation construction
Training in Germany: 1 – 30 June, 2009
Training centre: Bildungszentrum am Müggelsee, Berlin