Roman is the co-founder and managing partner of the investment company known as United Traders, but not that long ago he began his journey from being a beginner who lost a significant amount of money to a geek trader who runs a successful company and is now ready to expand abroad.
Let’s start with the following question. What motivates you to come to an event such as the Global Youth Forum, what is your main aim, and what would you like to offer to young people around the Globe?
I am always motivated to share my knowledge and experience with younger entrepreneurs and to meet with talented people.
You are a very successful young trader and entrepreneur. Have you had any experience with social entrepreneurship? Have you ever had to implement any kind of social project, and do you plan to do it in the future?
No. I have never been involved with or participated in any kind of social entrepreneurship, but I will definitely do this in the future in the education industry.
I mentioned the word success in the previous question, and with this question I would like to elaborate on the concept a bit further. As far as I have understood from your previous interviews, your path to wealth and founding your own trading company was quite a tough one. You experienced an early, fleeting success, then loss all your money. Tell us your story, and then try to analyze the most crucial points and decisions that you had to make on the way from failure to prosperity.
Well, I have experienced ups and downs throughout my trading and business career. With time, you just don’t scare easily or panic when something goes wrong and you lose some money. I believe such losses are normal for any business, so you just draw the pertinent conclusions and continue taking action to grow your business. The most difficult part is the people end of things: very rarely will you find good partners or employees, people whom you can trust. You must learn to appreciate such persons and pay attention to your team.
What was, in your experience, the strongest motivation to avoid breaking down completely after failure? Where is your limit, the point at which you risk an emotional collapse?
There was no choice (lol). You lost all you had, so you just started from zero point. In the worst case you can get a job and go to work for someone else’s business, but this is not my story – I always want to have the possibility of unlimited profits.
You started with trading, but currently your company is also offering investment services and courses on proprietary trading. On what is your business model based at the moment, and how do you plan to build it in the future? Do you use modern Techniques? If so, what in particular?
Our non-trading business relies on unique investment products, the best quality education programs, and good software, of course. We have used many modern techniques to build our current sales department: we have leased a CRM, we have worked hard to generate leads and then turn leads into clients. Our development team is widely distributed among Russian cities and the rest of the world – we use a sum/agile model for IT projects, and a lot of supporting software helps us to keep the development process fast and effective.
In one of your interviews, I have read that at United Traders you predominantly employ 25-30 year old people, so young professionals, millennials. What kind of person has the best chance to be employed by United Traders? I understand that trading is a quite specialized field, but still, what are the main indicators you pay attention to when hiring new people.
Currently, more than 60 people work for UT. And most of them are not traders. In our interviews we pay a lot of attention for the question of success motivation, and we pay high bonuses to the employees who are active and help us significantly to grow our company. Maybe that is the reason we prefer to hire younger people.
Do you work in Russia only, or do you have international members of your team or projects? Your website is translated into English.
We are expanding internationally now. I moved to Cyprus recently and plan to open an office in New York next year. Our products are available in Russian and English, and we also plan a presence in Asia and Latin America.
Just to continue briefly on the topic of employment. As a young boss with a young staff and an employee yourself in the recent past, what do you think of the rising issue of unpaid internships and fixed-term contracts for young professionals? I mean, companies are using a young, well-educated work-force for free or almost for free, offering them the right to put the company’s name on their CV instead of cash compensation. What is your opinion of this situation in general, do you think young and older professionals should be treated equally? And I am also curious, how important is the CV when you are hiring new people, and in your company do you have different conditions for the youngest employees? Finally, were you underestimated when you were an employee yourself?
I am not familiar with the corporate internship programs and hiring process, but if students agree to work for free for getting our brand name for their CVs, why not? Yes, we pay attention to the CV and how it is prepared. Lots of candidates just do a mass send-out, and we don’t like such candidates. During the interview we usually ask questions to help us to understand if the candidate was lying in his CV or not. Some people tend to overestimate their role in the previous job. The reason we started our own business and launched United Traders because we were underestimated by our employers: they were too greedy to give us appropriate bonuses, so finally they went bankrupt and lost all their best traders.
And with a final question I would like to go back to the Global Youth Forum. Is there any advice you can offer Global Forum participants before they meet you in Dubai?
Be active and friendly. Communicate a lot to get new information about doing business from participants from all over the world. Share your secrets of success, and help others.