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The Solchart Group, whose headquarters are in Helsinki, was founded in 1996 by Mr Victor Matveev.
A former navigator on merchant ships, Victor Matveev now steers his own boat – or business. The Russian managing director, who has been based in Finland since 1996, heads up a successful shipping company Oy Solchart Ltd., that focuses on the transportation of timber. “We may be a small company, but we are extremely successful because we do things differently, in an innovative creative way from which all parties benefit,” says Mr.Matveev.
The entrepreneurial managing director grew up near one of the biggest sawmills in the Russian city of Archangel where he’d work during the summer holidays packing timber.
The young boy already noticed differences in packing and stowing timber, which later became essential for his business strategy. As a cargo officer for the Russian merchant fleet, he became familiar with shipping services and the challenge to provide the minimum number of routes with maximum freight. Today, the managing director considers his business like a game of chess. Many consequences and implications need to be measured before even the slightest move is done. A change in position automatically impacts on all other business operations. “We think in larger terms and consider the big picture,” he says. “Optimization is the motto of our business.”
Now the Company boasts its own fleet of vessels but also operates with chartered ships. About three quarters of its contracts with Scandinavian companies are long-term agreements. Solchart reports double-digit sales and employs more then 300 seafarers. Not content with resting on his laurels, Mr.Matveev now aims to further improve quality by fixing with first-class companies only.