BusinessIgor Yusufov: Minister Who Knows How to Deal with Global Challenges and...

Igor Yusufov: Minister Who Knows How to Deal with Global Challenges and Attract Foreign Investment

Igor Yusufov has gone in his homeland’s history thanks to attracting huge funds to the energy sector and reforming it. His foreign colleagues acknowledged him for his unwavering efforts to enhance international cooperation in the industry. He proved to be an efficient organizer, negotiator and analyst. In this article, we will sum up the essence of the challenges that he had to face throughout his career and will outline the solutions that he proposed.

Brief Life Timeline

Igor Yusufov is a native of Derbent, born in 1956. He got a diploma at Polytechnic University and acquired the qualification of an energy expert. He enrolled in his second university after spending five years on a business trip in Cuba and became an expert in economics.

His first employer was a state-run company that owns power plants and generates electricity. In 1991, he switched to civil service and reached the position of Energy Minister. After his resignation in 2008, he concentrated his efforts on entrepreneurial and investment activities. His debut venture into large business was the Russia-Vostok Trading company — he got the position of its chief executive officer and owned its shares until 1996. Since 2020, he is not involved in business or investments.

Local Challenges of the Sector

A highly important period of Igor Yusufov’s professional biography accounts for the 1990’s. At that time, the energy sector of his homeland was privatized to a too large extent. Its management was overcentralized, which deprived local executives of space for maneuver. The funding of the industry was insufficient and irregular. The equipment had become outdated and replacing it was a labor-consuming task. Barter deals substituted cash payments, which almost led to a disaster — selected municipalities couldn’t afford to pay their electricity bills.

How Igor Yusufov Responded to the Above-Mentioned Issues

As a minister, Igor Yusufov drafted and supervised a large-scale reform. He proposed splitting the reconstruction of the existing facilities into several phases and completing them gradually, step by step. Such an approach enabled the plants to deliver almost 100% more electricity than previously. The state regained its ownership rights over some enterprises. The chain of command became less rigid, which enabled the executives to respond to challenges on the spot without delays.

The specialist also attracted financial support and expertise from established foreign organizations. Thanks to Igor Yusufov, the American Export-Import Bank expressed its intention to fund a new oil and gas project. Halliburton agreed to assist with multiple phases of the project’s development, sharing the valuable skills and knowledge of its staff.

How Igor Yusufov Addressed the International Challenges

The influence of Igor Yusufov, a state official and businessman, goes beyond his homeland.

Due to his efforts, OPEC realized the necessity to temporarily decrease oil production. As a result, the market regained much-needed stability.

He initiated and was a part of the team that organized two profile summits in 2002 and 2003. Entrepreneurs, scientists and governmental officials met at the highest level to discuss the current industry landscape. Igor Yusufov was among the attendees of both events. At the end of each of them, he co-signed their joint statements.

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