At what point did you get the feeling that in addition to environmental and social initiatives, it is still necessary to support culture - cinema, contemporary art?
For me, this is not a question of cultural development, but the economy. AyarKut was initiated on our part as part of activities to stimulate the "new economy" in Yakutia, export-oriented production based on intellectual potential. The regional economy now depends on fossil raw materials in direct form by more than 50%, in indirect form - even more. There is a risk that over time, as market conditions change, with the world moving away from hydrocarbons and natural diamonds, the economy of Yakutia may stagnate. To create new segments of the economy, we began to look for opportunities to enter the global IT market in the late 2000s. Having achieved success there, having motivated many capable guys in Yakutia to go into IT, we hope to give a similar impetus in other intellectual spheres, through appropriate development programs from "Sinet Spark". Art in its purest form is an intellectual sphere with good export potential.
What is the planning horizon of the foundation's programs?
We are very lucky that among the natives of Yakutia there is such a successful and experienced manager in the field of art as Nadezhda Zinovskaya, the head of the AyarKut program. She has implemented several excellent projects, including Cube.Moscow, one of the main art spaces in the capital of Russia. With such a leader and firm support from our side, AyarKut has a very long planning horizon of dozens of years of systematic work. This is a game for a long time, both in AyarKut in particular and in "Sinet Spark" in general.
How do you measure the success of projects?
If we talk about "Sinet Spark" in general, then the main criterion is the degree of influence on the world through its development. We focus on IT, science, or art because it is in these areas that successful projects can have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. And this is much more effective than, for example, training talented dentists or engaging in pure social projects, no matter how important it is. We are a development team and we do development projects.
What do you personally think is the most important in such cultural support programs in remote regions?
As I said, this is an economic project for me, not a cultural one. I think, with all the importance of learning from the experience of others, we will have our own unique path. Among other things, we want to use modern tools from the technology business, including digital marketing, cyclic tests, customer development, and many others. They have shown high efficiency in our main field, and they will also be useful here.
Shot from the filming of the film "Helicopter" directed by Mikhail Lukachevsky
Since the launch of the foundation, have there been any more local businessmen who have started actively trying to change the lives of people in the region?
If talking about the "Sinet Spark" as a whole, then we are still at the initial stage. The budget in 2020 was 50 million rubles, in 2021 - 270 million rubles, in 2022 we plan to bring it to the level of 500 million rubles, with further growth and dissemination of the fund's programs throughout the country and the world. So, I hope this will become a good example of increasing strength, and it will be followed by other entrepreneurs and companies not only in Yakutia but also beyond its borders. If we are talking about the art market, it is a very promising and growing market, as the stories of NFT, Patreon, the transition of leading galleries to online and other trends in the art market show. If AyarKut is a completely non-profit program for us, then others may well be engaged in the development of art and set commercial goals in this area. I hope that there will be many similar regional projects gradually.