Kazakhstan 2017 | ECONOMY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Ilya Martinenko, CEO, Avrora Holding on the sector.

Ilya Martinenko

How would you assess the investment climate in Kazakhstan?

When we were in Europe we saw the profit margins of companies and the high level of competition. With stiff competition there are low margins. In Kazakhstan there are local difficulties; however, the margin is large and companies can succeed. We do not know how companies earn profits in Europe; our model would not work there. The competition there is great but the more complicated businesses like chemistry, energy, and IT are interesting to us. In telecoms there is a crisis and last year Kcell's profit fell by 60% so there is a real difficult situation in the IT market at the moment.

What are your expectations for 2017?

Our main goal at the moment is our new B2C project. 2017 will be a tough year, probably tougher than 2016, for the business environment in general. However, we are extremely positive because some of our competitors will struggle and leave the market. In general we ended 2016 better than 2015 so that is a great sign. We are all trying to adjust to the new reality and 2017 will be tough but, for us, it will be better than 2016.