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How Rozetka online marketplace grew and adapted to the war – founder profile

Vladislav Chechotkin, co-owner of the Rozetka online store
Vladislav Chechotkin, co-owner of the Rozetka online store

Vladyslav Chechotkin, co-founder and co-owner of Ukrainian online retailer Rozetka, ranked 19th in NV’s rating of Top-30 richest Ukrainians. Compared to the pre-war year of 2021, his fortune decreased by 31%, to $324 million.

As Rozetka continues to dominate Ukrainian online retail, we look back at how the company was set up and its development during the 23 months of the war.

Read also: Ukrainian retail workers talk about challenges of doing business during full-scale invasion

How Rozetka survived the first year of the war

Chechotkin announced new physical stores in the front-line towns of Kramatorsk and Kostyantynivka in mid-August 2023, where animal feed, coffee and tea are the most popular items to buy, he added.

Read also: Turkish retail giant Hepsiburada.com to enter Ukrainian market, taking on Rozetka and Prom

This expansion into eastern Ukraine clearly indicated that Rozetka had managed to recover from losses at the beginning of the full-scale war when its monthly sales fell from UAH 4 billion ($106.6 million) to UAH 23 million ($612,921). At that time, this large, efficient, and growing company looked like it was nosediving.

By 2023, the company opened over 40 new physical stores, almost twice as many as in 2022. Now the network consists of 116 locations that double as stores and delivery terminals.

Rozetka also entered the Polish market in March, opening its online presence there. During a panel discussion at an NV event in October 2023, Chechotkin said: “I remember February and March 2022. After March 2022 we were in the black.”

How Chechotkin’s family business started

Living in Kyiv, Chechotkin studied at the European Institute of Political Culture and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School.

The businessman began his career in 1995 as a courier with the Pony Express delivery service. In 1996, while still a student, he started working at Sky Line, a company ran by his older brother selling computers and office equipment. Chechotkin worked there as a sales manager.

In 2005, together with his wife Iryna, the entrepreneur opened the Rozetka.ua marketplace, with a Samsung mobile phone being the first item on offer.

Read also: Government and business leaders to discuss wartime business prospects at second ‘Big Day with NV’ event

In 2018, Chechotkin announced a merger with the EVO group of companies (Prom.ua, Bigl.ua, Kabanchik.ua). Ukrainian anti-trust bodies then approved the acquisition of Prom.ua and Aukro.ua (Ukraine), Tiu.ru (Russia), Deal.by (Belarus) and Satu.kz (Kazakhstan) by the Chechotkins. Vladyslav and Irina each own half of Temania Enterprises Limited—the holding company for Rozetka and other businesses acquired.

Today, Chechotkin is an influential trade lobbyist. In particular, he was an ardent advocate for banks and digital payment systems to reduce the interbank commission rate.

Chechotkin ranked 19th in the Top-30 richest Ukrainians in 2023. NV magazine and investment company Dragon Capital estimated the businessman’s fortune at $324 million.

Fintech plans

Chechotkin had serious plans for the development of fintech in Ukraine before the Russian invasion. In 2020, the National Bank of Ukraine registered a new operator of payment infrastructure services—Uaprom, owned by the businessman’s family. In addition, he was in talks to sell Rozetka to Kazakh fintech giant Kaspi. However, the war has put these major investment projects on hold.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine