«Tsesna-Astyk»: feel confidence about the future!
On 10th May the investment corporation “Tsesna” celebrates its 25th anniversary. For these years the word “Tsesna” has become a real brand which is known, respected and valued throughout Kazakhstan and abroad. Certainly, the word is primarily associated with “Tsesnabank” and “Tsesna- Astyk” Concern“ — the largest enterprises of the corporation. On the eve of the anniversary, we are interviewing the chairman of the Board of Directors in “Tsesna — Astyk” Concern" Nicholay Meshcheryakov about the beginning of the Concern’s history, about the fact how the flour “Tsesna” has become well-known and what other new heights are ahead for the Chief Grain Processor and Baker in Kazakhstan.
— Nikolay Ilyich, tell us, please, what the history of “Tsesna-Astyk” Concern began with?
— It was at the turn of1990s. We inherited from the Soviet period a complex of bakeries, an elevator, two mills and a bakery built in 1962, which produced pan bread in the ovens FTL released in 1937. Majority of industrial operations were performed manually. The territory of the enterprise was ill-equipped. There was a lake nearby, where they could fish and hunt ducks. Today we can see a completely different picture. Since that time, all equipment at the enterprise has gone through modernization and reconstruction. Only in the last three years the Concern’s investment has amounted in three billion tenge. The largest part of the process is automated, the latest world-class technologies are used. As a result, all necessary conditions for the production of quality products have been created.
— Which changes can you name as the most important?
— A new modern production line of oval, round wheat and rye-wheat bread was launched at the bakery, FTL ovens were replaced by an up-to-date line of pan bread. The aggregate amount of investments in the modernization of the bakery was 1,3 billion tenge. Today more than 30 tonnes of bread and bakery products produced in our company are delivered to the capital daily. They are rye and wheat bread, baguettes, bakeries, fancy bread, rusks, bread rings, spice cakes. Every year the production of dietary and high recipe bread is increased. It helps to strengthen human health providing it with necessary micro-and macro-elements and vitamins. It is bread made according to Italian, German, French, Austrian technology with the addition of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, bran, wholegrain sorts such as “Finnish”, ““Fyord”, “East”, “Healing”, “Health” and many others. But the most important strategic step for us was the construction and launch of the mill and macaroni complex “Tsesna-Mac”. It is equipped with the best modern equipment from the world market leader, the Swiss company “Buhler AG”. And today it produces a hundred tonnes of finished products per day. Macaroni of the trading name “Tsesna” are successfully sold in the domestic market of Kazakhstan and exported to foreign countries.
— According to statistics data, the overall capacity of flour-milling plants in Kazakhstan increases the market capacity twice. How do you manage to work successfully in terms of severe competition?
— Our main competitive advantage is quality of the product “Tsesna”. But it would be impossible to achieve success without a competent marketing policy, active promotion of products through distribution channels. To ensure effective development, we made an important decision and timely focused our efforts on distribution and marketing of our brand. As a result, today “Tsesna- Astyk” Concern has an extensive partner network in Russia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Afghanistan and Mongolia. In Kazakhstan, the company’s representatives work in all major cities of the country. Our own distribution companies such as “Astyk —Logistics”” and “Alma —Tses” operate in Astana, Almaty, Karaganda and Kokshetau. Due to such a high degree of vertical integration, we can control the process of delivering products to the final consumer, market the products faster, feel the market responding flexibly to any changes.
— The products from “Tsesna” are considered to be a standard of high quality. How is it possible for you to maintain this standard for such a long period of time?
— Quality standards are the highest priority in all areas of our business. Quality management system in the Concern involves purposeful, systematic and continuous control at all levels and stages of production. We have always made the most rigorous demandss for ourselves. Our internal indicators of quality products always exceed the established state standards. The product quality “Tsesna” is confirmed by the certificates of quality management system (ST RK ISO 9001-2009) and the food safety management system (MS ISO 22000). We have successfully passed the audit on quality by the UN World Food Program.
Grain safety and quality is guaranteed by the availability of proven suppliers, which we have been cooperating for many years with. Our own laboratory control completely eliminates a possibility of delivering raw materials of poor quality.
The Concern’s enterprises work on the best equipment according to the latest technologies. Let’s look at of the latest examples. We have established an optical sorter “Sorteks” with the capacity of 5000 kg/h at the solid grinding mill, which produces cereals for macaroni. This unique equipment increases quality indicators in the selection of grain to a level which used to be unattainable before. Using an optical sorting systems, “Sorteks”" is able to identify and reject products with the smallest defect size, shape and even colour. Thus, constant modernization, clearly defined processes, strict adherence to regulations and strict control are the basis of high-quality products in “Tsesna”.
— Tell about the staff of the Concern and the people who have been managing and developing the enterprise for all these years.
— The first director of the enterprise was Alexander Ostrikov, a true professional in the field of grain processing. Later the company was headed by Valery Pak, a strong-willed and loyal company man who did a lot for its development. I have been working in the company since 1999. We have formed a strong and professional team. They are competent, well-educated specialists. Owing to the experience of all our employees, the pride of their work and dedication to the company, “Tsesna” continues to produce the best quality products.
The production “Tsesna” requires special knowledge and skills, therefore, we invest heavily in training our staff, strive to provide necessary conditions for professional growth and development.
— What trend does the Concern have today?
— Today “Tsesna —Astyk” Concern is the leader of grain-processing industry in Kazakhstan. Of course, we will try to follow this path in the future. We are constantly looking for opportunities to develop and improve our business. In the future we are planning to strengthen specialization, increase production capacity of macaroni, market share growth within the country and abroad, expand the range of offered products. The main goal is to produce safe, high quality products, bring joy and health into people’s houses, give them good mood and warmth.
Source: “Info-Tses” 6.050.2013
Author: Arkady BOYARSKY
Photographer: Aleksandr GONCHARENKO