Oleg’s website a lesson for Aussie mining barons
A splendid new self-promoting website from colourful Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska must surely be emulated post haste by Clive, Gina and Andrew.
Deripaska’s lavish site (http://deripaska.com) outlines at great length the Russian tycoon’s business and charitable achievements, while enunciating his values and opinions on politics, education and many other topics.
Deripaska is the sole owner and chief executive of Basic Element, whose many assets include a 47% share in United Company RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium producer, and a 25% slice of Norilsk Nickel.
Amid the beaming mug shots and statistics – 250,000 employees, 6.8bn Rubles in charitable giving – we learn a bit more about the man that is Oleg.
He was a precocious, brilliant child and voracious reader. “Like my peers I started with Mayne Reid and Conan Doyle but soon realised that I could finish a book or two in just one night. It was not long before I had run out of fiction and so began reading textbooks, references, my mother’s science books and adult science magazines; I was reading indiscriminately. At one point I went through a complete maths textbook, solving all the problems in just one week.”
He likes his job. “I simply enjoy working. Work just happens to be something I have always enjoyed doing ever since I was a child. With the sort of opportunities I now have I can influence the work of a lot of companies. That is a lot of responsibility. As long as I can do what I am good at, managing businesses, I am going to continue doing it.”
Elsewhere, he sketches out a vision of Russia in a manifesto which Clive Palmer would surely be happy to apply to Australia. Just swap Russia for Australia and Siberia for Gallilee Basin.
“One of my key aims and consequently the work of my team is to tap into Russia's vast potential in order to help develop it as a nation and to improve the quality of life for all the people living here.
“Russia is currently facing a number of important economic and social issues. Unless we can overcome them effectively, our economy will no longer be competitive on the global stage. I believe we need to improve the country's investment climate through developing regional infrastructure, specifically in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, two areas of the country whose importance and potential cannot be overestimated in terms of natural resources and proximity to the booming Asian markets.
“We must stimulate residential housing construction, develop the agricultural, industrial and high tech sectors and in turn develop the domestic consumer market, improving the standard of living for all. In addition, I think that the credit and monetary policy of the Central Bank must be adjusted in order to make loans more accessible.
“We cannot rely on other people to do these things for us and it requires not just political will from the top but a true willingness to change things for the better from the grass roots.
“I firmly believe that it takes just 100 people to drastically change a country for the better provided that these 100 people are driven professionals capable of creating something new. I am confident that in Russia there are far more than 100 such people, so let us join forces and work together.”
So come on Clive, Gina and Andrew. Get talking to your web designers and let the cult of personality flourish.