Passion & Expertise: The power of a ‘people person’

If there is one factor that repeatedly comes up in business success stories, it is the importance of building solid relationships.

In this latest installment of our Passion & Expertise series, we see how being a “people person” has benefited Professional Alexey Provalov, head of the Steel team at the Moscow office of Samsung C&T Trading & Investment Group.

Not only has he built the expertise to lead his team as they handle the trade of commodities like printed steel and electrical steel sheets, but he has also demonstrated his passion for building solid business ties as a foundation.

Diplomat between partners and customers

Provalov believes the essence of the trading business is to understand the characteristics of customers and to communicate with them smoothly. “My business partners and customers are the business itself. Our roles in persuading customers to take part in a project and understanding their will, requirements, and problems are those of a diplomat,” he says.

Based on trust and mutual respect, he establishes relationships with partners and customers as strategic partners as well as friends, striving together to develop new business opportunities while talking with them on a daily basis.

In particular, Provalov says initial deals with new suppliers have always been his most memorable and touching – even when they involve numerous challenges: “As successfully entering a new contract is very challenging, those experiences remain vividly engraved in my memory because our team made so many efforts and dedicated a considerable amount of time to meetings and discussions to set strategies.”

Opportunities built by sharing information

If developing supplier relationships is important to a trading company, so too is finding new market opportunities.

Believing that his team can come up with the best answers if they work closely together to generate ideas for new business, Provalov values sharing information with team members. “I’m trying to pass all my knowledge and experience to my team members. We are regularly sharing information about markets, job challenges and issues, and possible business developments, while trying to find the best solution in any situation,” he says.

Provalov and his Moscow Office team also cooperate with Samsung C&T’s various offices located around the world, including the company’s headquarters. This is because market survey information based on clear directions and guidelines is the first step to developing a list of customers as well as forming stable and long-term business relationships. “We share the corporate strategy, then work together to obtain accurate market information as well as to decide which approach to take in order to sell what goods to which customers,” he explains.

Self-improvement for better relationships

Because it is vital to have trust when building productive relationships with customers, Provalov makes efforts to earn their confidence by obtaining knowledge about the steel industry, markets, and products.

He also studies foreign languages and thinks about how to use time efficiently to absorb even more abilities. “My colleagues and I are always looking for new business opportunities, which motivates us to investigate new markets and to study new products’ technical specifications as well as market characteristics,” he says.

In addition, Provalov stresses the power of adaptation as he strives to connect and apply his knowledge and skills, focusing on paths to success: “I will do my best to improve business volume and make the Moscow Office one of the leading branch offices in our company.”

Of course, trading professionals cannot thrive alone. Success is reliant on their ability and willingness to meaningfully connect with a wide network. For Alexey Provalov, that is something he already values highly and we wish him all the best with his ongoing Samsung C&T journey.

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