Biography of Chertok Felix. How to build relationships with customers, partners and employees as a responsible business.
Business exists to make as much money as possible – this thesis was very popular until recently. In the early 1990s, every company tried to get maximum benefits using minimum resources. Now the role of business has changed. Companies are connected to other businesses, partners, employees and the country. And have responsibilities to all stakeholders.
Corporate social responsibility encourages businesses to develop innovations, build reliable relationships with partners for long-term cooperation, support society and not harm the environment. According to the UN report “Social responsibility of Ukrainian business”, the interviewees note that 75% of companies have improved the employees conditions, 63.6% note benefits for society, and 55% have noticed an improvement in the company’s economic indicators.
So how can a business be responsible and build long-term relationships with customers, partners and employees? The owner of “AV” Trading House Felix Chertok shared his insights on creating an ecosystem of responsibility.
Work on brands you’ll be proud of
Chertok Felix founded his own company at the age of 16 — he opened a video rental service. Now he is the founder of one of the largest alcoholic beverage distribution companies, the “AV” Trading House.
These are the brands that you have seen on the shelves of supermarkets in Ukraine and abroad:
- Green Day. This is a high-tech premium vodka produced using ORIGINAL TECHNOLOGY™ technology. This technology reproduces natural filtration processes, thanks to which the finished product has 2.5 times less fusel oils and aldehydes than required by law. The vodka production process complies with international environmental standards ISO 14024, which are upheld in 56 countries. Thanks to this approach, the company minimizes emissions into the environment;
- Ukrainka. Founded in 2006 by the creative team of the “AV” Trading House, the product is positioned as the country’s calling card on international markets. “Similar vodka-symbols exist in different countries, for example, the Finns have Finlandia vodka, the Danes have the famous Danzka. Therefore, we decided to create a colorful and high-quality product that will be associated with our country and form a popular image for Ukrainians and foreigners,” — says Chertok Felix. This positioning affected the technical characteristics: vodka is made according to a classic Ukrainian recipe on melted water;
- Dovbush Carpathian. In Ukraine, the cognac brand has been introduced in 2019, and by 2025 it plans to enter the top three most popular drinks in its category. This Felix Chertok business is named after Oleksa Dovbush, the Ukrainian leader of the opryshky, which symbolizes courage, inflexibility and the Ukrainian spirit;
- Kosher Collection wines;
- Kristi Valley wines.
You can talk about each of these brands for a long time — modern production technologies, quality ingredients, verification of suppliers and protection against counterfeiting. Companies do everything to ensure that consumers receive the best products. Currently, there are about 400 employees working in the “AV” Trading House, and the company itself supplies more than 24 million bottles of various alcohol to the market every year.
“AV” Trading House is a responsible distributor of alcoholic beverages that cares about the safety and health of consumers. Currently, there are additional restrictions on the sale of alcohol in Ukraine due to martial law, and the “AV” Trading House works with chains that strictly adhere to it.
Support the community. Felix Chertok on the importance of helping Ukrainians
On February 24, 2022, a full-scale russian invasion took place in Ukraine. Right now, it isn’t possible to even estimate the consequences of this war, but we already feel some of them. In 2022, inflation reached almost 27%, about 8 million people left the country, part of the land was occupied or destroyed.
Many businesses failed to recover from such a blow, some companies are just starting to show positive dynamics. That’s why brands that can work need to help their employees and the community. Among such brands is Felix Chertok business “AV” Trading House.
“Despite the fact that the market for the production of vodka in Ukraine has fallen significantly since the beginning of the full-scale war, we have directed all the forces of the “AV” Trading House to preserve the clients we have been working with for many years, as well as jobs for people. In 2022, Green Day’s share of sales remained at the level it was until February 24, 2022,” — comments Chertok Felix.
The entrepreneur believes that working even during the war is his duty and responsibility to consumers and the country. After all, it is thanks to such companies that the country’s economy can be kept afloat, and in the long run – restored. Therefore, Felix Chertok in Ukraine continues to invest in the development of the company and expands the product range.
For all employees who went to defend the country, they kept their jobs, and also provided all the equipment — the company purchased the necessary uniforms and equipment at its own expense. Currently, the AV Trading House continues to donate funds for the Armed Forces and humanitarian needs, so that everyone can return to their peaceful, pre-war lives as soon as possible.
Cooperate with competitors
Feliks Chertok shares news and ideas with competitors. Why? You all work in the same industry, you know it better than anyone, so together you can ensure better working conditions, production and distribution. Part of a healthy competition is recognizing that your so-called competitor is doing something well, or, on the opposite, hurting the industry. In the first case, it is worth exchanging experience and implementing best practices, in the second case, on the contrary, to advise the business and motivate to work as a team.
Both companies and employees can join unions. The presence of unions in the company has a positive effect on both the employer and the employee:
- Productivity is increasing and wages are higher. Employees receive market wages, and the company receives active and engaged people.
- Reduces pay inequality and layoffs. Everyone is rewarded according to the skills and efficiency of the work, the payment is not affected by negative prejudices and stereotypes. In response, employees are not looking for work “on the side” and are interested in the company’s development.
- Job protection and competitive advantage. Employees are sure that they will not be fired “one day”, and calmness and lack of stress affect the quality of work. The brand gains a competitive advantage on the market and attracts the best specialists in the industry.
Invest in the future
Compared to the last century, changes in the market situation occur almost every hour. Responsible business owners follow innovations and help the best to develop. Feliks Chertok invests funds in progressive IT projects, which are already being used in the work of the “AV” Trading House, and will later be presented to the market:
- “BLITS” — a mobile commerce program for distribution companies. Its integration helps to increase sales, optimize the company’s activities and helps to improve control;
- an electronic document management program for automating the work process of decentralized companies with a developed network of representative offices;
- electronic tender for efficient procurement of goods and services, logistics. Which will help build an effective chain of interaction between the customer and the contractor.
Feliks Chertok dossier is an example of how social responsibility helps to develop business and benefit society.