“When sport becomes a part of life, it gives new life resources and enriches you with oxygen”

Alexander Smirnov

Exclusive interview for LDaily with Alexander Smirnov, CEO of Portinvest, LLC, specializing in the management of port assets of SCM  about the importance of sports training in his life

What can interest a person, who rules a large business, works for the future and keeps balance in his life? Of course, only a swimming race in Bosphorus. When Alexander has firstly heard about the project LIVE.LOVE, he made a strong-willed decision to join the team to cross the Bosphorus. Since that moment, sport for Alexander Smirnov has become a demonstration of a strong character, moreover, in the best way. Running and swimming inspire, make happy and as for a top-level manager, it allows you to experience real pleasure in achieving your goals.


Alexander, please tell us about the company “Portinvest”.

А. Smirnov: The holding company “Portinvest” is part of the SCM Group of Companies, which operates in several directions. This is the operational activity. It is the organization of transshipment of cargo in ports, freight forwarding, agency of sea vessels, other services in seaports, and in the direction of sea transportation – chartering of ships.

We also implement investment projects in ports. A very important and active direction is the reform of the port industry; the company’s employees participate as experts in the public work of committees of public and business associations.

: In the period of crisis, how did you overcome the emerging difficulties as a top manager? What did keep you strong and what keeps you strong now?

А. Smirnov: Economically, we had to endure even more stressful times compared to this crisis. Today, as part of an important sector for the country, we are solving strategic tasks, on the one hand, and routine, but essential tasks of the country, on the other hand. We are updating the port infrastructure, introducing advanced technologies and equipment; introducing modern standards of quality service in ports. Such tasks motivate not only to improve the development strategy, but also to respond quickly to the challenges that arise in modern realities almost every day.

Sports story

Tell us your story in LIVE.LOVE. What did it start with?

А. Smirnov: It started with a charity evening, where I was invited by the founders of LIVE.LOVE. Smart and beautiful people, their enthusiasm, and most important – their goals, really made me interested in the project. They told about the project of the swimming cross in Bosphorus, and I decided to swim with them.

How long have you been in sports and what does this give you?

А. Smirnov: I did different kind of sports within all my life. But I was never running and swimming. Therefore, I decided to master the technique of swimming and to cross the Bosporus together with the team.

Can you compare the feelings before you join LIVE.LOVE and what are you experiencing now?

А. Smirnov: I came with an interest in the project, team members, sport and swimming techniques. The project is developing, which is nice and surprising. New people, each with their own energy and goals, are getting better and better. It always inspires me (smiles).

I am not only willing to cross the Bosphorus, but also to acquire a right swimming technique. I`ve read the most interesting book “Full Immersion: How to Swim Better, Faster and Easier», written by Terry Laughlin and John Delves. I began to delve into the technique of swimming and my trainings became more intense not only for me, but also for my coach.

Model S2B

How does sport affect your business? Give us an example, please.

А. Smirnov: Sport, when it really becomes a part of life, affects a person in many ways. It creates new vital resources. It enriches you with oxygen. But I do not believe that sport can influence business, unless, of course, this is a professional commercial sport. Sport is the choice of everyone.

Have you changed during the training? How do people perceive it?

А. Smirnov: If the people around me noticed, then I had really changed outwardly. Internally I change as well. It happens every time we open the door and start something new.

Can you draw thr parallel between sport competitions and corporate conflicts?

А. Smirnov: This is a false parallel. Unfulfilled and unbalanced people are everywhere. A corporate conflict is something that every civilized and rational person tries to avoid. The conflict does not bring pleasure to anyone. It exhausts those, who are around us, the initiators themselves and the participants. Sport competition, contrarily, gives motivation, joy and drive from participation and victory.

Text: Zhanna Garashchuk


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