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TRAC
Interview Transcript

Paul Pozner     (cont)

Pozner:  Oh, when all that changed in the Soviet Union, still was Soviet Union in '89, to begin there was an American guy, you must know him, Mitchell.  It's Norman Gershwin, who wanted to make some business in Russia.  And I helped him to create a joint venture, which was  packed a deal with all kinds of patents and license, and so on and so forth.  But this joint venture still exists.  But it never really worked for three reasons.  First reason, Norman, who's a very good broker of the stocks in New York, had no idea of business in Russia at that time.  And he was--he couldn't judge about what happened, and he was mostly in the States, of course.  So it was not easy to make this kind of business, especially because at that time there was no stocks in Russia, in Soviet Union; it was '89, it just started.  Secondly, at that time Norman was in a very tough economic situation.  Now I'm happy he's okay, but he went through a very low period in his life and had not much money.  At that time investing here, coming here and putting here, I don't know, fifty thousand dollars in a year he could have fifty millions.  But he had not this money and had not this dynamic to it.  So this business exists, a service and so on, but it's a small business.  What I was interested always is to prove to people here and in the West that you can invest in this country.  Invest not only in buying metals, getting them out of the country, selling them, making a lot of money, and all that stuff.  Investing in real manufacturing, and in industry, not only in oil.  And it happened that I met a French guy who is in perfume manufacturing, who is a manufacturer of perfumes, mass market perfume, not elite, mass market.  And he was looking for a glass plant to manufacture perfume bottles, so I helped him to find this plant.  And he invested a lot of money, with very good result.  That was, that started only in '93, and if he would invest, like he invested from '93 through '95, '96, five million dollars.  If he would invest in '89 through '94, he would be already billionaire.  Today it's not the same.  Still he's making very well, but times change.

Interviewer:  And you are in charge of  ...

Pozner:  I'm in charge of this factory.

Interviewer:  How many employees?

Pozner:  Four hundred.

Interviewer:  And what kind of gross, how much money does the business produce per year?

Pozner:  The business I was in, not the plant, because the plant is part of a business. 

Interviewer:  Right.

Pozner:  And the glass plant normally has not a big profit.  The profit is then on the finished product.  I don't know exactly the profit of the company, it's difficult to say, but I would say that the turnover of the group, say the French part of the group, and the Russian part of the group, commercial and manufacturing, the turnover of the last financial year was 35 million dollars.

Interviewer:  And you have plans to expand?

Pozner:  Sure.  Our plan is to go up to a 100 million, in the two years coming.

Interviewer:  So you keep the business life going at the same time you keep some of your academic interests?

Pozner:  I would say I keep them both going, plus a lot of other interests.  You know that's my way, I cannot do one thing at a time.

Interviewer:   By '81 a Russian-American project expanded, which you joined.  

 

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RAO > Catalgoues > Transcripts > TRAC > Paul Pozner p.3

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