When Soviet Union had fallen, or in other words, communism from Russia vanished to some extent, many found the cherished ladder to fortunes due to economic freedom. Vladimir Lisin was the most eminent of them all. He joined the multi-billion dollar Russian steel company Trans World Group and invested heavily in the steel market in Russia. He has been serving in important positions of several billion dollar companies like Novolipetsk Steel since 1993. As of now in 2019, he is the 45th richest man in the world and richest in Russia, with his net worth of $22.1.

Vladimir Lisin; Image Source: financialexpress.com

Vladimir Sergeevich Lisin was born in Ivanovo city of Russia, famously known as Red Manchester, on 7th may, 1956. He had a privileged childhood as his father was an established businessman. He finished his primary and secondary education in local schools and continued his education with much encourage from his family. Metallurgy was a comparatively new discipline back then. But Lisin chose to study metal engineering at the Siberian Metallurgist Institute. After the completion of the metal engineering studies, he went to Russian Business School for management degrees. His goal of life was clear from his approach of study.

After completing higher education, Lisin started his career humbly as an entry steelmaker in a small company. But, his brilliance in metallurgic science led him to higher positions soon. He became the deputy chief of the company contributing its expansion. Soon, the company grabbed attention from the biggest steelmaker company in the world, Mittal Steel, and was sold to them.

Lisin had ambitions but also had a lot of patience. He didn’t rush things up and waited for the right time to arrive. Through the 1990s, he continued to gather experience and enrich his portfolio by working as metallurgic scientist of several big companies. He joined the executive board of steel giants like Trans World Group, where he established himself as one of the most important person for the company. In the year 2000, exactly after 8 years of joining Trans World Groups the company got split and Lisin received 13% of the sister concern of Trans World Group, Novolipetsk Steel.

Splitting of Trans World Group made Novolipetsk the biggest steel producer in Russia. Russian business magnet Richard Soros, Monaco based investor brothers Richard and Christopher Chandler and Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin along with Lisin himself, owned the company. Lisin’s 13% share was the lowest among them. But, he stepped up to change the scenario by purchasing the shares of Soros and taking his stakes in the company to more the 50%. Still, Potanin was his tough competitor in the company executive board with huge 34% share.

Trans World Group’s executive building; Image Source: glassdoor.co.in

But, Lisin had some advantages. Being a familiar face in the steel industry, he had trust of investors and could easily yield big loans. He purchased 8% share in Potanin’s Norlisk Nickel Company to compete him in different way. Potanin, having no alternative left to stop Lisin’s growing influence in his own company, sold his 34% stake in Novolipetsk in exchange for Lisin’s 8% is his company. This calculative move from Lisin took him at the center of decision making board of Novolipetsk Steel, with 90% stake alone. He had to spend $400 million for this achievement but the turnover was much more than that. Just one year from gaining control over the company, his profit was whooping $380 million, almost making up for his huge investment. Since then, he had no turning back. His company grew more and more bringing abundance of fortune for him.

With fortune kissing his feet, Lisin had dreams to fulfill. One of his dream was to own a house like a palace. He bought a 16th century castle with 3,300 acres of land in 2005, which was no less than a castle. With extremely luxurious interior design, lots of cottages in the property area, Lisin’s residence was like a piece of haven. Hunting, shooting, fishing, everything was present in his mini world, with 704 acres of forestry for hiking as well.

Lisin with Russian President Putin; Image Source: alamy.com

Vladimir Lisin is not only a successful businessman, but also a prolific writer. He has taught economic science and metal engineering in several universities. He has written 16 books on metallurgic science and has more than 150 scientific publications. The famous businessman is known for his preference of personal life secrecy. He is married and has 3 children, that’s all we could afford to know about his personal life. His life and journey to the peak of success continues to inspire rising entrepreneurs in the business world.


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