Stanislav
Coufal

Innovation Leader

Business success stories are my passion and life calling. During my 20-years career I have brought to life and witnessed many such stories, primarily in the financial sector. From setting up a stock brokerage in Kiev, through building and selling a bank and then building the largest credit bureau in Russia, to establishing and consulting companies in the Czech Republic. Now I continue to help writing them as an Innovation Leader at Direct People.

My journey to Direct People

I have started my career as an analyst in a stock brokerage “start-up” in mid 90s. Soon I have become a stock trader, and in 1996 I moved to Kiev and set up a stock brokerage there. It was a real roller coaster ride – we set everything up in 2 months, earned our first million dollars in the next 3 and were hit by the financial crisis the following year. This experience taught me an important thing: timing is everything – in entering a market but also leaving it if necessary.

I spent the next 10 years in Moscow. First I was in charge of a tiny local bank that ČSOB unintentionally inherited. The task was “sell it or liquidate – whatever would be cheaper”. We successfully sold it, while still retaining 10% ownership for the Czech owners – which they later sold for another 30 million USD. I was then hired by and American corporation called Global Payment to open the lucrative Russian market for them. New local law requirement to submit credit data to Credit Bureau created new opportunities. We took advantage of it and with an investment of mere several hundreds of thousands of dollars we have built the largest credit bureau in the country with valuation exceeding hundreds of millions today. I stayed with the company, known as Equifax Credit Services now, for 7 years.

In 2012 I decided to get on my own “balance sheet”. I have established several small businesses and as a consultant helped companies with strategy and M&A. Then in 2019 I joined Direct People. I immediately realized that it is the right place for me. Here I can satisfy my passion for new experience, and use my capabilities and know-how. I continue to write success stories via helping companies to overcome fast moving environment and get ahead of the tough competition.

Projects I have enjoyed

The most interesting project so far was establishing a local Credit Bureau in Russia from scratch. Me and my team joined forces with HomeCredit that was a strong player in consumer loans in Russia. Combining their loan database with our management skills and financing we were able to build the biggest local credit bureau in the country – now Equifax Credit Services. We managed to turn a $00 thousand investment into a leading credit data processing institution in Russia worth hundreds of million.

A few words about me

Being a proud father of two teenage kids and a husband, I try to spend as much time with my family as possible. Beside that, I am an enthusiastic amateur soccer player, trying to be on the field or in the gym several times a week if the tight schedule allows. I also love to read (or listen to audiobooks) about interesting people that impacted history. Dozens of biographies and memoirs have helped me to better understand the historical context and provided valuable inspiration. Whether it was a Russian oligarch, Václav Havel or Albert Einstein.

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