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Mikhail Shelkov: How To Make Regions Attractive For Investments

Mikhail Shelkov

Mikhail Shelkov, a successful businessman and entrepreneur in the Forbes top 30 list,  had made his mark in VSMPO-AVISMA, which is the world’s leading producer of Titanium. He also owns the prestigious Samara Metallurgical Plant (SMZ), the topmost producer of Titanium. However, the influence of Shelkov goes far beyond the realm of business.  His profound commitment to meeting the challenges in education through the Empathy Charitable Foundation is noteworthy.   With a focus on restoring the teaching profession’s prestige and nurturing talented youth, Shelkov actively supports numerous community-oriented projects.

The Journey Of  Mikhail Shelkov

Born on May 30, 1968, in Moscow, Mikhail Shelkov has always been on a path of success as both an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. His journey began with outstanding academic achievements when he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) in 1991, specializing in molecular and chemical physics.

In 1993, Shelkov assumed a leadership role at Eurosibbank and quickly climbed the ranks, reaching the prestigious position of chairman of the board within just two years. His influence continued to grow in 1995 when he joined the board of directors of RBRD, further solidifying his status as a key figure in the national business landscape.

However, it was in 2001, when Shelkov Mikhail became the head of the Prominvest investment holding, that his entrepreneurial prowess truly shone. With strategic management expertise, he steered the company to new heights of success. It was during 2012-2014 that Shelkov made one of his most significant contributions to the business world. By acquiring a controlling stake in VSMPO-AVISMA, the largest titanium producer on the global market, he cemented his position as a prominent figure within the industry.


These accomplishments did not go unnoticed, as Shelkov’s entrepreneurial skills have earned him recognition and acclaim. In 2017, he secured a place on Forbes’ prestigious list of “the 200 richest businessmen in Russia”. Initially ranked at the 200th position, with a capital worth $500 million, Shelkov’s fortunes have since soared, propelling him to the 29th spot.

While his business successes speak volumes, Shelkov’s commitment to making a difference extends beyond the boardroom. He actively supports various sports projects and holds positions on the board of trustees for the National Powerboating Federation. Additionally, he believes that a love for sports is important, particularly for those with sedentary jobs. The chess players who received his support spoke highly of Shelkov’s passion for chess, noting the parallels between his educational background in physics and technology and the complexity of the game.

Unwavering Commitment

Mikhail Shelkov’s accomplishments as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and advocate for education make him a prominent figure in both business and social circles. With his unwavering commitment to improving education and his continued success in the business world, he is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.

Reviving Creativity: Inside The Oktava Cluster

Dubbed as a visionary project brought to life by Mikhail Shelkov, the Oktava Creative Cluster has injected new life into an abandoned factory premises. With an investment of over $10.3 million, Shelkov has transformed the space into a vibrant hub that nurtures creativity, innovation and education.

At the heart of the Oktava Cluster is a deep commitment to the arts. The cluster houses various creative spaces, studios and workshops that provide a thriving ecosystem for artists, designers, and performers. This dedication to the arts is further exemplified by the cluster’s state-of-the-art library, which not only serves as a haven of knowledge but also encourages intellectual growth and exploration.

The Oktava Cluster has also established a Higher Technical School within its premises, catering to executive-level professionals in the industrial sector. This innovative training facility ensures that individuals can stay up to date with the latest technological advancements, synchronized with industry trends and developments.

Foster Creativity And Collaboration

Recognizing the importance of community and collaboration, the Oktava Cluster boasts a cozy café and a bustling coworking center. These spaces are designed to foster creativity, provide opportunities for connection and collaboration, and promote the exchange of ideas among like-minded individuals. By bringing people together in a shared space, the Oktava Cluster creates an environment that cultivates entrepreneurship and innovation.

One of the standout features of the cluster is the Machine Tool Museum, which pays homage to Tula’s rich history in machine tool manufacturing. This captivating museum showcases the region’s technological achievements and serves as a testament to Tula’s enduring legacy in the industry.


Overall, the Oktava Creative Cluster, spearheaded by Shelkov Mikhail, has not only revitalized an abandoned factory but has also created a vibrant space that celebrates creativity, fosters innovation and promotes continuous learning. With its focus on the arts, education, and community, the Oktava Cluster serves as a shining example of the transformative power of visionary initiatives.

Empathy Foundation: Transforming Education And Nurturing Talent

Mikhail Shelkov’s initiative, Empathy Charitable Foundation is dedicated to addressing the impediments in national education, nurturing talented students, and even supporting the teachers. The foundation has initiated many noteworthy projects that have positively and deeply impacted the entire education sector.
One of Empathy’s flagship initiatives is dedicated to backing the teachers in Nizhnyaya Salda and Verkhnyaya Salda. Since the month of October in 2020, around five hundred and fifty teachers have received monthly financial support. This commitment has helped improve working conditions for teachers, reduce the risk of professional stress, and combat issues of employee turnover. As a result, the number of unfilled teaching positions in both towns has been brought down to three-fold. Over a span of two years, $1.5 million was allocated to sustain this program.

Continuous Professional Development

The Empathy Foundation also places great importance on the continuous professional development of teachers. Through advanced training courses, they ensure that educators stay updated on the latest teaching methodologies and techniques. The number of teachers participating in these courses has been steadily increasing. In 2019, 199 teachers underwent advanced training facilitated by the Empathy program, while in 2021, the number of participants grew to 332. The subsequent year saw over 520 specialists benefiting from the program.

Holistic Development Opportunities For Students

In addition to supporting teachers, Empathy believes in providing holistic development opportunities for students. The foundation organizes various extracurricular programs, one of which is the annual online course of the Summer Space School. This initiative invites teenagers from Verkhnyaya Salda to explore the wonders of space science and engage with experts in the field, broadening their knowledge and inspiring their curiosity.


Empathy also collaborates with the Foundation for the Development of Phystech Schools to offer an exclusive educational project in Moscow for school children from the Sverdlovsk and Perm regions. This initiative aims to elevate students’ knowledge in physics, mathematics, and computer science. Participants have the opportunity to interact with esteemed teachers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), visit the university museum, gain access to otherwise closed laboratories, and prepare for olympiads and scientific conferences.

Assistance Through Fund Allocation

Moreover, the foundation provides targeted support to specific institutions. In 2020, Empathy allocated over $31 000 to a school for children with special needs in Verkhnyaya Salda, in the Sverdlovsk Region. The funds were used to improve the school’s infrastructure and build a playground. In January 2022, the foundation extended its assistance to the children’s rehabilitation center in Nizhnyaya Salda, facilitating the necessary facilities to accommodate a new group of students.

Winding Up

Through its diverse range of initiatives, the Empathy Charitable Foundation, under the guidance of Mikhail Shelkov, has made a substantial impact on education. By supporting teachers, nurturing talented youth, and providing targeted assistance, the foundation is actively working towards creating a brighter future for the country’s education system.

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Debamalya Mukherjee

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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