Russian Philanthropist's Business Plan
LIKE entrepreneurs everywhere, Vladislav Konovalov is awash with ideas, ranging from the solid to the wacky. Some of his money-raising plans for Chelovek include: A grant already made by the city to 244 square feet of commercial space, to be used for manufacturing firms, restaurants, and shops. In a nation where property is owned and jealously guarded by the state, Konovalov describes this arrangement as ``completely unheard of.''
A new hotel on the waterfront on the Bay of Finland, next to the present Pribaltiskaya Hotel. A contract has already been signed with a Norwegian company.
An international store for the handicapped, featuring everything from specially designed equipment to cosmetics and lotions. Several international suppliers have agreed to sell their products for rubles - always a sticky problem for a nation that has little hard currency to spend outside its borders. Chelovek is also seeking outside partners for this undertaking.
The establishment of an ice cream factory. Konovalov, who thinks Leningrad ice cream is better than its counterparts in West Germany, Italy, or even the United States, hopes to get foreign technology for making and packaging his product.
A network of fast-food shops, which he describes as ``McDonald's for the Russian stomach.'' Also in the works: a fast-food service aimed especially at the elderly, incorporating a special diet and linked to an organization that will provide free feeding services for elderly shut-ins.
A joint venture with an American television company to make films about Soviet culture, science, and social life for foreign firms. Such a venture could also provide satellite bridges between audiences here and in other countries.
A limousine service for foreigners, who often find it difficult to manipulate the free-flowing Soviet taxi system and would be willing to pay for reliable transportation.