Afternoon coffee with a Russian tech pioneer

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In technology and entrepreneurship landscape, there is no doubt that Russians are very talented. Some of them have launched successful global tech companies. Alexey Pajitnov, the inventor of computer game Tetris; Stepan Pachikov (software maker ParaGraph); Maxim Levchin (PayPal) and Greg Shenkman and Alex Milosavsky (call-center software giant Genesys) — to name a few.

“You may not have heard of serial entrepreneur Serguei Beloussov, founder of SWsoft, but Western investors go ga-ga over his startups,” Business Week wrote. With his college buddy Ilya Zubarev, he has launched a dozen technology companies. Today, they are both multimillionaires.

Taken from his company website:

Mr. Beloussov is a successful self-made entrepreneur and business executive with an outstanding 17-year track record in building, growing and leading high-performing, multi-national high tech companies in North America, Europe and Asia. Noted as an innovator and a thought leader in virtualization, datacenter automation, and cloud computing space, Serguei is a frequent speaker at industry events
internationally.

Serguei is currently the Chairman and CEO of Parallels (parallels.com). Parallels is a technology rich, high growth software company focused on enabling cloud computing services to SMBs. The Company is a worldwide leader in virtualization and automation software that optimizes computing for consumers, businesses, and cloud computing service providers across all major hardware, operating system, and virtualization platforms.

Under Mr. Beloussov’s leadership, Parallels (formerly SWsoft) has quickly grown to profitability and #1 market positions with its innovative Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, Parallels Desktop for Mac and Parallels Plesk Panel product lines.

Mr. Beloussov is also a founder, major investor and Chairman of the Board of Acronis (acronis.com), a global leader in storage management and disaster recovery software for consumers, SMBs and large enterprises.

Recently, I had a chance to sit down with him in a coffee shop, Temasek area, Singapore. “Read your blog,” the 37-year-old Russian said to open the conversation. Thanks man. My first impression: he is a humble person. 

Beloussov, who now lives in Singapore, told me how he expanded his businesses, to bring world-class products to most parts of the world. He also promises reinvesting some of his wealth in new startups.

“I love Asia. This region’s markets are growing fast now,” he said. The Parallels’ customers in Asia Pacific now, include Softbank IDC (JP), Telecom Malaysia (MY), Sri Lanka telecom, VDC (VN), IINet/ Westnet (AU) and China Telecom (CN).

Any secret recipe on how to deliver successful companies globally? “Try to find a niche market and stay focus,” Beloussov said.

Thanks, Beloussov, for the great and insightful conversation. And the coffee. Really enjoyed it.

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