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Pavel Grachev: Biography and Entrepreneurship

Pavel Grachev is well-known in the Russian business community. Pavel Grachev’s most recent major project is Detsky Mir, where he was an investor holding a managerial position.

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Brief biography

Pavel Grachev was born in Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg).

In 1997, he received his first degree at the University of Trieste with a specialty in legal studies. Meanwhile, he was studying at the Faculty of Law at the St. Petersburg State University and defended his diploma in 1998.

First steps in business

Pavel Grachev started his career as the head of the Moscow branch of the large Italian law firm Pavia e Ansaldo. In this position, he gained experience in corporate law and international transactions.

In 2010, Grachev was appointed a head of Uralkali, one of the world’s leading producers of mineral fertilizers. For three years he had been serving as president, CEO and Chairman of the Board.

Pavel Grachev’s further career path was associated with PJSC Polyus, the largest Russian gold mining company. For eight years (from 2014 to 2022), he was the CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. In the spring of 2022, Grachev left Polyus and decided to focus on his own projects.

Projects in Detsky Mir

In April 2022, the ex-head of the gold mining holding acquired a portion of the Detsky Mir’s interest and became a member of its Board of Directors. His vision for this project was beyond a financial benefit ­– he was preoccupied with adjusting the retailer’s business strategy to the principles of sustainable development.

During his years in the management of Detsky Mir, Pavel Grachev introduced a number of ESG practices. One of them was transitioning to eco-friendly packaging. The study of market trends has shown that reducing the harmful impact on the environment is crucial to boosting competitive advantages. To achieve this, the customers were offered to use disposable paper bags and reusable fabric shoppers instead of plastic bags. The first year into the program demonstrated remarkable sales of 840+ thousand pieces of eco-packaging.

The collection of old clothes and shoes was the second large-scale project launched and guided by Pavel Grachev at Detsky Mir. The retailer offered its customers to bring their old items in exchange for a discount coupon to get new products in the chain’s stores. The collected unwanted clothing was sent for recycling or disposal.

With Pavel Grachev in charge, Detsky Mir was set on a steady course toward a safer environment and better future. The retailer has made significant progress in expanding its chain by increasing the number of stores and achieving stable net growth.

In 2023, Pavel Grachev sold his stake in Detsky Mir to an investment consortium led by Alexei Zuev, the founder of the Korablik chain of children’s products. The deal was sealed in early May.

Today, Mr. Grachev neither owns assets nor holds any senior position in any Russian company.

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