Getting to Know You: Kretov Aleksandr, Behind Ariant’s Success

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Born in Chelyabinsk in 1972, Kretov Aleksandr went on to have a career as an outstanding entrepreneur. Today, he remains a dormant shareholder of the Ariant Group of Companies, which he created, as well as a respected philanthropist.

During his early years, Aleksandr fostered a determination for hard work and self-improvement through education. His academic journey began in 1989 at the Chelyabinsk Polytechnic Institute, today known as the South Ural State University, where he gained a degree in Electrical Engineering, graduating in 1994. This was just the beginning of his pursuit of knowledge, continuing his studies at the Financial University. Aleksandr specialised in Finance and Credit, and became a certified economist in 1996.

Kretov Aleksandr‘s entrepreneurial spirit came to the fore in 1995 when he was appointed head of construction at the Centre for the Food Industry – Ariant in Chelyabinsk. Soon after, the company strategically invested in agrofirm Yuzhnaya, thereby securing a foothold in the prestigious wine-producing Krasnodar region. Fuelled by his maxim: The future begins today, Aleksandr and his team took on all the challenges of succeeding in the grape-growing industry. Through adept management skills, modernisation and effective partnerships with international oenologists, he revived the tradition of good wine-making in the region. Originally established as Kuban-Vino in the 1950s, the dilapidated winemaking centre was transformed and revitalised under his vision. 

This paved the way for a new chapter in Ariant’s history. Kretov Aleksandr’s resourceful and innovative approach to the business set a high standard for the Ariant team – that of strategic development, change through modernisation and growth – key moves which are still very much at the core of the Ariant business ethos today.

In 2023, Kuban-Vino winery produced nearly 100 million bottles of wine. The company is systematically modernising its equipment and implementing the best international practices aiming to increase its bottling capacity by 2025. The total area of the agrofirm Yuzhnaya vineyards today amounts to 9,157 hectares which is approximately 32% of the total area of vineyards in the Krasnodar region. 

In 2016, Kretov Aleksandr was appointed CEO of Agrofirma Ariant LLC, a company specialising in meat production. It was here that his flair for strategic development, employing the latest production processes and a focus on rapid growth became like a rehearsal for what was to follow. His keen and analytical eye on the home consumer meat market and the demands it presented led to the company’s rapid development. Having set the standard here, Kretov Aleksandr made a sideways move to become Deputy CEO for Development at the Center for the Food Industry – Ariant LLC. That was in 2019 and today, under the same business strategy which he instilled, the company keeps growing steadily, having notched up 80,000 tons of meat products produced in 2023.

In 2020, Kretov Aleksandr decided to step down from his management role, relinquishing any direct command over the running of the businesses, but remained a shareholder within the newly formed Ariant Group of Companies, which remains so today. This amalgamated the various Ariant enterprises, emphasising modern business practices and environmentally sustainable production methods. 

Beyond his business acumen, Kretov is known for his philanthropic initiatives, supporting youth sports programs, and local initiatives in Chelyabinsk and Krasnodar regions. During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, he extended substantial personal assistance to healthcare professionals, reflecting his deep appreciation for their dedicated service.

Kretov Aleksandr’s life journey is not only one of entrepreneurial success but also a story of innovation, resilience, and a commitment to building a sustainable future.