Maxim Plahtiy: “the Business of selling e-tickets was totally accidental”

 

34-the summer inhabitant of Kiev has not only created the largest in Ukraine network service for selling tickets to concerts and performances, but also became the main coordinator of the project “IT-” tent on the Maidan

Even the ancients said that people need bread and circuses. Modern humans have a problem with bread and circuses that now abound. The only mechanism to access them is changing rapidly. Today there is no need to go to the box office for a ticket to the show, you can get it from the comfort of home. “FACTS” continue the joint project with Dr. economy and successful businessman Eugene lang. It reports on the development of IT-technologies, heard on radio “Era” and are very popular (they are also posted on the website www. prostranstvo. kiev.ua). Guests Eugene lang — the most famous and influential people of domestic information business. Recently, his interlocutor was Maxim Plahtiy.

Maxim Plahtiy was born in July 1979. Graduated from Kyiv national economic University, specialty — “economic Cybernetics”. Candidate of economic Sciences. IT-entrepreneur, investor, expert and head of the infrastructure projects in the field of information technology, front office systems, e-Commerce, culture and show business. Founder “Front.Manager”. Founder of the Agency Karabas.com leader and the largest online sellers of tickets for concerts and entertainment events. The main coordinator of the project “IT-” tent on the Maidan.

Agency Karabas.com at the beginning of 2014 has sold over 2 billion in tickets to more than ten thousand entertainment events, including concerts, shows, theatrical performances, circus performances and festivals. For three years the Agency has become a national company that combines a 131 checkout in 34 cities of Ukraine and implements 90% of all electronic tickets in the country.

“The capital exceeded a million dollars when I was 26 years old”

— How would you describe their main occupation?

— I am a business owner and as an entrepreneur spend a lot of time to organize the business and communication with top-managers, programmers. I admit, not enough time. But in order to be successful, you need to apply yourself in different areas, to find new solutions, develop available.

— How do you do types of online business?

— Today two. The first is the creation, development and support of the company “Front.the Manager of the” platform for easy purchase of tickets online. The second project Karabas.com that is a seller, the operator of the market.

— But if to consider all online and offline businesses, how much would you estimate the share of companies and stocks that you own?

— Millions of dollars. But to give an exact amount, you need to seek the assistance of investment bankers.

— How old were you when your capital exceeded one million dollars?

— Twenty-six.

— Your specialty — “economic Cybernetics”. It helps in business priorities?

— Definitely. The systems thinking inherent in the people working with information technology, playing a major role. Because important business processes and the ability to understand them and to structure. The next significant element is the ability to find the goal. After a talk about Cybernetics, then before you take on the task, you need to put the question: “who needs it?” And then: “How to do it?” The same questions you ask yourself when doing business. In the complex this allows you to correctly set a goal and find the optimal ways to achieve it.

— How soon after graduation did you start programming?

— I can’t say that I’m a programmer. The code is wrote only in the University. My first home computer was Search. I do it with magazines loaded basic (programming language) and tried to program. Even wrote my own graphical editor. However, my specialty is still first and foremost a Manager. From the second course dealt with the organization of the project, that is supervised by programmers.

— The period when you yourself wrote the program code did you use?

— Of course! After all, to manage people, you need to clearly understand how they work, what do you think, what I live for.

“To go for e-ticket, will not have to pay for Express delivery too”

— At what point did you decided to do business?

It is hard to say. I’ve always been a businessman, to one degree or another. Man I’m pretty adventurous. Once collected computers. But then, when computers ceased to be sold in the basement and appeared in stores, we have started to do websites, make programs and so on.

— Maxim, are examples of business processes that are automated, your company “Front.Manager”.

— The most successful project is the creation in Ukraine the infrastructure of the electronic ticket. By the way, the beginning of the project were in crisis in 2008.

— What sales have been achieved of the company till 2008?

Pool orders “Front.Manager” in the beginning of 2008 was about 2 million dollars. When I was engaged in the creation of software to order. But then accidentally switched to the business of selling tickets. One of our clients asked us to develop a system for implementation of electronic tickets. We started, but soon the customer complained about financial problems and halted the process. But any programmer knows that stopping the creation of the program is very painful. To restore the then extremely difficult. We therefore at your own risk and decided to bring the project to the end. Moreover, the product I found it interesting and relevant. Moreover, when we started to analyze the market, explore similar options, they began to identify the problems and work hard to prevent them in our system. Since the client refused to Finance the program, they undertook for the implementation of the business. So I became the owner of a ticketing Agency Karabas. The Company “Front.Manager” developed the technology of electronic tickets and Karabas this technology uses and sells tickets. I am concurrently the owner of “Front.Manager” and a shareholder of the company Karabas.

— What was the market for the sale of theatre and concert tickets Ukraine when you came to it?

The market was established, and the model itself the sale of tickets has not changed for eighty years. All the process is quite clearly regulated by law. There was strict ticketing manual. And almost all sites for sale of tickets were in state ownership. So the problems were many.

However helped the case, but rather, an initiative of the Ministry of culture of Ukraine on introduction of electronic tickets at the national theatres. The Company “Front.Manager” participated in the tender, won it, and we do build a so-called unified ticketing field in Ukraine. First it was joined theaters of Kyiv Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainka, and the national Opera. Now we joined the Odessa Opera and many other theatres and concert halls.

— Maxim, what Karabas different from other ticket sellers, for example, from Parter.ua?

The first difference is that we are ideologues of the electronic ticket. And the second is that you do not need to go to the cashier or courier delivery order to buy a ticket. Karabas has the advantage of technology.

— Tell me, what is an electronic ticket.

— This is a very convenient form of shopping. I think many of you faced with the purchase of tickets. Here a similar system. Order tickets online and pay through payment systems. It is enough to download e-mail file, print it and you can go to a play or concert.

— You say that your service is more convenient. And as to the price?

In all the world for such services charged a service fee. In Ukraine today, you service fee does not pay and actually receive a ticket for its face value.

— What is the rate of growth of sales of e-tickets in Ukraine?

— If in 2012 on the electronic accounted for only 7 percent of tickets sold, in 2013 — already about 31 percent. That is, the number of electronic tickets sold has risen four times.

— Do you think that in the future will be paper tickets?

— I think so. At the box office of the theaters or concert halls, they will still sell to those wishing to buy and once to go to the event. And a lot of people collect tickets, left in memory.

— Does Russia have a similar software solution?

— Maybe they are, but until they are on the Russian market.

— In the world there are competitors?

Yes. It’s Ticketmaster and Eventteam who are world leaders in the sale of electronic tickets. Our company could compete with them. But the domestic market still lags behind. In the West, 98 percent of tickets sold electronic, yet slightly more than 30 percent.

“Through our “IT-tent” on independence passed thousands of people of different ages and professions”

— You are the coordinator of the project “IT-” tent on the Maidan. What he is to you?

— First and foremost it is a civil initiative. Very important for me to be useful. To show that the pros do not care what happens in the country and to offer people your knowledge and capabilities to achieve a common goal.

— As I’m a participant in this project, you know, through what stages it passed. But tell our readers about it.

— Began with the quite well-known IT entrepreneur Yury Chaika suggested to put on the Maidan his tent — “IT-tent”. We are on Facebook began to discuss how to do it, what are the tasks, who should lead the organization. As for my candidacy was voted on by the majority, I became the main coordinator of the project. Within 24 hours we found the money, bought and put up a tent. Identified at first three functions: charging mobile devices, giving everyone open access to the Internet (which acquired tablet) and advising people on all matters related to the IT sector. When you consider that the Maidan is a cross — section of Ukrainian society, we saw that the demand for IT is enormous. Through our tent and passed thousands of people of different ages and professions.


*At first, the “IT tent” had three main functions: charging mobile devices, providing everyone access to the Internet and advising people on all matters related to the IT sector

 

We also created a software product SOS-button. Download the program on your phone or smartphone and in case of any problems, just press the SOS button, as soon as the call comes to the specified number, sends a sms with your GPS coordinates, and people know where you are and what needs help. We also implemented the project of finding information about dead and missing people — sos. it-namet.com.ua.

— By the way, IT is the only branch of Ukrainian economy, which has put his tent on the Maidan. Why did this happen?

— Because we are cool! (Laughs.) It is very important that will eventually be able to transfer their “IT-tent” in the virtual state. This is quite interesting, because we can already see that she has become a great communication platform for social projects.

Today there is a national initiative to create the basis of “IT tent” kind of the IT community, which would help the people working in this industry to unite, to Express their opinions, find like-minded people, to implement projects aimed at the development of the country. I know that you are now also’re co-ordinating the creation of such IT-community.

Yes. I don’t know yet, be it formally or informally, but we understand that there is a need to coordinate the emerging social ideas. For example, at least three teams are working today on the creation in Ukraine the model of so-called e-government. “IT tent” allowed the exchange of opinions and experience between these groups. The community has become not only a centre of communication and idea generation, but also a place where the same government will be able to receive quick and qualified help in such matters.

— What is the difference between created on the basis of “IT tent”, from other specialist communities it people?

Is initiative from below. We have no business interests. And there is a clear civil position, social responsibility of people willing and able to share their powers and knowledge for their own people, for the sake of Ukraine’s future.

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