What is YPO? Interview with Johnny Manglani, Chairman of the YPO Gold Moscow Chapter and the President, CEO of Uomo Group

Johnny briefly, what is YPO?

YPO International is the premiere organization for members from around the world, it’s a non profit, focused on education & networking for entrepreneurs. We are 24,000 strong members and as an economy we would be the 3rd largest economy globally with chapters from many countries & states. Being a member of YPO is the best calling card & prestigious, there is however a big barrier to qualify for being a member.

How long has YPO been running in Russia?

YPO Russia was founded by Ruben Vardanian in 2001 with about 10 members, he was later on succeeded by Dmitry Agarunov, the modern YPO as it is today was relaunched by Dinesh Shahani of Sprandi in 2007 and since than it has gone from strength to strength.

Who are your members, Russians?, foreigners?, what kind of businesses are represented, how many people are in YPO now?

YPO is an exclusive Top Gun organization, this means our members are either owners / founders of business or CEO’s of companies. Members are from varied industries & businesses, today we are almost 70 members from Moscow & St Petersburg.

Have you experienced a downturn since 2014?
Not really, we are very selective of who we let in and once you are in than you stay as you get lots of value by being a member.

YPO seems to be based on sharing experiences. How does that work in Russia? Is Russia a naturally ‘sharing’ country, or are there barriers which need to be overcome?

Members network between themselves and also are part of forums within the chapter, your forum friends act as your private board of directors and you share a lot of confidences with each other. Sharing experiences include business, adventures & family.

How does being a YPO in Russia work? What advantages apart from networking does membership bring?

Networking, Forums, Education, International Connections, Family Involvement, etc…are some of the many benefits of being YPO members

Can you help members hook up with YPO’s in other countries?

We are present in more than 120 countries & so yes of course, in any given week of the year there are 2 YPO events happening that are open to members.

How do you see YPO developing in the future in Russia?

As mentioned we are very selective & have strong rules, for example members are not supposed to solicit business or share confidential information. One has to qualify financially & has to lead an organization that qualifies as a member, our focus is on quality. & not on quantity. We are happy to grow at about 20% per year meaning 15 new members is plenty.

How do people join YPO?

Usually new members join YPO by recommendations. There are several conditions to join us – business scope, number of employees, willingness to participate actively in YPO life and to involve your family.

Hannes Chopra: YPO member, CEO of Sberbank Insurance

How long have you been working in Moscow? What is your position and for which company?

The first time I came to Russia in 1992 was as a student. I went on the Trans-Siberian train to Irkutsk. Since 1998 I have been visiting Russia for business. And since 2004 I live and work here permanently. I am now the CEO of Sberbank Insurance, an insurance start-up which I built up in the last 2 years. We are a 100% subsidiary of Sberbank, the largest Russian and Eastern European bank.

How long have you been a member of YPO?

I am a member since 2010. YPO Russia under the leadership of Vadim Beliakov is expanding and adding many new dimensions to its value proposition. So it’s an excellent time to join!

What benefits do you gain from membership?

YPO has changed my life and my attitude towards life and leadership. YPO is a commitment, it’s not a club. It’s a promise to engage yourself, to reflect, to share, to never stop learning, to build and develop unique, emotionally intimate relationships. The more you engage, the more you get out.