You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.


Новости From activist to businessman: Dmitry Dmitriev: About stereotypes in education, self-development and main qualities of entrepreneurs

2019-08-13 16:39:00

From activist to businessman: Dmitry Dmitriev: About stereotypes in education, self-development and main qualities of entrepreneurs

From activist to businessman: Dmitry Dmitriev: About stereotypes in education, self-development and main qualities of entrepreneurs

Dmitry Dmitriev is 30 years old, he was born and raised in Almaty. After finishing school in 2006, he entered Almaty Management University, “Economics and Finance”  specialty. After graduating, Dmitry worked in the UAE, the Netherlands and Switzerland, and in 2014 returned to Kazakhstan to develop his own business.

He currently heads “Flow International” office in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, and is also involved in the development of “My Future Today” project. Flow International helps organizations strengthen their company culture, and My Future Today is aimed at adolescents’ development and identity formation.

Dmitry told how work in different countries is changing the perception of the world, why competition at the level of services and goods is not relevant, and what qualities are needed to create your own business.

Student years

My story with AlmaU began a little earlier than that of freshmen in 2006. At UNT, I scored one point less to graduate with honors and receive a grant in my specialty. But I learned that AlmaU holds its own MegaChance grant competition. The history of this annual Olympiad for applicants begins in 2005. MegaChance is an opportunity to win a 100% grant or a discount on university studies for the entire period of study.

To pass the contest, you had to shoot a video, write an essay, pass a test in two specialized subjects of UNT or CT and pass IQ test and develop own business plan. Participation in the Olympiad requires thorough preparation. I remember that I spent the great part of my holidays preparing for an essay and working on a business plan. As a result, I was given a 100% grant for all four years of study. I remember how proud I was that parents would not have to pay for my studies. This was a significant victory for me on the path to conquering higher peaks in life.

AlmaU had a very friendly atmosphere, all students from different courses and in a stream communicated with each other. Many did assignments together in the library, you could always come to the department, if you have questions, and get answers to them. In the first few weeks of study, I decided for myself that I want to diversify my student experience as much as possible and joined almost all student organizations and initiatives. It was a student newspaper, a mountain club, a debate club, representative offices of international youth organizations like AIESEC. I was not the head of the group, but always had an informal active role among students of our stream. The so-called active student team, of which I was a part, consisted of students from all courses, thanks to this I not only made friends, but also changed my views on the future and career.

Дмитрий дмитриев

Work abroad

After I graduated, I had several offers from international companies. I decided to try something new and flew to work in Dubai, that time I was 21 years old. I worked in education, sales and business development. In a new country, I met with directors of international and Arab companies and created partnerships, as well as engaged in development of employees of these organizations. This experience was a kind of school of life and independence for me.

After working in the UAE, I began to look at the world as a single platform of opportunities. Who said that now I can’t go to other country and find myself there?

I moved to the Netherlands, to the head office of the organization in which I worked in Dubai. Only now, in 22-23 years, I had a global role - I was responsible for strategic partnerships and business development in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and England. During my work in this position, I spent six months on business trips in Singapore, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Nairobi and London. This experience shaped my thinking as a citizen of the world and laid a good foundation in the early years of my career.

Then I decided to try my hand in the field of online marketing and moved to Zurich, where I worked for a year in an international company in the field of teaching foreign languages. Then I was responsible for the entire Russian-speaking region in terms of contextual advertising and paid search (paid search). Here I learned new trends in advertising and features of the region.

In 2014, I realized that at this stage of my life, with all my baggage of experience, skills and a more global outlook, I want to influence the development of society in Kazakhstan.

Дмитрий дмитриев

Idea for business

Abroad, I met a large number of ideological people who greatly influenced my development and attitude. With several of them, we decided to found a company to develop people and organizations. When I worked in the Netherlands, I went through several educational programs and trainings that really impressed me. I was struck by both the training format itself and the approach to people. Then I had the idea that it would be cool if such a company was in Kazakhstan. During the trainings, we made friends with our current colleagues, kept in touch for several years, and then very organically and mutually agreed that the developing market of Kazakhstan could be a good point of presence for us.

Now I head the office of Flow International in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. We help organizations develop and strengthen the company's culture in order to build a business with soul and meaning. Over the past five years, we have been growing on average 2-2.5 times a year. Our clients are medium and large businesses who have a request for the conscious development of the organization’s culture. Today, the accelerating pace of development, the rapid growth of technology and the uncertainty in the markets create the need for constant updating of business models for organizations and rethinking their strategy.

Now it’s almost impossible to compete at the level of products and services provided - competition between management models and organizational cultures is unfolding.

In this we also help clients at various stages: diagnosis of culture, its activation and sustainable support.

Дмитрий дмитриев

About “My Future Today” project

In 2016, we realized that we want to help not only employees and leaders of organizations change their culture, but also, using personal development tools, we want to help adolescents in self-determination and development. So, we simultaneously launched “My Future Today” project for young people from 14 to 18 years old. Our guys go through a business game that allows them to plunge into adulthood from 18 to 30 years old. They decide for themselves how to spend their time and the money they earn in the game. And then they face the consequences of their decisions and become aware of their beliefs and how they look at the future, goals and profession. They wake up with curiosity and interest in research - themselves and the world. They become more responsible and independent.

These two areas: development of adolescents and work on the culture of organizations, in other words - education and consulting, occupy most of my time and carry me away. This is amazing: to see the result of own efforts when people open up and live a more conscious and happy life. And it doesn’t matter if they are fifteen or fifty.

Main qualities of a businessman

Before starting my own business, I worked in the international organization EF Education First in Switzerland, where I had a good salary. On the one hand, I had a good career development prospect, on the other, I realized that I could realize myself faster in my projects. The first quality that is needed is the courage to take responsibility for  own development and future.

The second quality, which is inextricably linked with the first, is a vision of what you want to achieve, what you plan to create, where and for whom. Whether creating projects in this city to earn money or creating an international companion-leader in the market in their industry. The scale of vision and thinking determines your actions and actions every day.

Third is the ability to put together a strong team. In my opinion, this is what distinguishes entrepreneurs from self-employed people. This moment includes several others: you need to inspire people with your vision, show how they can grow with you and learn how to set tasks and delegate. I am still learning to let go of control, because by nature it’s easier for me to do everything myself. And it really slows me down as a leader.

Дмитрий дмитриев


I like traveling. By the age of thirty, I havevisited 56 countries. They are mainly in Europe, the USA, countries of Asia and Africa. I went to work in some countries, was invited to conferences somewhere, and somewhere I was a tourist. In this sense, I am proud of the wider worldview that has emerged after contact with many cultures. I am very comfortable in European countries, especially attracted by the Mediterranean: Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Balkans. There is a charm in Southeast Asia. Here I like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, but my greatest love is the Middle East! I am amazed at the hospitality of people, delicious cuisine and culture. I would once again with great pleasure visit Iran, Lebanon and Jordan.

Дмитрий дмитриев

In my free time from projects, I try to spend time outdoors. Five or six years ago I became interested in running, and after a year or two I decided to combine it my passion to mountains. Therefore, as an amateur, I still do mountain jogging – sky running. In Almaty, this direction is becoming popular.

A couple of times I had the opportunity to run an ultramarathon - running over a distance of more than 42 kilometers. So, I ran an ultramarathon in the steppe, near the Ili River, with a total length of 73 kilometers.

Дмитрий дмитриев

Recommendations for students and graduates

As my experience shows, studying at university is the best opportunity to get to know yourself. Better, of course, to start at school. But a slightly more conscious, adult view of things is being formed at university. I would recommend to all students to be proactive, to use all opportunities while studying and ask yourself sometimes: “What did I learn about myself and discover about the world?” Due to the fact that education is a paid service, students like to complain on different things at university. They begin to think like consumers. In my opinion, you need to think from the perspective of the "author". To think about how you can improve your experience at university.

I know many people who, after graduation, do not understand what they want to do and what employers need. The university provides a good platform for answering such questions.

Рекомендации учебным заведениям либо университетам либо вузам

Recommendations for universities

  • • I would advise to continue to listen to students and go towards them. This is what has always distinguished AlmaU.

    • Invite more business people to communicate with undergraduate students, not just graduate students.

    • Integrate Project Based Learning approaches so that students have more opportunities to develop teamwork and real-life project skills.


© All Rights ReservedPrivacy Policy.