Select language:

Russian Old Believers' Business works well in Australia

 /  / Russkiy Mir Foundation / Publications / Russian Old Believers' Business works well in Australia

Russian Old Believers' Business works well in Australia

22.12.2017

Some people associate contemporary business society with values that are very far from Christian ones. Someone views this as a greed, feels a desire to get rich using others, thinks that business and honesty contradict each other. But the life proofs opposite.

Door Manufacturer company Kelso works for almost 40 years in sunny Australia, very far from Russian borders. Kelso director is a hereditary Old Believer, 71 years oldMikhail Ovchinnikov. Milkhail Moiseevich is full of energy and keeps pace with so many things that it's easy to envy him. Businessman, community activist and philanthropist proves with his life that the faith in God helps to achieve success in all endeavors, including business.

KELSO Company Staff


According to the businessman, the Old Believers' faith comprising diligence, work unity and mutual support principles helped his large family to achieve success on the fifth continent. “We were never scared of hard work since any work for Old Believer is pleasant,” shares Mikhail.

Australian entrepreneur was born in Trekhrechie village (Three-river village) in China where his parents had to escape after Russian Revolution in 1917. They lived modestly but happy, keeping strict order in community. All members of the large family worked, no one was alcoholised, no one been idle. All Sundays were devoted to God, they went to church and prayed old manuscripts.

After the communist regime was established in China the life of Mikhail's family has became too hard. In 1962 the big family consisting of parents, two brothers and five sisters had to escape again, this time to Australia.

At the age 16 Mikhail found himself in an absolutely unknown setting - new country with unknown culture and foreign language that he didn't understand. Yes, we didn't feel easy. Although we had to survive somehow, we had to make money to pay for food and for a roof, shares today's millionaire Ovchinnikov. On the third day of our stay I took a job in a laundry. For someone it might look humiliating. But I wasn't scared to work, I was ready to do everything I could to be independent.

Three years after emigrating to Australia Mikhail opened his own business. At first he worked as constructor, then opened a store, then started manufacturing doors. Of course not everything ran smoothly – there were good and bad days, there were ups and downs. However, Mikhail continued working day-by-day, moving slowly towards the set target. Lucky moments don't cause overly joy and losses for their part, don't bring Old-Believers down. We overcome everything with the help of the faith, smiles Ovchinnikov.

After almost 40 years of hard work his company is well-known in and outside Australia being the most successful company among Russian compatriots' businesses in Australia. Kelso has also entered 500 top list of private companies in New South Wales. It received the first prize in 2013 as the Best Ethnic Business.

Knowing deprivation from his own experience, Mikhail Ovchinnikov feels committed to give job those in need, who moved to Australia because of prevailing circumstances. He knows like no one else all the job and money-related burdens that newcomers experience. I have one rule: if one has made money he should know that God gives a possibility to help someone else. I have helped many people, and the God has reciprocated with good friends and new ideas.

Among others, young people from Sri Lanka work in Kelso. They produce beautiful doors with machine tools and planers for private customers and for major organizations. Today these workers own nice cars and rent spacious apartments, help their relatives in motherland, they can even take credit or mortgage in bank... However just a few know how hard their life was just several yers ago, when they had to escape Sri Lanka leaving close ones behind. Some of these asylum seekers have miraculously survived arriving in Australia by boat.

When I first saw them at the company's gates, my heart sank. These simply dressed young guys came to search for a job without any qualifications and any knowledge of English. They only knew one word that they've repeated continuously - work, work, recalls Mikhail. They came to my gates several days in the row how I could leave them in the lurch?

Businessman hired Sri-Lankans and started teaching them all necessary skills from the scratch. At first it wasn't easy, counting lack of experience and a language barrier. However, Mikhail treated them with understanding. He's always remembered his own hard way to success, he knew that any knowledge doesn't come quickly and a patience is needed. Today, after few years passed, young workers have necessary qualifications.

Through his own example Mikhail Ovchinnikov have proved: the faith doesn't contradict business and conscience.The faith helps to run a business, work productively and benefit society.

New publications

Just recently many foreign editions have noted the excellent organization of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Today they paid attention to the great performance of the Russian team in the debut match with Saudi Arabia. Indeed, we have much to be proud and glad of.
On June 12 participants of the Friendship Train Berlin Moscow 2018 project came back to Moscow having completed 9 different routes around Russian regions. They have been to Saint Petersburg, Crimea, Sochi, Vologda, Nizhny Novgorod, the Baikal Lake and even Chechnya. The strongest impression of the trip is common desire of people from different countries to live in peace and friendship unshakable by anti-Russian propaganda.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is taking place in Russia. That is what FIFA decided on December 2, 2010. 13 Russian cities sent bids to host the event and 11 sites won to host the forthcoming championships. So, what are the cities that are hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup? The World Championship matches will take place in Moscow, Sochi, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Saransk, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad.
On May 5, one of the Baltic fleet's ships left Kroonstad carrying on board representatives of the Western military district, Moscow Religious Academy and members of the Bow to the Ships of the Great Victory expedition. Their purpose is to tribute the honoured dead of the Soviet submarines lost while forcing German mine obstacles. Konstantin Bogdanov, the leader of the project talks about this unusual initiative.
Norway's Dusia, China's Marusia... A group of professional folk musicians from St. Petersburg Otava Yo should be in charge if Russian names to become popular in the closest future. Oi Dusya, oi Marusya song has become a hit last year. Its video version was called The Best Music Video at the New York Cinema Festival. Otava Yo hit the world stage back in 2015 with Sumetskaya song and music video. Just on Youtube the video was watched 14 million times, which is an absolute record among Russian folk groups. Now I want to learn Russian, one of the listeners wrote. Some tell it to the musicians personally.
Two people have already been put in jail PhD in Economics A. Gaponenko, and journalist V. Linderman. Other people who took part in the All-Latvian Parents Meeting recently held in Riga and dedicated to the Russian schools reorganization are being closely watched by the local security services.
Universities popular with foreign students are not only the ones of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Kursk State Medical University has been teaching foreign students for nearly 30 years. It has won the fame of the most popular medical higher educational institution for students from abroad for all of these years. The Kursk State Medical Universitys Rector Victor Lazarenko, tells the success story.
Many events dedicated to the Victory Day to be held on this holiday season in London and other cities of Great Britain. Most of them would never happened without the volunteers' assistance. This challenging job is held by the Russian Voluntary Bureau. Its director Ekaterina Chernyaeva explains how the Voluntary Service became the part of the peoples diplomacy.