Interviews and Reviews

Navigating Success in IT Project Management: An Interview with a tech expert and Entrepreneur Pavel Krovyakov

Pavel Krovyakov

IT project management is a very popular profession nowadays. We sat down and talked to Pavel Krovyakov, an exceptional IT project manager who brings over 14 years of experience in the field. With a proven track record of success, this seasoned professional has consistently completed large, complex, nationally significant projects to tight deadlines, on a smaller budget, and to the highest quality standards. 

Beginning their career in 2008, they quickly assumed responsibility for key projects in automating the pharmaceutical business. Notably, they successfully managed the implementation of an ERP system for Rigla, a large Russian federal pharmacy network. In 2013, they embarked on a remarkable journey, spearheading a regional medical information system project for the Tver region, starting from scratch and overseeing four contractors. This ambitious undertaking formed a vital part of the implementation of the Unified State Information System in the healthcare sector of the Russian Federation, involving the development, deployment, and training of the medical information system, equipment procurement, and ensuring information security. But they made the most outstanding and complex projects specifically for Moscow public transport. Join us as we delve into their wealth of knowledge and experiences in the captivating world of IT project management.

TB: What Inspired You to Start Your Business?

Pavel Krovyakov: I have been involved in IT project management since the very beginning of my career. In 2007, I graduated from the Information Technology and Business Faculty of Technical University with a degree in engineering. I then began my IT career at an IT company in Moscow, where I successfully implemented numerous innovative projects at the regional and national levels. Over the course of 13 years, I grew from being a regular IT manager to a C-level executive in the field.

In 2021, I decided to start my own business. I wanted to share my valuable and successful experience with various commercial and social organizations, contributing to their development. As a business owner, I am able to help multiple clients in solving their issues simultaneously, rather than just one organization, as I did in my previous role.

My focus is on clients who are currently transforming their businesses from national to international levels. I am pleased to be able to contribute to the successful achievement of their goals. When clients face the challenge of establishing a branch office, warehouse, or production facility in a new country, the question of organizing a secure IT environment arises. To address this issue, they can either search for local specialists or turn to individuals with a positive reputation, known for their expertise, responsibility, and integrity.

I have the experience, knowledge, and skills to help clients of all sizes achieve their IT goals. I am committed to providing my clients with the highest quality of service, and I am confident that I can help them achieve their business objectives.

TB: What inspired you to start your career in IT management?

Pavel Krovyakov:  Mastering the art of management is essential for any manager. It involves finding the right balance between solving strategic tasks and handling operational and project-related issues. It requires the practical application of both general management knowledge and deep technical expertise in implementing IT projects.

Here are some factors that can help managers master the art of management:

  • General management knowledge: This includes skills in planning, organizing work, motivating teams, task control, and analyzing intermediate results, along with project management methodologies.
  • Personal qualities: This includes a willingness to take responsibility, a desire to immerse oneself in the projects being implemented, and the presence of technical competence.
  • Teamwork: It is crucial for a manager to have the ability to form the right team from their employees, specialized contractors, vendors, and other partners, as well as the ability to be a leader when working with this team.

Managers who master the art of management will be able to achieve successful results in their IT projects. They will be able to find the right balance between strategic tasks and operational issues, and they will be able to motivate their teams to achieve their goals.


TB: Who Was Your Inspiration?

Pavel Krovyakov:  I am inspired by the positive impact of my projects on people’s lives. I have worked on projects that have satisfied millions of residents, passengers, and tourists, saved lives, prevented injuries and accidents, improved road safety for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, provided additional tools for people with disabilities, and ensured timely prescriptions and access to necessary medications.

I am proud to have made a positive impact on the lives of so many people. It is this sense of accomplishment that inspires me to continue working on projects that make a difference.

TB: Tell us more about your success journey in IT industry.

Pavel Krovyakov: I began my career in 2008 at a Moscow-based IT company, where I was responsible for key IT projects in automating the pharmaceutical business. I successfully managed an ERP system implementation project for a large Russian federal pharmacy network called Rigla.

In 2013, I successfully executed a regional medical information system project for the Tver region from scratch, involving four contractors. This project was part of implementing the Unified State Information System in the healthcare sector of the Russian Federation. It included the development, deployment, and training of the medical information system, equipment procurement, and ensuring the information security of the created solution.

In 2014, I held a CEO position and was responsible for managing the financial and economic activities of a small IT startup. Here, I gained my first international experience by collaborating with strategic partner IPro, a market leader in systems integration since 2001 in the Baltic region.

In 2015, I was invited to join Mosgortrans, the largest urban public transport operator in Europe. Until 2021, I was responsible for the entire IT direction, initially as an IT advisor to the CEO, and from 2017 as the Deputy CEO in charge of IT (CIO). My responsibilities included ensuring uninterrupted 24/7 operation and modernizing the existing territorially distributed IT infrastructure.

In 2021, I decided to start my IT consulting experience. I am passionate about helping businesses achieve their goals through the effective use of technology. I have a proven track record of success in delivering complex projects, and I am confident that I can help your business succeed.

I have a strong technical background and a proven ability to manage complex projects. I am also a skilled communicator and have a proven ability to build strong client relationships.

I am confident that I can help your business achieve its goals. I look forward to discussing your needs and how I can help you succeed.

TB: Can you please tell us more about your many achievements? 

Pavel Krovyakov:

  • Efficient management of up to 10,000 vehicles in the Moscow city transport system, covering over 800 routes and facilitating more than 120,000 daily trips for over 5 million passengers.
  • Implementation of electronic display boards at bus stops with real-time vehicle arrival predictions spanning over 1,000 displays.
  • Introduction of a contactless payment system, allowing passengers to board buses through any door and saving them between five to 15 minutes of travel time.
  • Significant reduction in accidents in Moscow’s public transportation system, achieving a 26% decrease in the first year of implementing the “Antison” system.
  • Development of the “Moscow Transport” mobile application for creating multimodal routes, which has been downloaded over 2 million times in 2021 and now has over 4 million downloads. The app has a rating of 4.5 in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Contribution to the regional segment of the Unified Medical Information System, benefiting over 1 million residents, and digitization of the management process for social benefits in multiple regions, serving more than 1 million patients.
  • Automation of large-scale pharmacy networks in Russia, involving over a thousand pharmacy facilities and catering to millions of visitors.

TB: These IT Services Have Received Some National And International Awards And Honors. What Exactly?

Pavel Krovyakov: 

  • Transport Ticketing Global’s main prize for “Best Smart Ticketing System – 2020” in London, awarded for the “Automated Fare Collection System.”
  • Transport Ticketing Award 2021 in London for the “Best MaaS Initiative,” presented to the “Moscow Transport” mobile application.
  • Digital Leaders Award 2021 in the “Smart Solution of the Year” category for “Public Transport,” received by the “Moscow Transport” mobile application.
  • TRANStech Awards 2019 in London, in the MaaS category for the “Moscow Transport” mobile application.
  • RB Digital Awards, an independent award ceremony in Dubai, for the “Comprehensive Passenger Transport Management System.”
  • IT Stars National Award in honor of Georgy Gens in the category of “Innovative Social Project” for the “Antison Driver Monitoring System.”

TB: What Kind Of Innovations Did You Use In Your Successful Projects?

Pavel Krovyakov:

  • Web computer vision: This technology is used to extract information from images and videos. It is used in the “Antison” system to monitor the condition of public transport drivers.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): This technology is used to create intelligent agents that can learn and make decisions on their own. It is used in the “Antison” system to detect signs of driver fatigue and distraction.
  • Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS): This is a new paradigm for transportation that provides users with a single platform to access all of their transportation needs. It is used in the “Moscow Transport” mobile application to provide users with a single platform to plan, book, and pay for their transportation.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): This is a network of physical objects that are connected to the internet and can collect and exchange data. It is used in our complex passenger transport management systems to collect data on traffic conditions, passenger flow, and other factors.
  • Web-based systems: These are systems that are developed using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They are used to develop our mobile applications and other web-based solutions.

These innovations not only enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our solutions, but also contribute to improving the overall user experience and addressing societal challenges in the transportation sector.

For example, the “Antison” system has helped to reduce the number of accidents involving public transport drivers by 26%. The “Moscow Transport” mobile application has made it easier for passengers to plan and book their transportation, and has also helped to reduce traffic congestion. Our complex passenger transport management systems have helped to improve the efficiency of our transportation systems and have also helped to reduce pollution.

We are committed to using innovation to improve our solutions and to make a positive impact on the world.

TB: What Separates You from Your Competition?

Pavel Krovyakov:

  • Unique and successful experience: You have gained unique and successful experience in implementing IT projects in critical social sectors such as transportation and healthcare.
  • Relevant, innovative, and in-demand solutions: The solutions you have created are relevant, innovative, and in-demand. This is demonstrated by the fact that many countries and major cities are currently developing concepts for digital transformation, and many of them are replicating solutions that you and your team have already implemented.
  • Specialized expertise and competence: You have specialized expertise and competence in important social spheres, which is possessed by less than 1% of specialists and managers. This gives you a competitive edge and allows you to deliver exceptional value to your clients and partners.
  • Track record of successful projects: You have a track record of successful projects in the transportation and healthcare sectors. This demonstrates your ability to address complex challenges and deliver results.

TB: Who Are The Key Big Competitors In Your Professional Area?

Pavel Krovyakov:

Pavel Krovyakov

  • Microsoft: Microsoft is a global technology company that provides a wide range of software, hardware, and cloud computing services. It is a major player in the management consulting and niche industry IT expertise market.
  • IBM: IBM is another global technology company that provides a wide range of software, hardware, and cloud computing services. It is also a major player in the management consulting and niche industry IT expertise market.
  • Google: Google is a global technology company that provides a variety of online services, including search, advertising, cloud computing, and software. It is a major player in the management consulting and niche industry IT expertise market.
  • McKinsey: McKinsey is a global management consulting firm that provides strategic advice to businesses and governments. It is a leading player in the management consulting market.
  • TomTom: TomTom is a global navigation company that provides navigation devices, software, and maps. It is a leading player in the niche industry IT expertise market.

These companies are all large, well-established companies with a strong track record in the management consulting and niche industry IT expertise market. However, you have several advantages over these companies, including:

  • Faster decision-making and project implementation speeds: You are a smaller company than your competitors, which allows you to make decisions and implement projects more quickly. This is a major advantage in the fast-paced world of IT.
  • Broader range of competencies: You have a broader range of competencies than your competitors, which allows you to provide clients with comprehensive system solutions that meet their diverse needs.
  • Flexibility of project implementation on multi-vendor solutions: You have the flexibility to implement projects on multi-vendor solutions, which means that you can tailor solutions to the specific requirements of clients, rather than relying solely on individual vendor offerings.

TB: Which Obstacles Did You Face Along the Way?

Technical challenges:

  • Familiarizing oneself with and testing new technologies
  • Adapting new technologies to fit the needs of the enterprise
  • Infrastructure constraints
  • Significant distances between digitized objects
  • The need for seamless integration due to historical legacy
  • Competency limitations

Organizational challenges:

  • Lengthy coordination and obtaining regulatory documentation
  • Assignments to complete projects significantly faster than originally planned
  • Staff changes, especially towards the completion of projects
  • “Open” sabotage when functional users refuse to accept and work with something new
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Fears that the introduction of innovations is intended to harm employees rather than benefit the entire organization

These challenges are entirely solvable, but they require additional allocation of resources.

Here are some tips for overcoming these challenges:

Technical challenges:

  • Conduct thorough research and testing of new technologies before implementation.
  • Work with experienced vendors who can provide support and training.
  • Develop a detailed plan for integrating new technologies with existing systems.
  • Invest in training for employees on new technologies.

Organizational challenges:

  • Build relationships with key stakeholders and keep them informed of project progress.
  • Be flexible and willing to adapt plans as needed.
  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders.
  • Be prepared to address resistance to change.

TB: What Are the Biggest Challenges for Your Industry These Days?

Pavel Krovyakov:

  • Skills shortage: There is a shortage of skilled IT professionals in the market. This is due to a number of factors, including the rapid pace of technological change, the increasing complexity of IT systems, and the high demand for IT services.
  • Talent retention: IT professionals are in high demand, and they are often poached by other companies. This can make it difficult for companies to retain their top talent.
  • Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. As businesses become more reliant on technology, they are also becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
  • Compliance: Businesses are subject to a growing number of regulations, which can add complexity and cost to IT projects.
  • Agility: Businesses need to be able to adapt quickly to changes in the market. This requires IT systems that are flexible and scalable.

These challenges can make it difficult for businesses to implement successful IT projects. However, there are a number of things that businesses can do to address these challenges, such as:

  • Investing in training: Businesses can invest in training for their employees to help them develop the skills they need to succeed in the IT industry.
  • Offering competitive salaries and benefits: Businesses can offer competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain top talent.
  • Investing in cybersecurity: Businesses can invest in cybersecurity measures to protect their systems from cyberattacks.
  • Working with compliance experts: Businesses can work with compliance experts to ensure that their systems are compliant with all applicable regulations.
  • Building agile IT systems: Businesses can build agile IT systems that are flexible and scalable to meet the changing needs of the business.
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