SINGAPORE (Feb 14): Until about eight years ago, Russian agriculture company Don Agro Inter- national was a distressed asset suffering from poor management and weak corporate governance. The production of wheat – its core crop – was done using outdated farming equipment and grown with insufficient fertilisers. Its dairy cows were also not looked after properly as employee morale was low.

That all changed when the company was acquired in 2012 by its current executive chairman Evgenii Tugolukov and chief executive Marat Devlet-Kildeyew via their investment vehicle Vallerd Investments. The pair previously ran an engineering business that operated in Russia’s power generation industry. They then decided to venture into agriculture as they recognise the potential that could be realised by adoption of new technologies, new processes and new management.

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