First employee in USA – Alexey Chicherov
Alex Chicherov, who lives in New York, began to work in Impulse Machine startup as US projects' development manager half a year ago. He became the first employee of the KB-12 corporate group who works in America. In autumn he was in Moscow and met his team for the first time. We asked about his live in another country, first meeting with his colleagues and what he is really proud of.
Tell us about your professional experience.

While studying at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (my specification was engineering management), I started to work in a major power engineering company. I was in charge of developing forecast models and analytical reports for energy companies. I worked there for about 5 years and last few years I was quite successfully engaged in Business Development. I attracted new international clients. And I chose to go on with my career in this field, so when I arrived in USA, I took few courses for project management at NYU SCPS (School of Advanced Studies at New York University). And later I took the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification exam.

Why USA and why New York?

I moved here because of my wife - she is a correspondent for TASS news agency. About two years ago she was offered to head their office at the United Nations. I was going to change my job anyway and we decided to move. In the US I worked in several places, but I was constantly looking for a job that would be more challenging and where both - the product and the team – would inspire me. And finally I found it here.

How you joined Impulse Machine?

In summer I responded to a vacancy on hh.ru, wrote a long covering letter, I even recorded a video to prove my level of English. Then I needed to come back to Moscow to renew my visa and here I was able to meet in person with our commercial director Tatyana Alexandrova. It seemed to me that we liked each other and, as soon as I returned to New York, I received a job offer from Impulse Machine.

In your opinion, why Impulse Machine needs an employee in the USA?

I'm not sure if the team initially had the goal of finding a person in the United States, because at the BizDev position you can work remotely from almost anywhere in the world. Here it was just a combination of luck: Impulse team had plans to enter the LBVR market in America, I had a desire to work in the USA as a BizDev because it's crazy interesting for me.

Tell us a bit more about what you do at Impulse Machine?

When I joined, my goal as a Business Developer was to promote our VR content distribution platform ImpulseVR, to create a partner network around the world. Since the project kick-off in September, we have already provided our planform to 30 locations around the USA. But since then my responsibilities cover not only the entertainment market, but also our retail, research an education solutions. We help businesses to unleash the power VR and there's so much we can offer – people still don't fully utilise the full potential of technology. So basically I am responsible for all Impulse Machine US inquiries.

By the way, your Facebook profile description says: "BizDev for ImpulseVR, the world's best LBVR content provider". Why it's the best?

First of all, I'm extremely happy to work at Impulse Machine – I'm excited about my everyday tasks. For me it was an unexpected, new feeling, in previous companies I did not feel this way. At first, I was even scared and looking for something bad as I just thought everything could not that great. Secondly, we are really awesome. Besides having high-quality content for LBVR, we also provide them with turnkey marketing and most VR locations in the US have very poor promotion, especially SMM. We stand out against the American competitors, even very skeptical people recognize it.
Co-working space in New York city
Your whole team is in Moscow – over 7 thousand kilometers and different time zones separate you from them. Does it affect your work?

The only disadvantage of working in another country is that I don't have enough live contacts with the team. Although I work from WeWork co-working space Impulse Machine rents out for me in New York city and we have kind of our own community there, it's not the same.

The time difference is not a problem at all. Over the six months of my work, there was only one problem which I couldn't solve immediately because of the time difference and I had to wait until the morning in Moscow. But usually we resolve all issues with the team very quickly online.

I don't know how the guys managed to create such atmosphere, but although we can communicate only remotely, I treat them like a family.

My wife sometimes asks me when I'll stop talking about my work, but I literally just can't.

After all, not so long ago you met the whole Impulse team in person…

Yes, I initially came for a job interview in the summer but back then I met only with Tatyana. In November, I managed to come to Moscow and get to know everyone, we even went to an industry conference together. At first it was a strange sensation - like I know a lot about these people, but for a long time we only solved working issues in chat rooms. Getting to know them in real life felt great.

Do you miss Russia?

Very much. New York, of course, is a cool place, but Moscow is still the best city in the world.

What is KB-12 for you?

Team, goals, development.