11 September, 2015
Future Created Me: Ivan Afanasov

Speaking on Nanofiber, multitasking and helping people! We proceed with the “Future Created Me” series of interviews with young entrepreneurs! Our today’s guest, Ivan Afanasov, in his school years had dreams in English and by 29 he established his own company which designs, produces and sells innovative bandages to heal wounds. Ivan is convinced that team is the most important factor in any business and advises anyone who is going to start his own business to walk out of his room for a start.
Read more below!

OI: What is the name of your project and what is it about?

Ivan Afanasov: The company is called Napoli. We developed, patented and brought to the Russian market ХитоПран® – an innovative wound cover bandage made of chitosan nanofiber, aimed at healing burns, trophic ulcers, and pressure sores. Its innovative nature comes from the fact that you don’t need to take it off, it resorbs naturally and is easily removed while cleansing the wound. In Russia sales of ХитоПран® reach more than 1000 packs per month, and we have already started CE registration procedure with ХитоПран® – it will open markets of Europe, Central and Southeast Asia where European standards are also applied. Besides, in 2016, in Russia we will start sales of the second-general product which will allow to heal infected wounds and wounds with necrotic tissue as well as to heal wounds without cicatrization.     
OI: What is the main benefit of your project?

Ivan Afanasov: The most important thing is that we help people (both very young and aged) to recover from wounds faster and better. And the faster wounds are healed, the faster patients are released from the hospital. And this is great! On the other hand, the Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund saves money, and doctors get more convenient and efficient bandage material.
OI: Why did you choose wound bandages as an object for your project?

Ivan Afanasov: Three factors were crucial:
1)    We found out the market demand for bandages that heal and resolve on their own.  
2)    We already knew how to make unique materials of nanofiber.
3)    We managed to find the strong production partner that also shared knowledge on sales.  
OI: What helps you and what, vice versa, distracts?

Ivan Afanasov: Team helps, multitasking distracts.  
OI: How long does your working day last?

Ivan Afanasov: It never ends. Owning business is so interesting and fascinating that you don’t want to stop.
OI: How do you spend your free time if you have it at all?

Ivan Afanasov: Sport, sport, sport plus travelling along South America.
OI: What would you advise a person who is starting his own business?

Ivan Afanasov:
1)    Walk out of your room
2)    Ask the market what it needs
3)    Produce the first version of your product as fast as you can
4)    Test your product with your potential clients
5)    Finalize your product with your potential clients  
6)    Make your first sale

OI: If there is anything, you would never refuse?

Ivan Afanasov: A double espresso.
OI: What do you think is the most important thing to succeed?

Ivan Afanasov: A team.
OI: What books would recommend to our subscribers?

Ivan Afanasov: Ben Horowitz “The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When 
There Are No Easy Answers”; Kurt Vonnegut “Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday”; A.T. Matveev, I.M. Afanasov «Producing Nanofiber by Electroforming”.
OI: What is your brightest memory of school?

Ivan Afanasov: The insight that when I sleep I have dreams in English.   


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