Aleksander Ferents, founder of AK-Service
Aleksander Ferents has spent the last 25 years growing his company, AK-Service. Now, with lucrative contracts signed and more on the horizon, Ferents is celebrating the fruits of his labor – but not resting on his laurels
From humble beginnings
I founded AK-Service in 1994. Our first major projects were the Business and Economy Class amenity kits for Russian Railways. At that time, Russian Railways was just beginning to develop its onboard service, which resulted in the need for creating, producing and supplying amenity kits for its passengers. Then, in many ways, a series of crises assisted us by requiring change. The 1998 crisis in Russia, the 2008 global crisis, the current sanctions – all of these required the development of our own production. Today AK-Service has a large-scale manufacturing facility with a complete production cycle and warehouse complex located in Saint Petersburg, which allows us to produce a wide range of quality products in the shortest possible time.
On receiving accolades
I boxed in the past, and for me any award is always fantastic. I really like taking part in competitions. In our business, any appreciation from the outside is a very good indicator. We are especially proud of PAX International readers’ recognition.
The importance of individuality
We always have a wide range of onboard products for every budget. First of all, we are interested in the view of the airline’s top management on the bold ideas we propose. With regard to amenity kits, we consult with international agencies to keep abreast of industry trends and needs. We use an individual approach for every client; that is why we always try to understand passengers’ needs
14 MAY 2019
from around the world, taking into account cultural diversity. We need to breathe the same air as our client. For children’s kits, we organize focus groups, which really help us to identify kids’ thoughts and opinions, to determine their needs. Only by taking into account all factors is it possible to create a truly suitable product for each customer.
A new direction on board
The huge interest in augmented reality (AR) technology is the reason we are actively developing the AR direction of our company. We have partnered with Wargaming (owner of the World of Tanks brand), one of the leaders in the IT industry with a network of 150 million users across the globe. Their specialists help us to develop really high-quality AR experiences at the highest level. In the near future, AR experiences will appear not only in our children’s kits but also in our Business Class amenity kits. AK-Service recently supplied Rossiya Airlines with a new children’s kit concept
Staying ahead of the eco boom
First, we have always been engaged in environmentally friendly products. We have been cooperating for the past five years with our reliable partner Natura Siberica, with which we produce cosmetics made with 99% natural ingredients. Parallel to this, we produce products from wood, thick paper, recycled paper, pressed paper and other eco-friendly materials, which are abundant in Russia. Our branches are located in Siberia, in the Far East and in the Caucasus, from where we source natural materials. We make a lot of amenity items from ecofriendly materials: bags, toothbrushes and hairbrushes, for instance. Even the paper we write on in our offices is made from 100% recycled materials. For every client we offer individually designed eco-friendly amenity kit lines, which are produced using biological polymer, paper bags or renewable raw material.