Igor Zvarych: Lviv Farmer's Road to Success

Man standing in a vast green field

The business of 34-year-old Igor Zvarych is very young yet. The company was only set up three years ago. However, it is one of the most advanced business in the region, cultivating 8,000 hectares of land. So, what road took the Lviv farmer to success? How to start a farm business in Ukraine?

The company grows winter rape, winter wheat, winter barley, maize, sunflower and sugar beet. Achieving high yields can be achieved through the coherent work of a highly qualified team of workers and the use of high-performance technologies. We sell products both on the domestic market and for export. 

– Igor, so how did your road to success start?

I am an auditor. After graduating from the National Economic University in Ternopil, I wanted to prove that I did not receive my diploma in vain. Even before I graduated, right after the third year of study, I started earning money for my needs. I wanted to buy a cell phone, computer, so I needed money. I started by selling glass canning jars, followed by watermelon tomatoes. I earned decent money. So I became independent from my parents and buy everything I needed.

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– What was your first job as a certified auditor?

After the university, I landed a job with an audit company in Lviv. I was auditing various businesses, from dairy processing companies to mines, and building expertise. My wages were growing but could not satisfy me. So, I decided to radically change my life. I sent my CV to the Kyiv office of Ernst & Young. And they offered me a job. I was extremely happy to be accepted into an influential company, a professional benchmark for auditors to a certain extent and a dream of many.

When I got employed, I received an offer to join the MRIYA Agro Holding which was on the peak then. In my opinion, Mriya was an exemplary Ukrainian agricultural company at the time. So, I did not hesitate for a moment. And this was the right decision on my part. Thanks to Mriya, I found out how to get into farming and became a successful farmer. I could say that "Mriya Agroholding", made it possible for the development of all young managers, and I was able to use these opportunities to take full advantage.

It was a separate extremely active, difficult and interesting period in my life. After the five years of nonstop decided to go beyond the company and tried on new areas.

– How did you use your practical potential?

Man standing in a vast green fieldI was invited to the Oliyar plant. This new project evoked my interest because there was a rather difficult situation. I did not have experience in such a field, but I was full of enthusiasm. I had an annual contract that was successful both for me and for the company. Sincerely, I felt that it was not mine. I was deeply interested in the agriproduction and farm business.

– How did your own business start?

So I always try to treat people as much as I would like them to treat me, always try to keep the word, and I have a good reputation among the agrarian market players. My reputation helped me to get acquainted with my current partners, investors from Poland, who, at the same time were looking for an agribusiness in Ukraine. We have worked together since then. It's a story of creation of the West Agro Group.

– You have recently launched a fish farming business, right?

Yes, I have not big farming: carp, grass carp and pike. At the moment, I would not call it a business, it is more likely to embody the childhood dream of starting a farm. However, I see this potential, at least this is another challenge for me personally.

– How long have you and your wife been together?

Family portraitWe have been together for 15 years. Family is always my top priority. It is important for me to see my children, talk to them, see how they grow. Since at home I spend a little time, my wife is responsible for the order at home. It is spotless clean at home. My wife taught us to be neat. Children put their toys back in place. Even my little son, who is just 2.5 years old, cleans away the crumbs he left with a small vacuum cleaner right away. (Smiles)

We are expecting one more son in June. I will have three kids. It is the most important project for me, because to raise worthy children – this is the most difficult and most responsible task. We try to complete this mission as well as possible.

Author: Galyna Gupalo
Photo: provided by Igor Zvarych


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