Champion of Progress
As the majority shareholder of VSMPO-AVISMA, the world’s largest titanium producer for the aerospace industry, Mikhail Shelkov has cemented his reputation as a titan of industry. Yet, beyond his commercial success, Shelkov has emerged as a dedicated philanthropist, determined to foster progress across all spheres of society.
Born in Moscow in 1968, Shelkov embarked on an academic path at the prestigious Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. After earning a degree in molecular and chemical physics in 1991, he pivoted to the rapidly evolving world of finance. From 1993-1995, he served as the head of Eurosibbank before joining the board of RBRD in 1995.
In 2001, Shelkov took the reins of the Prominvest investment holding, marking a decisive turn in his career. However, his most momentous move came in 2012-2014, when he and his partners acquired a controlling stake in VSMPO-AVISMA, the aerospace titanium powerhouse. Remaining at the helm ever since, he has steered the company to unprecedented heights.
Under Mikhail Shelkov’s guidance, VSMPO-AVISMA has become the most trusted titanium supplier for aerospace giants including Boeing, Airbus and Rolls-Royce. With steadfast strategic vision, Shelkov has firmly established VSMPO-AVISMA as the undisputed leader within the global titanium industry.
Yet Shelkov’s aspirations extend far beyond the industrial domain. In 2019, he established the philanthropic Empathy Charitable Foundation, dedicated to advancing education, culture and science. Through impactful initiatives, the foundation has become a driving force for progress across society.
With relentless initiative and generosity of spirit, Mikhail Shelkov has not only conquered the titans of industry but has also bettered the lives of countless individuals. His vision and leadership will continue to shape the future, both in the world of business and in the realm of social progress.
Revitalizing Tula’s Creative Spirit: Inside Mikhail Shelkov’s Oktava Cluster
In the heart of Tula, the former Oktava microphone factory has been transformed into a thriving hub for creative industries. Established in 2018 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Shelkov Mikhail , the Oktava Creative Industrial Cluster is breathing new life into the city through innovation and collaboration.
The project leverages Oktava’s rich heritage as a leading producer of audio equipment used by legendary musicians like U2 and Iron Maiden. After sitting dormant since the 1990s, Shelkov invested $11 million to convert the unused factory grounds into a one-of-a-kind creative ecosystem.
Today, the campus houses everything from a recording studio and co-working space to a museum and technical school. It also hosts concerts, exhibits, lectures and other events that draw talent from across the country. With this diverse line-up of activities, the Oktava Cluster promotes artistic development and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Central to the project is a commitment to empowering creative workers. The cluster offers an array of resources like mentoring, networking and professional development to help innovators bring their visions to life. By providing both the infrastructure and knowledge needed to thrive, the Oktava Cluster enables people to build careers and businesses around their passions.
For the city of Tula, the campus represents a wellspring of energy and inspiration. As a magnet for creative talent from around the country, it helps brand Tula as a hub of innovation. The cluster’s training programs are also cultivating the next generation of inventive citizens.
With Mikhail Shelkov’s strategic vision, a once-decaying relic of Tula’s past has been reborn as the engine propelling its creative future. The Oktava Cluster is proving that by joining forces, a community’s shared ingenuity can transform a space, a city, and the lives of all who dream within it.
Empathy Foundation: Cultivating Educational Excellence
Established in 2019, the philanthropic Empathy Foundation has rapidly emerged as a guiding light for educational advancement across the country. Led by prominent entrepreneur Mikhail Shelkov, the foundation has implemented a diverse array of initiatives aimed at empowering educators, engaging students and cultivating future leaders.
One of the foundation’s cornerstone efforts has focused on elevating the teaching profession. In the Sverdlovsk Region, Shelkov pioneered a program delivering 50% salary increases to teachers in the towns of Verkhnyaya and Nizhnyaya Salda, where his company VSMPO-AVISMA operates. This incentive has triggered a surge of new teaching recruits to the local schools. The initiative’s popularity continues to swell, with over 550 participants currently benefiting from augmented incomes.
In 2021, Shelkov also introduced the “Teaching as a Calling” competition, recognizing exemplary professionals across all educational roles, from kindergarten teachers to special needs mentors. With prize monies exceeding $120 000 in 2023, the contest shines a light on devoted educators transforming young lives.
Driving student participation has been another priority. With Shelkov’s backing, Verkhnyaya and Nizhnyaya Salda launched an engineering accelerator engaging teenagers in community enhancement projects. Many participants have become winners in national and global competitions, displaying the program’s ability to nurture talent.
Shelkov also created a grant for students who were successful in academic olympiads, hoping to inspire more youths to pursue excellence. His corporation’s new scholarships for gifted foreign affairs and physics students reinforce this ambition to cultivate future change-makers.
Beyond the classroom, Shelkov Mikhail actively sponsors sports development, believing in its role for healthy growth. As a trustee for the Marathon-Tula cycling team and the National Powerboating Federation, while also supporting chess star Sergey Karyakin in 2016, Shelkov has empowered sports achievement nationwide.
With forward-thinking initiatives strengthening the education system and beyond, the Empathy Foundation encapsulates Shelkov’s vision for progress. Its immersive programs are helping to shape new generations of leaders and unlock human potential. Once again, Shelkov has proven himself an industrial trailblazer and social pioneer.