With a perpetual five-o'clock shadow, a penchant for wearing expensive suits, and a thick Russian accent, Igor Lyapin embodies the classic image of a middle-aged Russian businessman, dealing in commodities trading, or working with government contracts. But looks can be deceiving and this is certainly true about Igor.
After getting an Economics degree at Moscow State University, the twenty-four-year-old Igor Lyapin dreamed of working in the sales department at one of the biggest retail companies in Russia. Climbing from an entry-level intern straight out of college to a position of VP of Regional Supply Management at a major toy conglomerate, Igor witnessed the production assembly line and learned the ins and outs of toy-making.
Shaking his head, he recalls those days in disgust: