Month: February 2020

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation spent 6 billion tenge for charity in 2019

The Foundation is the only one in Kazakhstan which opens autism centres in regions. In 2019 the Foundation expanded its activities and built houses for multi-child families in Kyzylorda and those affected in Arys.

Bulat Utemuratov’s charity foundation has been existing for the sixth year. It was set up in 2014 by prominent businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov. The Foundation’s mission is to help Kazakhstan to become a better place for the life of people today and in the future. The priority is development and sponsoring of projects in healthcare, education, culture and sports.

In 2019 the Foundation expanded the geography of its charity activities having allocated money for construction of cottage villages for the needy families in regions of Kazakhstan.

Opening of autism centres in regions of Kazakhstan

In 2015 Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, at the initiative of its founder, launched the “Autism. One world for all” programme. The main purpose of this project is opening of autism centres in regions. Thanks to the support rendered by the Foundation, autism centres were opened in various cities to help children and their parents.

“In 2019 the number of Assyl Miras centres increased up to eight. New centres – in Shymkent and Petropavlovsk – were added to the existing centres in Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Aktobe, Kzylorda, Uralsk and Ust-Kamenogorsk. In total, over 6 thousand children were enrolled in the Assyl Miras programme for five years of its work, of these children more than 2.5 thousand were enrolled in 2019 only. All the services of Assyl Miras autism centres are free of charge”, emphasised the Chairman of the Foundation Board of Trustees, Almaz Sharman.

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allocated 12.5 million dollars for the “Autism. One world for all” programme.

Construction of housing for the needy

In 2019, at the decision of the founder, Bulat Utemuratov, the Balameken project was started. The essence of the project is construction of houses for multi-child and low-income families. The Foundation’s money was used to build duplex cottages:

  • for 100 multi-child families in Kyzylorda,
  • for 100 families affected by the explosion of military ammunition in Arys.

“This is a bright example of how passionate, patriotic citizens help their own state to improve the life of compatriots”, noted the member of the Foundation Board of Trustees, poet, writer and literature scholar, public and political figure, Olzhas Suleimenov.

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allocated 1.3 billion tenge for the construction of houses in Kyzylorda and Arys.

Reconstruction of the Botanical Garden in Almaty

From 2018 Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation has been implementing the reconstruction of the Botanical Garden in Almaty. In spring 2020 the city inhabitants and guests of the southern capital will get a renewed infrastructure, landscaped territory, where new plants will be set out.

“The project was agreed at the public hearings involving representatives of the Akimat (city administration), public council under the Akimat, mass media. This year we have set up two volunteer groups of passionate citizens. The first group performs public control over the reconstruction works, and the second one will be engaged in setting out plants during the forthcoming spring”, told Marat Aitmagambetov, Director of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation.

The main purpose of this project is to restore the green oasis of the city in compliance with the original plans of its layout done in 1932 and taking into account the best samples of the world botanical garden designs.

Monetary aid to people affected by emergencies

For several last years, Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation has been rendering financial aid to Kazakhstanis affected by floods. In 2019 the so called Aid Cards issued by ForteBank were received by people in Karaganda, North Kazakhstan, Akmola and Almaty Oblasts. The total of 400 families received in summary 54 million tenge.

These are people whose houses were damaged by spring floods. The priority is given to lonely pensioners, disabled, single mothers, multi-child and low-income families.

Besides, 2,000 people affected by explosions in Arys received monetary aid for the total amount of 60 million tenge.  

Sports and music festival Burabike Fest

The biggest charity event of the country – sports and music festival Burabike-2019 – has beaten all records of the previous years.

This time the fest format was changed and expanded – two days of competitions, master classes and concerts in the open air. The festival was attended by over 4 thousand people, and the sum of charity donations reached 300.2 million tenge.

This money was spent to buy expensive medical equipment for hospitals in remote areas of Kazakhstan.

Batyrkhan Shukenov’s legacy

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation has been for two years supporting projects of the Batyrkhan Shukenov Foundation. Among these:

  • l  publication of Batyr’s songs in the Kazakh language,
  • release of Batyr’s album collection,
  • awarding scholarships to gifted students of musical colleges and schools
  • holding of the musical contest named after Batyrkhan Shukenov.

In 2020 Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation will continue the adopted strategy and will expand the current projects.

“Dual degree” and reconstruction of the main building. What Narxoz is up to in 2020.

The leading Kazakhstani university introduced the “dual degree” programme. This is education of specialists who, for their time of studies at Narxoz, will get two diplomas: one of the Kazakhstani national standard and one of a foreign partner university.  

In 2020 the Narxoz University launches new exclusive programmes of “dual degree” jointly with leading foreign universities. In their last year, students will leave for a partner university in a foreign country for a year, to obtain specialisation. Then they will be issued an international certificate that will give them wide opportunities for employment. It will be mandatory to undertake an international internship. As a result, graduates will get two degrees after 4 years of studies.

This and a lot more was shared by Narxoz Rector Andrew Wachtel at the first summary meeting with the public.  

Reconstruction of the Narxoz main building

Businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov plans to turn his alma-mater into the hub of talents in Central Asia.

For this, in 2018 professor Andrew Wachtel, Ph.D., graduate of the Harvard University, member of the US Academy of Science, was invited to be the Rector of Narxoz. He now has ambitious tasks of turning the university into the leading provider of specialists in business, jurisprudence and social sciences.

One more important task is modernisation of the university infrastructure. The inherited Soviet era buildings do not comply to the modern requirements. Therefore, it was decided to carry out a large-scale reconstruction of the buildings.

“We have decided to not demolish the Soviet structures as this is the heritage of past times and it also will be much easier to modernize the already available buildings”, told Andrew Wachtel. 

Reconstruction in the main building started in February 2020 and it will be completed in 2022. According to the design of the project authors, the campus will meet the world class modern standards.

One of the best in the world architects in construction of education institutions – Henry Mayerberg – is involved in this reconstruction. He has 40-year experience in the field of construction of campuses for education institutions behind him.

“We are here not for just teaching people”

According to the University Rector, the University’s target is education of international professionals and high-skill managers.

For two years under his management the University has changed contents of educational programmes and invited highly skilled teachers with foreign education and practical experience.

Foreign specialists are needed to ensure high quality of educational programmes. They bring in new ideas and methods, this improves the quality of higher education.

“We are here not just to teach people. We help them to step on the way of development of knowledge, research and analysis. We are now introducing the practices of the best world universities. At our University we give young people support in access to the global educational community where they are able to share experiences and be engaged in challenging research”, noted Andrew Wachtel.

How the “dual degree” programme works

Dual degree is a rare opportunity to obtain two degrees for four years of education, to improve English and to have an internship in foreign companies. A student who studies under this programme, spends three years in Narxoz, and then goes to a partner university for a year.

The Narxoz University cooperates with the following higher education institutions of:

  • United Kingdom – Coventry University;
  • France – La Rochelle, CEFAM University;
  • Russia – Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

Educational programmes were developed so that a student could get education both in Kazakhstan and abroad, thus obtaining two degrees which are recognized all over the world.

Curricula are synchronized and comparable: grades and exam results are recognised by partner universities automatically.

Narxoz will become a public university

In his speech at the summary meeting Andrew Wachtel noted that universities – both in Kazakhstan and in the US – always were closed institutions. Narxoz plans to become a public higher education institution.

“We want to be transparent for everyone, and therefore the transit to a non-commercial form is very important. All most outstanding world universities have such culture. This gives people wide opportunities to participate in the university development”, explained Andrew Wachtel.

The society will be able to take part in management of the University via councils. This is how the best private universities work in the US, and this is how the Skolkovo school is organised in Russia.

Currently there are 4,180 students studying at the Narxoz University, 56 of them came from foreign countries.  

Success story: how Beeline made it to the leaders of the mobile operator market

Beeline today is not just a mobile operator but a generator of such innovation products as BigData collection, «Internet of things», 5G network and mobile payments.

Two decades in the market: what was and what is

In 1999 a new mobile operator Beeline, an affiliate of the Verny Capital investment group, turned up in Kazakhstan. Then, only Altel was operating in the market. With the arrival of a competitor, Kazakhstanis got an opportunity to choose a cellular company and to connect to GSM networks.

“We were the first company which, in January 2011, launched 3G networks in all oblast centres of Kazakhstan, we were the first to test 4G and to introduce 5G in Shymkent. We were the first to launch B2B – the “Beeline.Business” package. As the result, Beeline got, perhaps, the optimum coverage – both in cities and out of the area of residential places”, tells Yerlan Ospanov, General Director of the Verny Capital group of companies.

The company was the first to launch package offers: when only call billing and charging per minute of calls were in effect, Beeline offered tariff plans to the market. Now subscribers can choose how much to pay for a certain number of minutes of voice communication and gigabytes of the Internet. This practice was adopted by other mobile operators.   

In 2016, the company was the first in the market of mobile operators to launch mobile finance services. The Beeline card became the fifth in the world card with the consolidated phone and bank card balance.

Currently Beeline is leading as for the number of subscribers – 10 million users. Clients choose this mobile operator because of the bargain prices, quality of communication, the Internet speed and a wide variety of related products:

  • Visa payment cards;
  • the best mobile roaming (over 80 countries of the world);
  • stationery Internet “Beeline at home”;
  • BeelineTV television;
  • mobile payments from the balance and with QP-code;
  • IoT, or so called Internet of things (so far Beeline uses it in the agricultural sector for tracking down cattle);
  • «smart» districts (Beeline collects meter readings and sends them to a single centre for processing).

The company shareholders realise that in the nearest future subscribers of all mobile operators will decline voice communication in favour of communication via the mobile Internet.

“We already make calls in messengers. Therefore, it is logical that the network itself will pursue this way of development. What we have as a result: communication is perceived by subscribers as air. It should be always and everywhere, and preferably without restrictions. This is the Beeline’s base on which we are building the ecosystem of all our services. Beeline has long been not just a telecommunications provider, but a huge world of useful and needed innovations”, says Yerlan Ospanov.

Network modernization and launch of 5G in Shymkent

In the first half of 2019 the company started a large-scale modernization of the network. This is construction of new base stations in cities so that there would be no so called blind spots where there is no communication. In total, the number of towers has increased from 444 up to 766 units.

Replacement of equipment gave an impetus for the growth of data transmission speed up to 4.5G and 4.9G levels, and this will ensure the future fast transit to the 5G standard all over Kazakhstan.

Large-scale construction was also implemented in the Turkestan Oblast. Beeline’s mobile Internet appeared in more than 140 residential places of the region.

“We managed to increase the speed of the Internet thanks to combining the frequencies additionally allocated to us. Another factor that contributes to the modernisation is Beeline’s withdrawal from the network sharing agreement with Kcell. This region was previously under the charge of our partner. Now that Beeline independently builds and maintains the network in Shymkent and the Turkestan Oblast, we can improve coverage based on the interests of our subscribers”, explains Oleg Snimshchikov, Beeline Kazakhstan Technical Director.

At the end of 2019, Beeline was the first in Kazakhstan to launch a 5G network. The pilot project was implemented in Shymkent.

In fact, there are no yet gadgets which could work in this network. But the company undertook the capital-intensive construction of the fifth generation networks in Shymkent, being conscious that it’s for the future. These are huge flows of data with super-high speed and high density of base stations – in every 50-100 metres. The Internet speed reaches 3 gigabytes per second. This record figure was registered during 5G testing.

“Business is ready to introduce digitalisation. Our task is to provide such an opportunity by means of various IT solutions. The key one is the development of 5G. We call upon all participants of the market to unite for construction of a single network. This is a very expensive and long-repayable technology. But given the right approach it will become available to a wide market as early as in the nearest future”, says Yevgeniy Nastradin, Chief Executive Director of Beeline Kazakhstan.

How BigData is introduced and why it is needed

In parallel, Beeline is developing such a new sector in digital technologies as BigData. “BigData” is a huge volume of information which is a basis for forecasting the client behaviour:

  • churn of subscribers;
  • tendency to purchase products;
  • likelihood of commission of fraudulent acts;
  • probability of loan repayment by the client;
  • profitability of trade outlets depending on their location.

“In essence, this is statistics which analyses various data, identifies non-obvious links on the basis of which the client’s behaviour and the final result can be forecasted. However, it is important to understand that any BigData products are built on the basis of anonymized information. That is, no personal information is used in the analysis. The system gives out general statistics, and even an operator working with algorithms does not know who the analysis refers to”, says Yerlan Ospanov.

Today Beeline offers corporate clients to use the analysis of “big data” for promotion of their goods and services:

  • scoring for credits and payments;
  • verification for credits.

There are plans to expand the line of services on the basis of the “big data” analysis.  

In addition, Beeline launched the first in Kazakhstan BigData School. This is a completely new trend in the information technologies. Analysis of “big data” and development of software for them has not yet been taught in Kazakhstani higher education institutions.

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