Pavel Grachev: Detsky Mir Brought off ESG Principles

Pavel Grachev is a well-known top manager and entrepreneur who set the trend for ESG to re-invent Detsky Mir’s business model. He launched and oversaw an array of environmental programs.

Short biography

Pavel Grachev was born in the city of Leningrad (present St. Petersburg) in 1973. The future businessman received education in legal studies in prestigious educational establishments. In 1997 he graduated from the University of Trieste, an academic center well-known in Italy and throughout Europe. In 1998, he received a diploma from St. Petersburg State University, the oldest educational institution in Russia.

Mr. Grachev started his career at the international law firm Pavia e Ansaldo in 1995, where he headed the Moscow branch up to 2005.

Between 2010 and 2013, Pavel Grachev held the position of CEO in Uralkali, and later from 2014 to 2022, he headed Polyus, the gold mining holding. In early 2022, he decided to start investing in his projects.

Ecological transformation of Detsky Mir

Pavel Grachev became an investor in Detsky Mir in the early spring of 2021. He joined its Board of Directors and focused on tailoring the business model of the children’s products retailer to the green agenda.

As an experienced top manager, Pavel Grachev knew well that the only way to move Detsky Mir forward was to jump on the trend toward sustainable consumption and environmental responsibility. While in charge, he designed and launched several projects around environmental education and lower resource consumption.

His first project involved collecting old clothing in exchange for a discount. This initiative aimed to reduce the negative impact on the environment and foster responsible behavior. All stores opened doors for people to bring their used items. Waste clothes and shoes were sent for recycling and disposal.

Another of Pavel Grachev’s projects in Detsky Mir involved the transition to environmentally friendly packaging. Bags made of paper or fabric have multiple advantages over plastic ones, making the former safer for the environment.

Cashiers explained that paper bags are biodegradable and do not leave a carbon footprint, while fabric shoppers can be used for a long time and recycled once they break down. They also put forward the fact that lower plastic consumption minimizes air pollution and helps preserve flora and fauna. Driven by detailed explanations, consumers switched to eco-packaging. By the end of 2021, the sales of paper bags and fabric shoppers reached over 840 thousand pieces.

In October 2022, Pavel Grachev started selling his stake in Detsky Mir. The deal was closed in May 2023. The buyer was an investment consortium headed by A. Zuev, the founder of the Korablik chain of stores for children.