'Calm, considered, professional' Igor Tonkovidov achieves boyhood dream



Igor Tonkovidov is a well-known face in Russian shipping circles, where he has now moved into his third role as head of a domestic company.

Those who have worked closely with the Sovcomflot (SCF Group) executive describe him as “very calm and considered”.

While he may appear a little guarded, they said his lack of arrogance and deep intelligence make him “an amazing professional” to work with.

“When he speaks you know you need to listen,” one said. “He can spot b***sh*t a mile away but will take the time to explain why that particular idea was rubbish.”

Sovcomflot’s new president and chief executive said his personal driver is “operational excellence”.

He prioritises setting up operational models that will allow the company to produce the most with its available resources and said he sees potential for how Sovcomflot can become more efficient to achieve its strategy.

Tonkovidov is a marine engineer by training and served six years at sea, mostly on bulk carriers in the Russian Far East.

The maritime world is a passion for him. He revealed that he dreamt of going to sea from the age of 14, although he has no idea where this ambition came from.

“I always loved my profession," he said. "In shipping, every day brings you a new challenge.”

His career has also taken him to Novoship and Russia’s largest river-sea company, Volga Shipping Co, where he gained a wealth of experience on a varied fleet along with yard facilities, before he rejoined Sovcomflot in 2012.

He should perhaps not be surprised about his recent career progression as he has risen from heading the technical arms to the top position in each of his previous companies.

In his latest role, Tonkovidov also wants to devote time to making the seafaring profession more attractive to the next generation and inspiring the existing cadets.

Outside work, he enjoys family time, trying to keep up with his two sons, aged 17 and 28 — one of whom may also forge a career in shipping — and is understood to be something of a motorbike aficionado.