Leonid Monosov: He Who Works Well, Wins in Life

Leonid Monosov He Who Works Well, Wins in Life

Over the past thirty years, Moscow has made a huge leap forward in terms of urban and infrastructure development. Its architecture has changed dramatically — the modern metropolis no longer looks like the city it was in the early 1990s with its dilapidated historic buildings and old-fashioned shops. Moscow builders made a huge contribution to the transformation of the capital; among them was Leonid Monosov, the former long-time leader of the Moskapstroy company.

A Look into the Past

Leonid Monosov has been in the construction industry for almost 45 years. During this time, he built a brilliant career, received many awards, and was granted the title of Honored Builder of the Russian Federation. The businessman began his career at construction sites in the capital and achieved success only by virtue of his professionalism and excellent organizational skills.

The future builder was born in 1958 in what was then Soviet Belarus, and as a child, lived in a small town called Mazyr. In 1963, his family moved to Moscow, and Leonid started first grade at School No. 315, which was located not far from his home. At the time, it was one of the best schools in the city, with outstanding teaching staff and effective pedagogical approaches. It regularly held mathematics and physics competitions and introduced new education programs. Even today, the school is still famous for its great teaching methods, especially in the exact and natural sciences.

Having received his high school diploma, Leonid Monosov applied to MIIT, successfully passed the entrance exams, and was admitted into the first semester. The university trained engineers for the transport industry, but on the advice of his father, Leonid chose a construction major. In the USSR, construction was considered one of the most important industries in the national economy, so it was a well-respected profession.

In 1980, Leonid Monosov defended his final thesis, and by that time, he already knew his future place of employment. The rules of the job placement system that existed at the time required graduates to work at the company they were appointed to for at least three years. Organizations submitted lists of vacancies long before graduations, and straight-A students got the first pick of their future jobs.

The young engineer decided to build his career at Glavmospromstroy, a large construction company with an almost ministerial status. Its devisions employed more than 70 thousand people at the time. The organization constructed landmark buildings in Moscow and annually absorbed half a billion rubles in capital investment. Yesterday’s students had no privileges at the beginning of their professional lives; they started from junior positions and had equal opportunities for career advancement.

Leonid’s professional biography was successful from the very beginning. It took the future honored builder only six years to go from a junior manager to being in charge of the construction department. He participated in the company’s largest projects. Leonid Monosov witnessed major economic transformations in the industry, held an executive position during the construction boom of the 1990s, and ended his career in the company as deputy CEO.

Major Construction Projects

Glavmospromstroy was often called a talent factory in the construction industry. Founded in 1972, it was responsible for industrial construction in the capital. When Leonid Monosov joined the corporation, it consisted of 19 big enterprises and the Zelenogradstroy division. In the 1970s, the company built over six million square meters of industrial space for the machine-tool, instrument-making, automotive, and other industries.

During its operation, the corporation built several dozen enterprises, including:

  • Lenin Komsomol Automobile Plant;
  • Voykov Iron Foundry;
  • Powder Metallurgy Plant;
  • Parizhskaya Communa Factory.

In addition to industrial facilities, Glavmospromstroy built such iconic objects as the Ostankino Tower, Moscow State University, and foreign embassy and consulate buildings. The company was involved in the preparations for the 1980 Summer Olympics; by the time the event rolled around, the capital had a new skating center in Krylatskoye, the Olimpiyskiy sports complex, and a sports palace in Sokolniki.

The growth of the industry was hindered neither by the era of stagnation, nor the post-perestroika period. Glavmospromstroy managed to maintain its organizational structure and keep its team of experienced professionals together. In the early 1990s, it became a joint-stock company and continued to operate under a new name: Mospromstroy.

Rise in Construction Activity in the 1990s

The construction industry was least affected by the economic problems, and it was especially noticeable in Moscow. The city was completely unprepared for the new capitalist reality — there were no shopping areas, office spaces, modern hotels, or bank buildings. High-end buildings in the historic center coexisted with dilapidated residential property where almost all apartments were communal. It was high time to remedy the situation, and the task fell on the shoulders of Moscow construction companies.

Mospromstroy was involved in the reconstruction of numerous buildings and structures, such as the Moscow Kremlin sites, the Historical Museum, and the Maly Theater. In the mid-1990s, the company was engaged in the construction of administrative and social facilities, such as banks, business centers, hospitals, and medical clinics.

Among its biggest projects were:

  1. Rostelecom building. It was built as the company’s headquarters, and has the total area of 5.7 thousand square meters. A special feature of the building is its 7-story atrium that is surrounded by meeting rooms, offices, conference halls, and a restaurant.
  2. Neftyanoy dom. The construction of this high-rise building was financed by private investors. Its total area is almost 48 thousand square meters. In the 1990s, this business center housed offices of Russia’s leading energy companies.
  3. Marriott Aurora Hotel. This building with a view of Stoleshnikov Lane was a restoration project. The company managed to preserve its original design and restore the parts that had been damaged by time. The facade of the hotel, which looks toward Petrovka Street, is built in the old Moscow tradition and features majolica, stone, and mosaic elements.

Leonid Monosov’s last and biggest project in the company was the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Moskapstroy was responsible for all of the complex construction work, and successfully fulfilled the assignment. It took only four years for the two-level cathedral complex to rise in place of a dilapidated swimming pool; it was recreated using the architectural plans of the old cathedral, which was lost during Soviet times. In 1999, when the construction was nearing completion, a company named Moskapstroy offered Leonid Monosov the position of CEO, and he accepted. At the time of his resignation, the executive’s employment record book contained only two entries, one of which was about his education. In total, Leonid had been with the same company for almost two decades.

Career as CEO

Moskapstroy JSC, founded in the late 1950s, was one of the oldest organizations in the industry. At the time of its opening, it was the capital’s largest technical representative that took on the task of comprehensive development of the city. The centralization of technical representative services made it possible to take a systematic approach to urban planning; it ensured an efficient distribution of capital investments, rational use of territories, and timely engineering preparations. At some point, the company was responsible for 90 percent of construction projects in Moscow.

After the transition to self-financing in 1988, Moskapstroy became a production association, and four years later, it was transformed into a joint-stock company. In 1999, the company still had the same organizational structure, which had proven its effectiveness back in Soviet times. Leonid Monosov noted that it had never had its own construction resources, so the key to its successful operation was the collaboration with capital construction departments and equipment suppliers.

According to Leonid Monosov, over the years, Moskapstroy managed to build productive relationships with all of its partners. The CEO took the initiative to create the company’s own design center and several subsidiaries, which took on the responsibility of obtaining approvals. By 2006, the staff of Moskapstroy had grown to 3,000 employees, with the core of the team being experienced engineers capable of solving even the most unconventional tasks.

Finished Projects

Under the leadership of Leonid Monosov, the enterprise earned a reputation as the most experienced technical representative service in the capital. The company executed highly challenging projects that no one else would dare to take on. Moskapstroy acted as a technical representative for the construction of the Megasport arena on Khodynsky Boulevard, restored the burned-out Manege, and took part in the reconstruction of Leningradskoe Highway and a hotel complex in the center of the capital.

One of the company’s large-scale projects was the Hotel Moskva, originally built in the mid-1930s. Despite its impressive exterior, the building was deemed unsafe and had to be demolished. Moskapstroy was faced with the task of recreating the hotel in its previous splendor while adding a four-level underground part to it. The new complex was designed by architect Dmitry Sverdlovsky and consisted of a modern hotel, shopping area, conference center, and underground parking. The last part of the building with the total area of ​​more than 180 thousand square meters was handed over to the client in 2013.

The construction of the Megasport arena took just over a year. The grand opening of the new ice palace for 14 thousand spectators took place in 2006. Today, the complex consists of two arenas, several training halls, recreation areas for athletes and spectators, restaurants, and public spaces. In 2007, the palace hosted qualification rounds of the Ice Hockey World Championship.

The reconstruction of Leningradsky Avenue marked the start of the multi-lane highway project that would allow drivers to get to the center of the capital in twenty minutes. As a technical representative, Moskapstroy was responsible for the construction of transport interchanges, tunnels, and pedestrian underpasses. The project took more than ten years and was completed only in 2016.

The company used more than two billion dollars of capital investment each year and worked on construction projects not only in Moscow, but also in St. Petersburg, Chechnya, and the CIS countries. With Moskapstroy’s contribution, 125 million square meters of housing, thousands of schools and kindergartens, and hundreds of new health care institutions were built in the capital alone. Thanks to the colossal team efforts, in the 2000s, Moscow turned into a modern metropolis that measured up to the highest world standards.

Despite the huge amount of annually investment, the income of Moskapstroy was not in the same league as the profits of major real estate developers. In his conversations with journalists, Leonid Monosov estimated the company’s profitability at 20 percent, while construction companies could raise it up to 80 percent. However, the executive emphasized that he had never planned to change his company’s business focus and believed that the main reason for his success was his ability to work well and in good faith.

Present Time

Leonid Monosov stayed true to his principles in his new place of work. Today, he is the vice president of an engineering company called Moskapstroy TN. The enterprise entered the market in 2011, and in its 13 years of operation, it has built 6 residential complexes and several commercial real estate properties in different parts of the capital. The company manages investment projects at all stages, from concept development to post-handover building maintenance.

In 2000, Leonid Monosov was awarded the Order of Friendship for his contribution to the restoration of architectural heritage in the capital. Two years later, he received the National Award for the development and implementation of new technologies in construction. In 2008, the honored builder was awarded the badge For Impeccable Service to the City of Moscow.


Leonid Monosov never shares details of his personal life with the press. According to reliable sources, the businessman has two adult children and several grandchildren. His son Andrey says that their family is not in the habit of discussing business and workplace issues at home. Leonid’s daughter Alina emphasizes that her parents have always been supportive of all her endeavors. Leonid leads an active lifestyle and plays tennis in his free time.

Leonind’s son — Andrey Monosov (b. 1981) — also works in construction. He graduated from the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering in 2003. Andrey began his career in a large construction corporation, where, in ten years, he worked his way up from a junior manager to an executive role. He does exercise every day and enjoys skiing and hunting.

Leonid’s daughter — Alina Monosova (b. 1990) — graduated from MGIMO with a master’s degree in public administration; she also studied global management in the UK. Alina started her career in the marketing department of an investment company and rose through the ranks to become vice president. Today, she works in a field related to her university major. Her interest also lies in psychology.

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