But China has been on his radar for many more
years. Born in Ternopil, Lesnyak came to Kyiv in 1993 to study philosophy. He majored
in Eastern philosophy, and even attempted to master Mandarin, without much
success. He went on to work in the non-government sector after graduation.
Then his business career took off quite
unexpectedly in 2003 when his article on Chinese strategies was published in a
Ukrainian magazine. A manager who worked under the young Ukrainian multimillionaire
Kostyantyn Zhevago at the time took notice. He sought a candidate to start a
subsidiary in China, read the article and contacted the author.
“I had a plan to go there anyway, I [had] set
a date for myself. But it happened so that I published an article on Chinese
stratagems, and [got an offer],” Lesnyak recalls.