Roadside Businesses Succeeding in Akmola Region

ASTANA – As national highways pass through the Akmola region, as well as dozens of regional and district roads, Kazakhstan business people have begun to develop roadside businesses.

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Zukhrab Veliyev started a roadside business 12 years ago along the Astana – Petropavlovsk highway. He started with one small trailer, where only three people were able to work. Now he owns a large roadside complex and employs 160 people.

Government helped him achieve such results with a soft loan. Every day, 12 cooks work in his cafes, 11 more cooks prepare excellent barbecues. His roadside services include not only a café and hotel, but car service as well. The entrepreneur plans to enlarge his business and increase the number of employees up to 300 people.

“I think that this is a small result. We still have to work even more. I think, who wants to establish a business in our state, who wants to work, there is always a place here, there is always support from the state. Construction of the highway is a big deal,” Veliyev said.

“I travel a lot and use many highways, but I can say that not every highway has such high level of service. It is quiet here. It is comfortable to stay here, to eat and wash or repair a car. I really like delicious meals here,” said regular customer Valeriy Afonin from Russia.

First-time entrepreneur from Atbasar Evgeniya Tokareva is sure that the Almaty -Ekaterinburg highway needs modern facilities and amenities. Therefore, her family invested 10 million tenge (US$30.000) in the development of a business.

“Even our clients asked us to enlarge our café. That is why we plan to construct a hotel and canteen. We have already increased the number of dishes on our menu,” Tokareva said.

In the Akmola region, 420 roadside businesses operate. Experts predict that the number will be sufficiently increased after all the highways are repaired.