Saida Lichardus. With the benefit for the world

Being more than a mother and wife but also a successful entrepreneur, and even in an international family, is difficult. But Saida Lichardus proved that everything is possible!

My name is Saida, which means "happy" in Arabic. For 43 years now, I have been trying to live in a way that the meaning of my name matched my life.

I was born in Northern Kazakhstan, in Petropavl. Dad, Baurzhan Kulzhanov, at the time of my birth, was already the champion of Kazakhstan in freestyle wrestling.


In my childhood, there was a story that, I think, influenced the formation of my personality. 1990 Goodwill Games in the USA. A delegation from the USSR was also sent there, which included my father - thanks to his outstanding achievements in sports and the fact that he worked in the police. The delegates lived in families, my dad lived in a family as well. He brought back gifts - toys, cosmetics, clothes. And then my Dad said I would definitely study in America. I was ten years old then, and those words inspired me a lot, so I began learning English intensively.

In 1996, six years later, I went to the USA with my dad, who was part of the delegation of the Kazakh Olympic team. On that trip, we drove with him all over the East Coast from New York to Miami. Naturally, that left an indelible impression! We met with the family with which Dad lived on his last visit. We agreed that at the end of school, in a year, I would come on a student exchange program and would live with one of them. And so it happened.

America definitely contributed to my personal development - I became more open and purposeful. It was there that I realized how much I value openness in people. After the trip, I had thoughts of going to study in New York, but my parents and I feared that it would be too expensive. And I returned to Kazakhstan. And then, according to the quota from Kazakhstan, I enrolled in the Faculty of Law of the Russian Customs Academy.

In my fourth year, at the celebration of the summer day of Ivan Kupala, where my best friend, Olga, a Belorusian girl, and I danced khorovods (East Slavic circle dance) and jumped over the fire, I met the love of my life, my future husband, Dushan. He then came to study at MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) from Slovakia.

I was 21. He was 25. When I saw him, I clearly understood that he was not at all my type. But he got interested in me and pursued me. I felt that if I were to reciprocate, I would no longer be able to return to Kazakhstan. And then there was a moment that captivated me and everyone present at the celebration.

The guys drew straws with the girls' names with whom they would go into the forest to look for a flowering fern. When Dushan's turn came, he refused. He said he wanted to be with me and would not draw anything. But the event organizer insisted and… imagine, he pulled out my name! I began to suspect that this was fate.

After graduation, we got married. Our Kazakh wedding with 300 guests lasted for three weeks - it swept through the whole of Kazakhstan, from north to south. For the next five years, we lived and worked in Moscow and then moved to Slovakia, where our eldest son was born. It was 2007. That year we began to shift towards a joint business.

My husband was already an experienced entrepreneur: he was a former Slovak champion in snowboarding, and he was selling equipment for this sport. But he never wanted only money, he wanted to bring something new and innovative into the world.

In 2011, we learned that an old Tesla factory (named after the great physicist Nikola Tesla, not Elon Musk's company) is being sold in Slovakia, where electrical systems were produced. We bought this plant and supported its work for some time.

In 2020, the pandemic struck. We realized then that 0something needs to change to move towards environmental friendliness and innovation in this world. We saw our mission: to contribute to the world where as much energy as possible would be produced without harming nature. Solar panels were known worldwide, but there were critically few battery storages - places where they could be stored in large quantities. In addition, we have a solar power plant in Romania.

It is not just a business; this is our mission in the highest sense of the word. In my opinion, in the 21st century, the fact that millions of cars still drive on gasoline is not okay. Green energy, production that does not pollute the planet - should become the fundamental focus of life. Our factories contribute to the fact that the use of solar energy has moved from being isolated to widespread. I am sure we will achieve this goal, which will mean that we have not lived our lives in vain.

Now we live in harmony and maintain balance between work and personal life. We have an international family: our children speak Russian and Slovak, and they know a little Kazakh. We celebrate Kazakh and Slovak holidays; children love Kazakh cuisine very much. When we are happy, we have more strength and energy to make this world a better place!

Author: Igor Toporkov

Photo: from hero's personal archive

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