Russian expert finds investment paradise in Phuket

An outstanding representative of Phuket’s international community, Sergey Nesterenko – who has a doctorate in business law and an MA in finance – has travelled the world searching for an earthly paradise to invest in property. At a unique Phuket location on secluded Naithon Beach, he is building the exclusive Vista del Mar villas with breathtaking sea and mountain views. Here, Mr Nesterenko explains how he came to choose Phuket as the locale of choice for his property developments.

PHUKET: Previously, I was a physicist and I’ve also been involved with electronics and communications. In the Soviet era, I was a project manager and the head of department in a big Moscow research institute. I have always liked working with people and, luckily, I have an natural ability for languages.

When the Soviet Union fell apart, these abilities appeared to be in a high demand and I started consulting in the sphere of international business – foreign investment, relations with foreign banks and offshore companies. Our company was among the three biggest CIS setups, rendering offshore services. We had agents all over the world – from the UK to the US to Virgin Islands and Australia. I must say, without false modesty, that I am still among the major Russian experts in this sphere of business.

One day my clients told me, “You know, the dollar is bouncing, banks are going bankrupt and our money is lying idle. Let’s invest it somewhere. For instance, let’s buy something nice in a great location.” Eventually that’s how I came from post-Soviet Moscow to Bangkok, Thailand. We needed a beach with some palm trees and so I went down to the hotel lobby, found a tourist agency and asked, “Could you tell me where people spend their leisure time here?” “Generally speaking, on the islands,” was the answer. “Look here is Phuket.” And they gave me some booklets.

My first reason for deciding to construct here in Phuket is the climate. The island is easy to reach for Russians looking for a destination with year-round beach recreation and comfortable temperatures between 25-31 Celsius. In the Mediterranean – including Egypt – it is cool from October to May, and too hot in the summer. As for the Emirates, it is good there in September and May, but in the summer it is scorching, and in winter it’s just 18-20 Celsius.

And the Caribbean? I intentionally visited the Dominican Republic during the month of January. It was marvelously beautiful there with palm trees bending over the sky-blue waters. But the sea is rather cool and you cannot swim in it for so long as you can here in Phuket. And while the Dominican Republic has many luxurious hotels, just outside your window on the other side of the barbwire fence, you quickly enter the “real” island with its terrifying poverty, broken glass, refugees and dirt. So it is not possible to live and to buy property in Dominican Republic.

Four years ago I flew to Phuket within the framework for my real estate investment “world tour”. I then prepared a shortlist of 10 affordable projects for my investors and customers. We eventually chose three out of the list. One of them failed, but other two projects were successfully built. These were the apartments at the Pearl of Naithon and villas at the Residence Bangtao. At the moment, I am interested in the region between Kamala to Naithon, but south of Kamala is not for me.

The reason is that it is too busy, with a high density of old-fashioned developments. Of course, it is nice for socializing and there is a strong expat community, but I do not like that area – like many Thai southerners who dislike the north. Even the nature is different in the north. We’ve got a lot of greenery here – open spaces and hills. But the main issue for me as a developer is that in the south there is no place to erect projects of the same class as Vista del Mar.


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