Hello folks, my name is Dmitrii Voloshin. It has always been an issue for me to say what I do for living and who I am in one word. So, I have determined that everyone can decide for themselves. Businessman, producer, athlete, public character, inventor, designer, investor or barefooted urban madman.
How it started
On August 9th in 1974 I was born on a small military post in Odessa, where my father was a member of the armed forces and my mother was a music teacher.
In 1986 my father was transferred to Moldova, to a small city called Floresti where I graduated school. There I became keen on radiotechnics and started brazing radio sets and my first computer. At the same time, I wrote my first games on Basic, which surprisingly were sold.
In 1991 I moved to Chisinau and got into Polytechnics University where I studied computer machinery. After graduation, I worked with 3D graphics and presently I am working in promotional video production. However, I realised that to be happy I need just three things-bread, tea and toilet paper.
In 2000 my parents moved back to the motherland, Orenburg, and I decided to stay in Moldova. I was alone, without any relatives or connections, without money or accommodation, without clout or godparents. In one word, a fool.
On the side with 3D graphics, I also was dealing with computers and hardware. That is when the internet arrived at Moldova in 1998. Me and my classmate needed a year to figure out how websites are being made, and in 2000 we launched our first online project – Gsm.md. In the coming year two more websites saw the light, which defined the vector of our business
By then I eagerly sought “3D-ish” in Moldova. I’ve got major customers and I realised what we need to do to become more mature. And thus, on the 1st of April 2002, in the fool’s day, we opened a company called Simpals SRL.
We have been doing advertising clips, selling glandules and developing websites on the money we earned. The same year I met my better half-my victory, Victoria, without who I wouldn’t have enough power to go through this path. It was an outbreak of the difficult period of ups and downs, disappointments and victories, rakes and forehead embrocation. This long story is about company formation, night shifts in seven offices, about stupid mistakes and losses, about appearing “a crown on its head” and about how I almost ditched Simpals. But we went through it.
Today Simpals is the biggest internet company in Moldova. Three of the most visited websites of the country: bulletin board 999.md and news portal Point.md and Stiri.md belong to us. Their summarised traffic ranking is more than 1 million people every month (every third Moldovan citizen). Our internet agency Numbers twists more than 100 million banner boards every month.
But the most important achievement in the business for me is-to assemble the coolest, battle tested team, with whom I will be able to swim over the ocean, even in the leaky boat.
Starting from 1997 I was sweeping advertisement clips. Later on, most of our clients became the largest companies in Moldova. Always trying to be not like others, we were creating a memorable advertisement, using modern technologies. Demoril studios.
In 2001 I met Dan Balan and directed four music videos for band O-zone, including the most famous “Dragostea din tei”. That’s how we started making music videos. Then it was the band Fresh, Lina and Nelly Ciobanu with “Hora din Moldova”.
In 2008 I realised that I am tired of advertisements and I need to move on. That is how I established the first animated studio in Moldova Simpals Animation where I worked as a producer and filmmaker. It wasn’t bringing any income, but at least we were able to create cartoons which became pasteboards for our studio and for Moldova.
In 10 years, we received more than 70 prestigious tributes at animated festivals around the world for cartoons about death-loser Dji and its friends. Our cartoons were competing for tributes with production from such large studios as Disney, Pixar, BaoBab and others. For a total, our cartoons intended tens of millions views and hundreds of thousands of comments.
To develop an animated industry in the country, we opened a computer graphics and animation school – Monsters School, which released more than 200 students in a few years.
In 2019 Simpals Studio released a VR-cartoon called Aripi (Wings) – the first cartoon for virtual reality not just in the history of Moldova, but in along Eastern Europe too, dedicated to my lost friend-sky surfer.
Year 2012. Successful business and creative actualisation – what else do you need to grow old? I was realising that I am not happy but didn’t get what I was missing. Hypertension and extra 20 kg was an addition to the “successful man” cocktail.
That’s where I started drinking and leaning into depression. One evening I came across a story about a usual clerk that became an Ironman. Without a single stop he swam 3.8 km, then rode 180 km on bike and ran 42 km. My breathing seized…that’s it. Same day I decided to become an Ironman.
Since then, I got over all triathlon distances, alternatively subjugated all the triathlon distances being the first one in Moldova: Ironman, Ironman 70.3, 5150 and relay. And some of them even on grandpa’s bicycle.
Adore swimming! That is why probably I was able to swim across Gibraltar (17 km), Bosporus, Balaton and even one Venetian channel. Managed to swim in the Arctic Ocean, swim so far till the “Island of bad luck” (Balicasag) in Philippines, to become an Oceanman (10 km) in Mexico, run away like graph Monte-Cristo from Chateau d’if, and also from Alcatraz prison in California and to participate in dozens of races around the world.
I immediately fell in love with freediving! This sport is totally creepy. And it’s mine! A few years hence training I got a champion title of Moldova and Freediving master of sports. I learned how not to breathe under the water 6,5 minutes and swam 150 metres holding my breath, participating twice in world championships for freediving. To learn that, I went over a 10 days Vipassan, haven’t talked and meditated for 11 hours daily. Had an occasion to dive in the world’s deepest swimming pool Y-40 metres, which is located between continents in a snap Silfra (Iceland) and with sharks in RSA.
But my main passion is marathons (42 km) of all types. Currently I managed to run more than 20 marathons. Where 5 of them are –“majors” (the most important ones for marathoners). On my wall are hanging Parisian, Tokyo’s, Jerusalem’s, Chicago’s, Rome’s, New-York and London marathons medals. The fastest marathon appeared to be in Malaga (3:12), and the slowest in Munich in a Death suit. But my all-time favourite is Chisinau where I run barefooted. Although, I walk barefooted 6 months in a year.
Throughout my sports career had a 6-day feverous race wearing backpack on Sahara sands – Marathon des Sables (230 km), I wrote a book about it, a legendary ultramarathon in RSA – Comrades (90 km), charitable Wings for Life, 3 days Rubicon in Moldova (170 km), a drunk trial in wine cellars Cricova and a terrible experiment in a Death Valley (USA).
My favourite time of the year is winter, that is why I adore cold rounds. I succeeded to overrun Baikal over ice, to wade through the ice mud in the cruellest endurance race Tough Guy, not to freeze to death on a world’s championship SwimRun – OtillO (65 km + 10 km) between 26 islands of Baltic sea and mountaineer to Montblanc and Elbrus. All of this helped me to come finish second on the most rigorous marathon in The North Pole Marathon.
The peak of my sports career became a world record-the coldest, loneliest ultramarathon in the North pole – Oymyakon in -60 degrees, where I almost froze out my lungs and eyes.
Today I am maintaining a position of the president of the Triathlon Federation of the Republic of Moldova, which actively facilitates a triathlon among youth and trains little ironers.
I consider that every business shouldn’t just take but also give people – Simpals social projects change the face of the city and the country: we are planting trees – Verde.md, fighting with cavemen on the roads – StopHam, bringing fresh ideas into the city environment – Chisinau is Me, organising charity events and supporting those who need help the most, from veterans to children.
We are trying to look in the future and understand that afterall, our children will be lifting this country. That is why we developed the platform for electronic school diaries and online study – Studii.md, which is changing the education system at the moment. Tens of dozens of families and hundreds of schools were using it during the pandemic, so children could have online lessons, do the homework and get marks.
Along with the government we were able to realise the governmental and private procurement system – Achizitii.md. Thanks to it, government procurements became transparent, and participation became accessible for every company from Moldova. We are delighted to realise that we are helping to fight corruption and to economise the country tens of millions of dollars yearly.
One more project which lightens life not just to simple users, but also to the government – ID.md – electronic document flow service.
And this is not it. My sport devotion leaded into a new thread – in 7 years together with my super hardcore team Sporter output amateur sport in Moldova to the next level. We became organisers for the International Chisinau marathon, ultramarathon relay race through the whole Moldova Rubicon, the triathlon championship on an open air Triatlon Triumph, city bicycle race Chisinau Criterium, open water races Ghidighici Sea Mile, a range of unique underground trials WineRun, and also, “the dirtiest trial” Glodiator Mud Race. In the meantime, we conducted more than 66 sport events where more than 80 000 people participated (7 235 foreigners from 62 countries).
Was thinking about recapitulating government awards for sport development, but for me and my team it is more important to see how many people started jogging in the mornings in parks. This is absolutely awesome!
Do you know what I was dreaming of in childhood? First of all, to become a discoverer, what I actually achieved in Oymyakon, second of all, was dreaming of inventing different useful tools. So, it was the time to make the dream come true!
That is how Garage appeared, a laboratory where our best engineers, analytics, designers and product-managers are creating innovation products in Moldova which will amaze the world.
Participating in various freediving world championships I noticed that champions are diving with handmade uncomfortable freights. That is why the first garage project became Lobster – the unique weight system for freedivers which appeared to be Number one in the world in a few years. Nowadays it is selling in 60 countries, it became the industrial standard, established a few world records and one Guinness record.
Swim experience gave me an idea about underwater portable radio sets for swimmers – Sonr, so the coach is able to correct swimmers technique in a real time regime, underwater, to upgrade the session effectiveness. Within a year we received investments and went through acceleration in New-York, where we pitched in the subway and allured investments.
At the moment we are working on Sonr production and development on the worldwide market, so the swim world will be changed forever. And also, we are developing a small, but incredibly useful appliance for runners.
In one word, I have no idea what to write on my business card. But I am sure that everything it’s just a beginning! Time will tell, who I will become when I grow up.
I think that the Universe is providing you with resources and you have to use it with maximum profit for the people. That is why together with my hardcore team we will be changing this world for the best, while I still have the power, power that is given by my family – by my son, daughter and my beloved woman.