Maksim Gopanchuk, the trumpeter of jazz and classical music bands of Kyiv, started his career with sales of wind instruments. He used to bring musical instruments to Ukraine from abroad and sell them here. It took a while to come up with the idea to establish his own production of components to complement the range of products with accessories.
In 2004, Maksim met the future co-founder of the KGUBrass company Mikhailo Kuznetsov. They studied jazz at R.Glier Kyiv Academy of Music together. As professional musicians, they wanted to use their knowledge and passion in order to produce quality products within their sphere of activity.
In 2008, Maksim and Mikhailo decided to go into their own business completely and realized the idea of setting up their own production line, after having found enough courage to end their musical careers. They treated the creation of the customized components for the musical instruments like production of the jewelry. Each detail could influence not only the look of the instrument but also its sound, that’s why every little detail must be perfect. They decided to start manufacturing products here in Ukraine, which was known as a historic world leader of metal mining and metalworking.
Thus, the letter U with the meaning “Ukraine” was added to the uppercase KG, which represented initials of the co-founders (Kuznetsov and Gopanchuk) in the name of company KGU Brass
It was decided to share the responsibility: Mikhailo Kuznetsov worked on marketing and website promotion, while Maksim focused on the manufacture, development of the new products and logistics.
The 2008 crisis left many amazing specialists unemployed and the production units empty. Because of that, the developing KGUBrass company started its successful collaboration with a number of hard-working craftsmen, who did their job very well and provided them with the first volume of production.
The first order of KGUBrass was a set of accessories sent to the customer in another country. And it didn’t fit him. It turned out that instruments of the same brand could be different depending on the year of production. That gave the birth to the idea of having the database of instruments, referring to which it would be easy to produce details as accurate as possible.
Launching product after product, Maksim focused on his own preferences and needs, searched inspiration in enthusiastic customer reviews, tried to surprise the world of music with new ideas. Having standardized the lineup of boosters, trim kits and saxophone screws, Maksim starts to produce leather products and also devotes time to the limited MG edition. Mikhailo, in turn, works hard to introduce the company's products to musicians. He also teaches master classes involving famous trumpeters and saxophonists, makes educational videos and works with international markets.
"We have grown to successful manufacturers from two students sharing the same dream. Nowadays our products are appreciated by Arturo Sandoval, Sergei Nakariakov and other famous musicians."
Owing to persistence and perseverance of the whole KGUBrass team, in 2019 the company entered the leading overseas markets in the USA, Europe and Asia. The company also started its cooperation with the biggest dealers of the wind instruments in a number of countries. At that time KGUBrass faced the difficulty of receiving money from abroad, which began to take much time and impeded the free trade. The international payment system Payoneer helped to establish the continuing flow of funds, thanks to which KGUBrass started its collaboration with American trading platform Reverb.
Such an optimal option of receiving money from abroad (through the international payment system Payoneer) gave a strong push to the development of a rather specific business. Payment issues began to take less time, which made it possible to devote more attention to the tasks of the production. That was marked by the launch of new products: customized trumpet finger buttons and brand tuned trumpets. "We felt confident and had a permanence in the foreign market and that was the main thing."
At the beginning of 2020, KGUBrass participated in the international contest Entrepreneur of the Year held by Payoneer. The company won the Entrepreneurship Award in the nomination “Disruptor of the year” among 3,500 entrepreneurs from 120 countries. This win inspires the founders of the company, Maksim and Mikhailo, to open a community for Ukrainian manufacturers to share their experiences.
Since the company gains more and more recognition among a great number of entrepreneurs, the co-founders of KGBUrass also feel the social responsibility that has come to them together with it. That’s why they take part in many conferences and business seminars, where they share knowledge and motivate young entrepreneurs from Ukraine.
The events, which should have been held before the end of the year, were suddenly postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak and since March 2020 the company’s staff switched to remote working.
The company's responsible approach to customers during a pandemic (free shipping, a variety of platforms for placing an order, the launch of the blog, special offers) brings phenomenal growth in activity, as well as brings the company and the clients closer together.
Drawing on the personal experience of successful dealing with the crises, Maksim and Mikhailo hire even more employees who will be involved in production, marketing and communication with international partners.
The team of the company presents new products, reaches the entirely new level of media and PR creation. KGUBrass begins to work closely with well-known wind instrument players and plans to have a lot of different projects and collaborations, some of which are with music schools and youth orchestras.