"If you plan to do business in Russia
you should keep your eyes open next years."
- Change is permanent status in Russia.
Everything you learned 3 years ago, is old. If you went to Russia 4 years ago, you should go there again. Russia is cleaner nowadays than 16 yeas ago. Russians are wealthier than ever.Russia joined WTO and that makes sure that russia will keep changing also in near future.
- Russia is weatlhy. The country does not have loans.
They have energy. They can invest. Of cource Russians need to find new jobs in IT and game industry in order to success in future. They have all necessary resources to survive and enough money to invest.
- Russian love history too much. Russians are stuck to past.Russians love their history. They love their old buildings so much that they rather let buildings stay empty than rebuild them.
Russians are lazy, Russians don't want to walk or use public transport. They want to use cars and taxies which leads to pollution. Russians don't want to build high buildings, they want to stick to past and history. If you compare some Europeans, we are looking more positively in developing high buildings, good public transport and energy-economical cities.
- There is gap between Russian people and government.
Some people don't trust government. Anyway Russian government is fighting to change that. They say about Russia that it is so big country that there are always many truths.
- Russian unemployment rate is low.In St. Petersburg unemployment rate is only 3%. Yes they do have low cost jobs but they want to work and working is only way to earn money. I would like to see finnish people accepting low cost jobs.
- Russian population is decreasing.
Many Chinese are moving to Russia. Some people say that 1/10 of Russian population is Chinese.
- Vodka in Russia is not always the same Vodka we used to know
Products made in Russia are not same quality as products made in Europe. Even same brand vodka does not taste same. If you wash your hair with Head And Shoulders, you get different result if you use imported stuff or "local shit" even if it looks and is sold under same brand.
"local shit" is quote of anonymous local Russian. Yes there are also good russian products, but you need to understand that there are also differences.
- Russians have their own Internet
We have Facebook, Russians have vkontakte.ru
We have Google, Russians have Yandex.ru
US has it's Silicon walley, Russians have Skolkovo.
- Russian is developing fast
Russian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is growing 4%, which means 2-8 faster than Europe or US. Think about it. Russia will be part of the WTO soon which means that import costs at customs will be -50% from what it is nowadays. Russians are willing to buy western products.
- Finnish Brand in Russia is not premium.
Finland as a Brand is not premium, it it better:
"FINLAND AS A BRAND IS SUPERIOUR"
Slush Helsinki this year. Go there and meet the Russians. Keep your eyes open.
Ilkka O. Lavas
Successful serial entrepreneur
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