Taking your project to Russia – Where to start
Where to start
It may be gratifying to know that Russia is rated #1 in the BRIC counties in the category of ease of doing business. According to “export.gov” Russia also has “the world’s 11th largest economy by nominal GDP.” Of course if you are planning on tapping into the many benefits that comes along with doing business in Russia, you will want to do your homework first. Here are a few helpful things to consider:
Know the market
Whether you are doing business at home or abroad it is of utmost importance to first know the market. When taking your project to Russia, knowing aspects such as laws, culture, and infrastructure will help you gain an understanding of what will and will not sell, competition, and how to distribute your products. With that in mind, the following bullet points will shed some light on some interesting facts:
- Russia has a population of roughly 143,500,000 people (doingbusiness.org).
- Russians are highly educated which makes for a skilled workforce, and intelligent consumers.
- Reforms have been made to make it easier to hire expatriate employees.
- Infrastructure is well developed in major cities such as St. Petersburg, Moscow, as well as other cities in Western and Southern Russia.
However, if you really want to get to know your target market the best thing you can do is travel to Russia and experience it for yourself. This will help you learn more about the people and both cultural and business etiquette. It will also provide you with invaluable data to assist you in constructing your business plan.
Know how to enter the market
When you have learned all there is to know about your target market you will be ready to plan on market entry. A few things to think about here are: Capital, and Partnerships.
i. Capital for your project can be sourced in several different ways. Traditionally businesses have shopped for business loans, bustling about from bank to bank with business plan in hand. However, in more recent years people have been able to raise funds from crowdfunding sites such as kickstarter, or its Russian equivalent Boomstarter. Taking your project to Russia will be costly, so be prepared with adequate resources.
ii. Developing the right relationships in Russia will be conducive to favorably entering the market. Export.gov has its “Strategic Partnership Program” to “help firms break into new markets with the help of those who have been there.” You can also consult firms that specialize in starting businesses in Russia. Do some research online for such companies and get the help you may need.
Good luck on your endeavors to enter a country with a rich and deep history, and a promising future.