Where to start?

Before anything, you should clarify the following questions:

  • What is the concrete sales potential of the Russian market for my product? Who and where are my customers?
  • Who are my competitors in Russia and what is their offering (prices, conditions, features…)?
  • What should be my commercial strategy? Can I develop direct sales or should I partner up with a distributor or commercial agents?
  • What should be my budget before I start generating revenues in Russia?

Take all the advice you can, from colleagues and fellow entrepreneurs, from your trade association and local chamber of commerce, from us.

To this end, we invite you to visit one of our upcoming events to learn more about Russia or check out our latest publications. We have a growing database of industry reports, market flashes and useful articles on how to do business with Russia.

Corruption& bureaucracy

If you are a foreign business willing to export and work in Russia, then corruption is the least of your concerns. You have basically two choices:

  1. Respect the procedures, wait the reglementary deadlines and abide by the rules or
  2. Take shortcuts and suffer the consequences
  3. Though we often hear negative stories and loud scandals in Western mainstream media, corruption in Russia is not worse than in China, India, the USA or Europe for that matter. The topic is however much more openly discussed for Russia.
    As for bureaucracy, do not listen to consultants who never left Moscow city center and tell you everything is fine. There have been improvements, yes. But paperwork, cumbersome procedures and unpredictable applications are still a daily reality in Russia.
    Depending on cases, even basic transactions require an unexpected amount of paperwork. There is nothing you can do about it, just accept this reality, plan accordingly and work with professionals to deal with it.

    Geopolitics & sanctions

    Unless you are involved in world financial markets, the food industry or dealing with dual-use technologies for the defense industry, it is highly unlikely that geopolitics and sanctions will have any impact on your business.

    It will however definitely influence on currency rates, therefore make contracts in dollars or euros, not rubles.

    Should you have any doubt, feel free to give us a call, we will be happy to share the latest news and business cases on this topic.

    Russia is complicated

    We hear that a lot from companies who tried Russia unsuccessfully. If you approach the Russian market as you would any European market, then yes, it is going to be complicated.

    If you take time to study the country specifics and rely on a good partner locally like us, then no, Russia is not more difficult than any other market. It is actually much less competitive than the USA and much more accessible to Europeans than China for example.

    Why work with us?

    Because we have the most effective Russian market entry approach, executed by trustworthy Swiss and Russian professionals living in the country.

    Payments & currency

    Getting paid in Russia is generally not a problem, especially if the company you are dealing with is experienced in international activity. For smaller companies, there may be administrative hurdles but one way or another, they usually make it work.

    As for currency, the ruble has regained a bit of stability in 2017 and 2018 after the economic crisis. This being said, uncertainty is still high with the current geopolitical climate and new sanctions might further weaken the Russian currency. And even without sanctions, the Russian government seems to favor a weak ruble to support its export industry.

    Do I need to speak russian?

    No, you don’t need to speak Russian to do business in Russia, though this helps a lot! But what you definitely need is to have your documentation translated by professionals, a good interpret and ideally a Russian website with a proper referencing on Yandex.

    More importantly before considering all of that, you need to make sure that your company management is onboard for Russia, that your products and offerings are competitive on the market and know which customers and sales channels to target first.

    Garantees of success

    We guarantee that we will advise you responsibly, propose you the most effective market entry approach and work hard to make your business skyrocket in Russia. We have the experience, the operational team and the network. But more importantly, we have been in your shoes ourselves and understand the challenges you are going to face and what solutions work best.