Top Tips to Win Business in Russia
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games have just kicked off and over the next few weeks 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines are scheduled and many talented British athletes are competing to win a medal. This article looks at the opportunities for British exporters and how to win business in Russia.
Why Export to Russia?
Russia is the largest country in the world and with more than 140 million people it’s also a huge potential export market. In 2011 UK exports to Russia increased by 30% from 2010, combining a total of £4.78 billion. UK Business Secretary Vince Cable announced a year later that “trade is rapidly growing between the two countries. From the UK side, Russia is now the most rapidly growing export market.”
The country’s economic power lies in its key natural resources of oil and gas, which make up 80% of the export market. Figures from the International Market Advisor (IMA) show that by 2030 the Federation needs to invest more than $1 trillion to meet demand.
For British companies this will prove an ideal opportunity to supply the country with related machinery and technologies. Russian’s heavy industry also is in need of updating, with an annual market demand for new equipment worth $1 to $1.5 billion. Further opportunities for business can be found in the transport infrastructure market, the pharmaceutical industry and telecommunication market.
A rising middle class has also seen a massive increase in the consumer goods sector. It is also estimated that Russia will be the biggest market for food and drinks in Europe by 2015.
How to Win Business in Russia?
Russia holds huge business potential, so we have chosen 3 top tips to help you close those business deals:
1) Hire interpreters for a business meeting: Nowadays an increasing number of employees in bigger companies might be bilingual or even multilingual, but do not automatically assume that everyone can communicate in English on a business level. When you go to an important meeting, always make sure that you have arranged for an interpreter to come along to avoid any communication issues. It might also be worth considering hiring a telephone interpreter so you can arrange details by phone before the actual face-to-face meeting.
2) Meet and Greet- the Russian Experience: When you attend a business meeting in Russia you will find whilst most men will shake hands, handshaking amongst women is not the norm, however, it is becoming more common place, but not expected. You’ll soon also learn that patience is key to win business in Russia because negotiations and the decision-making process can often be very slow. Always present all the facts as thoroughly as you can and make sure that you are well informed. The decision-making process in Russia is also very hierarchical with the decision being made by the highest-ranking person.
3) And last but not least, translate your company literature: Never try to win business in Russia without your company literature in Russian. Make sure that any company information (incl. website, product details and brochures) are translated by a professional Russian translation service provider.
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