Luigi Tozzi-SpadoniPersonal Archive
I came to Russia three years ago to help with restructuring the commercial department of my company – Baker Hughes, a General Electric Company in the oil and gas sector. By that time I had 20 years of professional
Very soon after coming to Russia, I saw that the talent base here is exceptional. I’ve traveled and worked in the UK, Middle East, and the U.S. and I’ve noticed that ordinary Russians have a top-notch level of education. More than half of Russians I’ve met also have some musical education, which to me is a key indicator of a strong society. Here the average of education is very high – probably the highest I’ve seen in my international experience and this is a very good factor for those who want to run a successful business. One can have any type of equipment,
View from home in MoscowPersonal Archive
To do business in Russia you have to establish interpersonal relations. It’s very similar to Italy – if you don’t have personal trust, it’s difficult to work together and you develop such connection by spending social time together until the point is reached when you trust the other person so much you don’t even look at the contract. I’d been negotiating contracts for 20 years of my life and I always say that a good contract is the one that gets signed and put away and no one looks at it anymore.
This approach is different in Anglo Saxon countries: the Americans and the British are very attentive when negotiating the fine lines of the contract and when the deal is done they will never go back on a deal. In Italy and
If you think about doing business in Russia, you need to have a sustainable business. It’s not easy to exit once you have deployed capital here so you can only do it by having foreign orders and commitments.
Localization is good to have success but you also need to have partnerships – even large companies, like General Electric (which Baker Hughes is part of), always look for local partners who can help overcome the language barrier, local bureaucracy, and also put some of their capital at stake. If this is done right and if the business is built to go global, there is a good chance of success.
I drunk enough [obligatory] vodka and gone to banyas with partners but I was lucky to come to Russia when this habit declined significantly. Some of my colleagues recall that in the past it was much worse. Although I do like drinking with moderation – it’s a good way to build trust with local colleagues.
With colleaguesPersonal Archive
The future of the Russian economy, as I see it, is much brighter today than the outlook of some South European countries, like Italy, Greece, or Spain. Fundamentally because in Russia there is still a gap to be closed and because the sources of this country are huge. It’s a
To be successful Russia needs to attract and retain the best talent and for
What I love about the Russian language are the sayings. I take Russian classes and learned many phrases like “хотел как лучше – получилось как всегда” (We wanted the best, you know the rest) or “тяжело в учении – легко в бою” (The harder you train, the better you'll fight). I use these a lot because if you pick the right one for the situation they help to establish
With familyPersonal Archive
This story is a part of Russia Beyond’s new series of articles about foreign professionals working and doing business in Russia. Know anyone like that or want to share your personal experience? Please contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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