Akashdeep Singh, General Director, Vulkan-A. Source: Press Photo
How would you describe the textile market in Russia today?
The Russian textile market, as well as all the other industries, is undergoing changes. These changes take place both in the purchasing structure and in distribution channels. Of course, the purchasing power in Russia dropped significantly. Many companies are unable to stay afloat. But at the same time this creates new opportunities and clearly demonstrates law of the survival of the fittest.
E-commerce rapidly takes hold of all sectors in Russia, particularly of the textile trading. Hard times have come and we notice the reduction of impulse purchases.
In October - February our company was experiencing difficulties. But this should be seen as part of a strategy of risk and return on high-growth markets of the world. We are committed to the Russian market, and we will certainly maintain and develop our business in Russia.
Why do Chinese, Korean and Turkish textiles dominate the Russian market? Despite the quality and competitive pricing of Indian textiles, why are they not widely sold in Russia?
India as a textile brand has not established itself in Russia yet. No professional work has been done in this direction, and the responsibility for this lies on both sides. For Russia, it is easier to work with Turkey and China since their systems, infrastructure and approach were focused on Russia, while in India, we were focused on Europe and the United States. There was a time when India had a huge share in the Russian textile sector, which, unfortunately, has reduced.
We must work on promoting Brand India in Russia in a broad sense, and this should be done at the government level on both sides. India and Russia have a lot to offer each other, and this cooperation can be among the most financially beneficial ones for both sides.
Do you think such major events such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, can help expand the scale of the Russian-Indian business and eliminate the obstacles that impede the development of business relations?
I believe such forums benefit and promote the development of relations between people. It is good that the political and business leaders meet, but it is also important to be active.
India and Russia have traditionally been partners and friends, and it's a shame that trade relations are not growing, and both countries are losing each other's market share. I think it is time that our two countries begin to seriously work on this.
I'd really like to see our countries among each other's top three trading partners.
(This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity)
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