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- BIGRUSSIA 05-06.2012
GIM-Unimpresa is the Association of Italian Entrepreneurs operating in Russia. It unites more than 160 businesses, amongst them large (ENI, ENEL, Parmalat, Indesit, Ferrero, Banca Intesa, UNICREDIT) but the vast majority of which are small to medium-sized. The association's president, Vittorio TORREMBINI told BIGRUSSIA about the particularities of Russian business in Italian.
When Marina Albee calls herself an American of Italian origin, she is actually wrong. What she really is, is a vegetarian. Marina became one at the age of 13. When she saw animals she had recently been playing with brought back from the slaughterhouse to her parents’ farm in Vermont, she realized that she could not… eat her friends. That was when she stopped eating meat. In 2007, Marina opened “Café Botanika”, a vegetarian restaurant in St. Petersburg. For her vegetarianism is not just a personal conviction, but also a profitable business.
In his youth, Max Tucker cycled across the whole of America. Finishing Union College, he made a leap across the ocean. Over twenty years in Russia he built a successful career: he occupied director positions in BBDO Moscow, McCann Erickson Moscow, Propaganda/Ogilvy Moscow and Grey and is now vice-president of Young&Rubicam Russia, where he supervises the Beeline team. What is it like working in the advertising trade in Russia? How do you win over partners and put your best ideas into practice? These are the questions we put to Max Tucker.
In the USSR, small businesses and craftsmanship enterprises did not exist. But there were actually whole sections of the economy with enterprises and organizations organized and managed in a similar way to them. In the field of consumer services for the population, there were service centres with all kinds of workshops. They could be found everywhere. Practically anything could be repaired in them. But in the 1990s, they were almost all closed down by laws and resolutions of the Federal Government, by new management structures and by local officials who knew little about the subject. As a result, in Russian towns today, you can buy new trousers or shoes on every corner, but there is a huge problem in having small repairs made to them to a decent standard.
Aaron BLOCK joined BayRu as an investor and president of the company in late 2010. Prior to that he had worked for a long time at Cushman & Wakefield, a major international real estate organization. As office manager he had led a team of more than 270 people in Chicago. Then from 2005 to 2008 he directed Cushman & Wakefield's Office Real Estate Department (Stiles & Riabokobylko) in Russia and the CIS. BayRu was his first experience of investing in e-commerce.
BayRu is a service that allows Russians to buy any product on eBay, Amazon, or any other online store in the world. In 2011 the average growth of e-commerce companies was around 100%, but or BayRu this figure exceeded 700%. The company does not hide the fact that such a phenomenal result was made possible by a review of its marketing policy to attract external funding and the active involvement of an investor in its management.
The occasion for the meeting with Valery MUSIN, Professor of St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU), was the publication of the second edition of the book “Russian Law in Brief. Digest for Foreign Investors”, which he wrote as co-author with Prof. Nikolay KROPACHEV, Rector of SPbSU. I met Valery MUSIN in the office of the Russo-British law firm “Musin, Ibragimov and Partners”, where he is the senior partner.
What legal situations does a Russian lawyer encounter in defending the interests of foreign investors? We put this question to Nizami FARUKHOV, Managing Director of the law firm “ALBARY”, and asked him to simulate the most typical situations. Instead of this, Nizami proposed telling us about some actual cases from his practice, and wrote this text himself.