Sales and business development in Russia
Find Russian importers, distributors or business assets to build your exports or invest in setting up an operation in Russia with support from Volga Trader. We guide businesses that want to export, distribute, invest and acquire in Russia. Whether you want to start or grow your business, we can give you the resources to succeed.
Our experienced project managers have import, sales and investment knowledge to deliver results, saving you time, travel, money and the stress of management. You get a ready made team. We help our clients export to Russia through agents, distributors, importers, wholesalers, dealers and local sales operations. We also assist our clients with investing in new facilities, products and services, or making acquisitions of an existing business.
Our operations centre is in Russia. Our client support office is in the UK. Thus our working hours cover South East Asia including Indonesia, Singapore and Malysia, through Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to Brazil. We are able to support businesses across the world. Find out more about us here: About us
What we offer
The market in Russia is very large. Russia has the population of German and the UK combined. The economy is bigger than Germany's. There are few nationwide routes to market. A large, decentralized federal state presents further implications when choosing business partners and locations. Find out more here: Where?
In Russia, importers who sell to wholesalers and local agents are a more important component in channel marketing than is usually the case in the EU or even the USA. This is because of size and limited language and importing skills. Sometimes using an importer and multiple wholesalers is more effective than using a single distributor.
We help our clients with a variety of routes to market, setting up fully functional sales and service operations, acquiring businesses and making new investments in logistics, warehouses, light assembly workshops and plants, even large pig farms. We can also ensure that your trade and export business is as efficient as possible, providing you with a detailed performance review of your channel partners.
To find out more about how we can support you in Russian export, sales, investment, acquisitions and business development, click here: Services
In August 2013 Russia introduced a customs blockade against Ukraine in protest at Ukraine's negotiations with the EU. This action spiraled out of control to create the Ukranian crisis which has had negative political implications for Russia. There are now sanctions against Russia. Outside the banking sector they have had little impact. The economy is growing faster than the Eurozone. The opportunities remain large and buoyant.
For a discussion about the economy read the next section.
Russia is still a large country with money
With 145 million people, Russia is the eighth largest country in the world. This is the population of Germany and the UK combined with people to spare.
The country's position as one of the largest export opportunities in the world is supported by its foreign exchange and tax surpluses.
The creation of the Eurasian Economic Union in 2012 (an economic parallel to the CIS, a political union) means that the success of the Russian economy is being extended to other countries. Across Eurasia, 350 million people speak Russian. So investment in Russia can be extended into a much larger region.
B2C Business to Consumer
Russia is rated as a High Income country by the World Banks Low Middle Income China is bristling with local competitors. The average Brazilian is still poor. India's standards of living are still below the threshold for a mass market.
In contrast, Russia is one of the world's biggest consumer market opportunities with an appetite for import.
There is full employment; unemployment is consistently below 5%. Confidence is high. Russia has the world's 2nd highest marriage rate and the 3rd highest birth rate in Europe. Russia already boasts Europe's largest car and grocery markets. In many business to consumer markets, especially FMCG, it is second only to the United States.
The market channel in Business to Consumer markets usually involves an importer who sells to wholesalers or uses a network of agents before reaching the retail level. This contrasts with smaller countries where the importer and wholesaler functions can be combined into a single distribution channel.
The price of oil is falling. This has reduced the value of the Russian rouble. This and Central Bank Policy has increased import prices and slowed down the consumer economy although the impact is mostly on big ticket items involving loans (housing, white goods, kitchens) and tourism.
B2B Business to business
The fall in the rouble has however had a strongly positive effect on local agricultural and manufacturing profits. The demand for imports of capital equipment and manufacturing supplies is growing enormously and the newly profitable farmers and manufacturers have the profits to pay for this demand.
The same applies to local business services such as the hospitality industry and manufacturing focused IT services. Their local customer base is surging. New hotel construction continues. High interest rates have created a falling off in demand for shopping malls, new domestic housing and commercial property, excluding modern distribution warehousing which remains in critically short supply. The high interest rates also mean a reduction in loans and lower business volumes in the banking sector.
Low asset values mean that Russia is an attractive destination for international business. There is much emphasis on large-scale foreign investment in projects in industries such as farming, especially dairy and pork, oil exploration and production, mining, food processing, automobile manufacture, engineering and advanced materials, bacteriology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices. Investment in new capacity in utilities such as electricity, water and district heating is also being encouraged by state support. Direct investment is now very affordable at current rouble values.
The UK, Germany and the Netherlands are the leading foreign investors in Russia (excluding tax havens).
B2G Business to Government
Russia has large foreign exchange reserves and sizable sovereign wealth funds to maintain government spending. Health care, education and physical infrastructure such as airports, roads and railways are all scheduled for support from these funds.
Language, culture and market knowledge
The English language is not always spoken by senior businessmen, and business culture is very different to that of Atlantic standards. Meetings and negotiations can be confusing, and Russians can be very sensitive to issues Anglo-EU business culture might not notice.
With our up-to-date knowledge of market conditions, we can help you successfully negotiate import, export and investment contracts. To find out more, please get in touch: Contact us