As might be expected in a country where managers are autocratic in style, meetings are often for the purpose of information dissemination, rather than for the open debate of current business issues.
Formal meetings are often held to ratify decisions which have been made elsewhere and to give clear instruction on key tasks to be performed.
Any open debate on the issues in hand will have been undertaken elsewhere in either one-to-one meetings or in smaller groups. It is in these background meetings where much of the real debate is undertaken. Without access to these meetings, it can be very difficult to influence the flow of events and it is only through cultivating very close relationships that an outsider will ever be invited into these inner cabals.
Formal meetings tend to be very structural and serious. The dour image associated with many Russian negotiators stems from the belief that a formal meeting is a serious affair and should be treated accordingly. Humour is seldom used in such serious situations.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
Russia is the world’s largest energy exporter which should mean that its economy is strong and that its people prosper. However, a combination of oil price volatility and the impact of economic sanctions put in place in response to perceived Russian military aggression have resulted in years of recession. This has left the country’s potential unfulfilled, as well as an infrastructure crying out for massive levels of investment
Russia does undoubtedly have massive potential. It has boundless natural resources, with a highly educated population who are aspirational and consumerist in nature. If Russia can regain its position as a mainstream player on the global political stage, then it is poised for a very bright future.
So, should you be thinking about doing business in Russia? That’s a difficult one to answer but our advice would be that there is a huge potential up-side in Russia but that before venturing into such a complex market it is essential to do considerable research and due diligence. This advice is sound for any new market but it is doubly applicable when doing business in Russia.
One area of business in Russia that needs research is around the cultural norms you will encounter within the Russian business community. They do things differently in Russia and you need to know what to expect. Who you know is vitally important in Russia but how you interact with key contacts is just as important. Don’t spend months cultivating the right people only to alienate them by doing the wrong thing or communicating in an inappropriate manner.
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Russian business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: