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Italian business in Russia: the nuances that help companies to be successful



How to succeed on the Russian market 


WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild 2018 was attended by 63 Italian companies that could be found in different sections of the exhibition. However, instead of an Italian stand next to the other national pavilions (German, Indian and other pavilions), there was a combined stand Regions of Sicily. At this stand we talked to Anna Sidorenko, Director of the Russian representative office Arredo Group (classical furniture factory Exedra and lighting factory Due Effe). We asked Anna what a foreign business needs to do to succeed in Russia.


Anna Sidorenko


In her opinion, the best solution today in the “post-crisis” and “sanctions” era is to move away from Moscow and work instead in Russian regions. “Now it makes more sense to work in the regions, as there is less competition compared to the capital: here you have lots of furniture and lighting shops and many design studios. Today we proactively promote our lighting in Saint Petersburg, we work in the south of Russia, and also in Siberia: in Tyumen and Krasnoyarsk. We proactively promote sales in Volga Region”. The geographic footprint of sales has started to expand: “Previously people from the regions would come to Moscow to buy everything – they didn’t trust their local salons and design studios – now you can already see some loyalty there.  People now contact the salons and studios where they live. This speeds up the process and is much cheaper.”



The success of a company is also due to another secret  – implementing turnkey projects and proposing options “tailored to a specific customer.” Anna Sidorenko notes: “Our competitive advantage is our price, plus our ability to implement customized projects, however complex they may be. A number of Italian factories purchase components and only perform alterations manually. Meanwhile the factory Exedra does all the manufacturing processes: from the processing of the wood to the upholstery of the sofa. And special projects can also be developed at the factory Due Effe, including the sale of any lighting based on the customer’s drawings. Owing to the full-cycle manufacturing process, you end up with a very good price.” 


The production process at the Exedra factory


We believe that the success of the stand of Arredo Group at WorldBuild/MosBuild should come as no surprise. Today many visitors come to the construction exhibition to find a turnkey solution. Anna Sidorenko notes: “Here a lot of designers had specific turnkey projects and our products provided the perfect fit.” At MosBuild furniture factories and light manufacturers had fewer competitors.  At the same time, the exhibition attracted so many visitors who represented a specific target audience. Consequently all the interior design companies at the exhibition in Moscow were bound to succeed.


For a number of years now Italian companies have prioritised family continuity and manual operations. And naturally Italians inevitably brought to the exhibition objects of outstanding beauty and décor all made by hand. The handmade ceramic tiles of Studio Le Nid provide another example of a successful Sicilian project at WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild. The bright and exquisite handmade tiles displayed in a small nook immediately attracted considerable interest, standing out from the other stands. Although one should add in fairness that interest in exclusivity has started to fade in Russia. Now there is more demand for functionality and aesthetics at a reasonable money, something that we also saw at the Sicilian stand.


Le Nid products, participating in the exhibition, stand "Regions of Sicily"


Not only furniture and lighting, but also construction


However, there is more to Italy than furniture, lighting and finishing. Italians are also developing the construction sector in Russia. And the same laws of success are also at work here. Maria Golubeva, Coordinator of the Marketing Department of Gamma Meccanica, leading manufacturer of equipment for insulation materials and recycling of plastics materials: “Russians think in a similar way to Italians, which makes our work much easier. Customers in Russia are very open, but also well informed and sophisticated. They follow closely the appearance of new technologies and contribute directly to the development of the sector. As manufacturers, this factor naturally motivates us to move forward – for it is thanks to cooperation with our customers and the close exchange of experience that new technology solutions are born.” 


Maria Golubeva


It goes without saying, however, that the manufacturing of equipment is driven not only by customer preferences, but also by quality. Maria Golubeva says:  “Our quality today is the result of 40 years of experience, hard work, commitment and dedication to a business that we love.” 


An integrated manufacturing cycle is also important: “Our company is proud of our full-cycle manufacturing process: we design, manufacture, assemble and test virtually every item. This enables us to monitor the development of a project at every single stage and guarantee the required quality.”


Production process (Gamma Meccanica)


To access the Russian market and be successful, Gamma Meccanica advises you to start “by overcoming the language barrier and finding Russian-language employees.” You also need to “take account of as much feedback as possible so you can second guess customer needs and satisfy their requests.” They consider participation at the exhibition to be essential and make the most of attendance to see their target audience and acquire new customers: “We consider Worldbuild Moscow/Mosbuild an important and prestigious window to showcase our company.”


Equipment for plastic processing (Gamma Meccanica)


As we can see, Italy and Russia continue to be linked by durable business relations.  Earlier this year a business mission headed by the Ambassador of Italy in Russia Pascuale Terrachiano visited Adygeya. The representatives of large Italian businesses headed by the Italian Ambassador participated in the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on 24-26 May. In Kalmykia a project has been launched involving businessmen from Veneto. The further globalisation goes, the more we will find areas of common interest and opportunities for cooperation. It only appears at first sight that that we are polar opposites. 


We look forward to seeing you in 2019 at WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild2019 at Crocus Expo. To participate in WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild 2019, complete the online form.


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