BI's Russian day on 10th of April was a success

21 April 2008

External participants and students of BI came together to discuss the potential challenges and exciting opportunities of entering into business in Russia.

As Russia’s economy is indicating signs of strong economic growth and development, the external participants and students of BI came together to discuss the potential challenges and exciting opportunities of entering into business in Russia.

The 35 participants consisted of guest speakers, students, professors and business people who gathered to discuss the importance for Norwegian companies to embark on business ventures due to it’s location to Russia.

Marina Iskhakova, a Russian student studying her MBA at BI, organised Russian Day under the support of the MBA programme and with assistance of her Russian counterparts from the MSc programmes displaying cooperation among students from different educational backgrounds studying at BI. 

Guest speakers presented many diversified ways and factors to consider before penetrating Russia’s prosperous economy.  These guests included Dr. Carl Fey from the Stockholm School of Economics in Stockholm, Sweden and St. Petersburg, Russia; Natalia Pavlenkova, a former Russian MBA student at BI, currently working as a Marketing Director at Tandberg, Region Russia, CIS and Baltics states, Oslo, Norway;  Professor Jan Svennevig from the University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway and finally Marina Iskhakova herself.

Norway can not afford to miss out on doing business in Russia

Dr. Carl Fey who is currently based in Sweden but spends 25% of his time in Russia, conducted research on 36 foreign companies operating in Russia. With his own business experience there, he has established 8 commandments which western companies should abide by to ensure business success in Russia. Dr. Fey identified the difficulties and ways in which western companies have dealt with doing business in Russia, a country which has experienced an unstable reputation with adhering to economic legislation.  He strongly emphasises the potential for Norway and western companies to penetrate the Russian economic market, ‘What businesses can achieve in 10 years in Norway they can achieve in one year in Russia’ exclaims Dr. Carl Fey, a former advisor to the Russian government.

Tandberg’s success in Russia

Tandberg, a successful telecommunications leader and Norwegian based company are reaping the benefits of establishing an office in Russia. Natalia Pavlenkova; BI MBA, 2004/2005 student, now Tandberg Marketing director for Russia, CIS & Baltics stresses the economic potential of doing business in Russia after witnessing a 300% growth in their Russian office from last year alone.

First hand experience of setting up a successful business in Russia

Marina Iskhakova founder and CEO of Adventure races in Russia has experienced first hand the potential of doing business in Russia.  Marina discussed the successes of her own business in the promising field of corporate adventure HRM projects in Russia and her ambition to develop international relations in the future, after completing the MBA programme at BI.

Joint venture between Baltic Beverage Holding AB and Carlsberg

Professor Jan Svennevig from the University of Oslo raised many cultural factors in joint ventures between Scandinavia and Russian that need to be considered.  The understanding of how Russians and Norwegians behave and perceive leaders, cultural values, behaviors, communication styles, relationships, friendships have contributed to a successful joint venture between Baltic Beverage Holding AB and Carlsberg.

In addition to sharing all the vital elements required for conducting a successful business in Russia, participants of the Russian seminar ended the day with discussions of conducting a Master-Class in Russian language to be lead by Valentina Suhyna, Master Student at BI; reinforcing the MBA and MSc students unified cooperation.

We hope that the first “Russian Day” event at BI was an excellent start to exposing the great opportunities of Russian business and economy and that these and similar international events will be a new strong tradition at BI, contributing to the globalisation of BI.

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