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5 companies succeeding in Russia

The trade sanctions put in place by the EU and US against Russia have hampered many aspects of international business. The build and interiors industry has experienced these problems firsthand, leading to some firms struggling to work in Russia. However, this does not have to be the case.

Many companies have been able to carry on business with Russia without too many problems, showing that there are many ways to enter this potentially lucrative market. While the sanctions mean that firms have to be creative and work around a number of new issues, these five companies demonstrate that there is no need to abandon the idea of working with Russia.



Spanish bathroom fixture manufacturer Roca has been working in Russia for over a decade now, and as such has learned the tricks of succeeding in the nation. This has enabled the company to continue expanding in Russia despite the sanctions, building a new warehouse in the east of the country.

One tactic businesses should bear in mind is to build strong relationships with Russian local and regional governments. This will not negate the effects of the sanctions, but it could mean that Russian authorities make more of an effort to keep your business in the nation. Roca has found this to be a great help.

Speaking to Forbes, the firm's director Antonio Linares said: "We have never had big difficulties moving forward with our business plans because we feel we have support from the government." He added that strong relationships were "very important for us when we first arrived ten years ago".



This Finnish company is a window, door and glazing solutions service provider that is also expanding in the Russian market. The firm has just opened a new factory in St Petersburg that is a clear sign that it does not intend to ease off on doing business in the nation, despite the sanctions.

Markku Hautanen, CEO of Skaala Group, said that this was important in the current business climate as succeeding in Russia requires companies to make investments. In a statement, he said: "For several reasons, utilising the full potential of Russian market demands commitments in manufacturing processes and facilities."

The new factory is exactly that. Employing around 30 people, it will produce an estimated 50,000 window units per year to supply the Russian construction industry. This is a significant commitment to doing business in Russia.


John Deere

Well-known internationally for producing construction machinery among other things, John Deere has expanded further in Russia recently. The company's divisional director of construction and forestry equipment in Russia and CIS, Andrew Christopher, recently told Stroitelstvo.RU about the positives of working around the international sanctions.

He said that the difficult situation in Russia has actually been excellent experience for John Deere, attributing much of the firm's success to its dealer network. Seeking out reliable business contacts has enabled John Deere to expand despite the sanctions, as it has given the firm a solid base on which to build.



This French firm has a lot of experience doing business in Russia and does not intend to stop any time soon. In fact, one of the aspects of succeeding in Russia that the company's head, Philippe Pegorier, highlighted in a recent interview with the Moscow Times is patience. He pointed out that Russia has seen off harder times than this, and that the short-term difficulties would pass.
One of the main aspects of Alstom's success is simply the economic state of Russia. The company has been able to expand thanks to the growing needs of the nation's populace. Mr Pegorier said: "Thanks to the growth of the middle class, modernisation of infrastructure and so on, it is clear that Russia is developing."

This does not just spell success for Alstom, but for a range of building firms. Russia is building more homes, a process that has been aided by infrastructure growth. This has been positive for companies involved with residential construction and interior design, which have benefited from Russian development.


Amorim Revestimentos

A Portuguese company specialising in cork flooring and wall coverings, Amorim is no stranger to the Russian market. Jose Leandro, the firm's sales manager for Eastern Europe, said once again that local connections were a huge help to doing business in the country. This is his main piece of advice for businesses looking to break into this market.

While the company has a positive outlook for the future of Russia's construction industry. Mr Leandro said: "It is our deep believe that the situation will recover... we believe that there will be a turning point somewhere in the near future."

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Tanya Aleksankina

International Sales Manager - Interiors sectors


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