FIRST BUSINESS rule: Know the country and the people whom you are dealing with. But given its social complexity shaped by a history of wars, revolutions and political upheavals, trying to understand Russia can be a challenge. However, some tips from Thais with business experiences in this vast country should be of some help.
First of all, you need to shed the perception of Russia as influenced by all those Hollywood movies. There are no KGB-type of people lurking around every corner and Moscow is as lively and safe as any capital city in the world.
Russian businessmen are a tough nut to crack. Clinching a business deal with them could be an uphill task. But once an agreement is reached, you can be assured of their faithful commitment till the end.
A business deal may appear within reach but is being held up by just one single person. Don’t be alarmed: This is a society where top-down decision-making is normal.
Openly proud and sometimes arrogant? Of course, what else do you expect from people of a country known for its long illustrious history, rich culture and superpower status? The Russians want cooperation – not help.
In this country, you could be surprised to find out how important protocol is in business meetings or negotiations.
Getting the right local partners and employing as many locals as you can should be one of the first steps toward success,
And well, don’t be surprised if your e-mails go unanswered. Responding to phone calls or e-mails are probably not always a top priority of many Russian businessmen.