Below provides a profile of the Europe regional market overall, and interesting facts and information about issues important to both Russia and foreign executives working in Russia.
From the dynamic urban centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg, to the natural resource-rich steppes of Western Siberia, Russia is a wonderfully diverse country with virtually endless opportunities. And its size, reach and location — from Finland and Europe in the west to Japan and the Pacific Ocean to the east, and the Arctic Sea in the north to China in the south, stretching over 11 time zones — make it a key partner for all of Europe and Asia.
The Russian economy starts with its rich natural resources, including the largest gas resources and reserves in the world; Russia's exports of gas, oil, and other energy products made up more than 70 percent of total exports in the first 11 months of 2010. Now, the government is instituting a modernization plan to shift from exporting mostly natural resources to becoming a world leader in high technology.
In addition to information technology, the plan identifies four other key areas for growth: nuclear energy, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and energy efficiency. There has been an inflow of venture capital and other foreign investment, while Medvedev also works to spark innovation in state-controlled companies such as Aeroflot and oil company Rosneft.
The centerpiece of this initiative is the plan to build a Russian version of Silicon Valley in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Moscow known as Skolkovo. And earlier this year Yandex, a Russian Internet search company, made its debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the biggest US Internet listing since Google went public in 2004.
Government plans, initiatives, investments — none of these forces will build the economy as much as the right executive talent. But the growth rates in the Russian economy have outstripped supply. As explained in a recent issue of the Boyden Spotlight, Russian companies need executives with experience from well-developed markets and multinational companies who can work with the cultural and economic challenges in Russia. Even more valuable, though, are executives who have experience directly in the Russian market.
Finding and retaining these leaders is a challenge. Russia is a complex market that can only be understood from the inside. Julia Nikitina, Managing Partner of Boyden Russia has found that "most companies prefer their executives to have had experience specifically in Russia, in addition to international exposure."
A Russian-owned and managed organization like Boyden Russia can fulfill that charge. While it has the resources and perspective of the global Boyden organization, Boyden Russia's consultants are local market leaders who have the network and contacts to find the executives who can take their companies to the next level.
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