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Tuesday 22.08.2017 | Name days: Rudīte, Everts
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Latvian Employers’ Confederation: our cautiousness delays entering Russia

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It is the Latvian cautiousness that hinders enterprises from entering the Russian market, considers the Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LEC) Permanent Representative in Russia and a businessman Zigurds Skrodelis.

He says many are frightened to launch business in Russia due to high demands, but they should get rid of this fear. «If we are afraid, nothing will happen for another ten years,» the entrepreneur asserts.

«Many Latvian friends have asked me whether it is possible to tap into this market and if it is chaotic. I say it is not. If such companies as Nike and Toshiba have entered it, this is possible. One has to be patience and explore the market niche. We need to overcome the fear and go into the Russian market,» Skrodelis says.

The Russian approach to starting business seems unusual to Latvians, thus a good nervous system is necessary, since the requirements are different than in Latvia, Skrodelis considers that «Latvians can take this».

If Latvians continue being hesitant, their own recipes will be launched here, warned the businessman, giving some Russian company that has started producing Rīgas maize as an example.

Asked whether Latvian businessmen concern about the high level of corruption and the state’s profound impact is grounded, Skrodelis indicates this depends on how much one feels corruption. He himself has never given bribes, although they have been awaited many times.

«It depends on how each entrepreneur represents himself. If a bribe is given once, it will be also expected the next time,» the entrepreneur states.

While Skrodelis believes the political factor exists not only in Russia but also elsewhere. The local market will defend its producer anywhere in the world – Africa, America or Germany, the businessman points out.

He recognizes there is an issue with high-shelf price, as food producers have mentioned. At the same time he points to the example of Lithuania. «They did not immediately go to the big chain stores, but rather to the small ones. When the merchandise became more recognized and was sold at several small shops, the chain store itself looked them up. Lithuanians have done a good job. For example, there are the so-called dry Lithuanian cakes. They immediately found a place in Russia for the production of them so that it would not be necessary to transport them. It already counts as a Russian product. They responded very quickly, and now Lithuanian cakes can be found in any store,» Skrodelis reveals.

Skrodelis has worked in Russia for approximately 23 years. He became the LEC’s Permanent Representative in Russia in late summer 2010. Previously, he had worked at Jelgava wood wool production plant Jelgavas būvniecības sistēmas. In Russia he has worked at a joint Latvian company Vanga-R importing Gerber baby food. Skrodelis has also worked as a commercial director at the wooden house construction firm Višera and as an executive in the construction company Vudlen.

Currently, together with partners from Russia he owns the Internet service provider NaraTelekom managing the Internet connections in Moscow’s District.


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  1. Lily says:

    Fear always delays everything!

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