Archive for November, 2009

Direct Group continues to develop of new large-scaled businesss in Russia (August 2009)

November 16, 2009

In 2009 Direct Group continues to develop of new large-scaled businesss in Russia. One of the last  achievements – is business alliance with Castel Group in connection with import and dirtsibution of French wine in Russia. Castel is a world player in the beverage industry specializing in two main sectors: wine and beer – with 50 years of growth experience, entered the Russian market in 2005. Direct Group’s contribution to this alliance will consist, among other things, of making available a strong professionsl management team, assistance in forming a true commercial and business network all over Russia.

 On August 26th the Shareholdres agreement have been signed by Mr. Alain Castel – Director General of Castel Group and Mr. Pascal Clement – CEO Direct Group


Август 2009

 В 2009 году Direct Group продолжила развитие новых крупно-масштабных проектов. Одно из последних значительных достижений компании – бизнес альянс и сотрудничество с Castel Group в области импорта и дистрибуции французского вина в России.  Castel, мировой игрок на рынке алкогольной продукции, специализирующийся на производстве вина и пива – имеет 50-ти летнюю историю развития и роста. Castel вышла на российский рынок в 2005 году. Со своей стороны, Direct Group, обладая многолетним опытом на различных российских рынках, привнесет в этот альянс  свои знания и опыт, поможет создать профессиональную и сильную команду менеджеров, и сформировать успешную бизнес сеть на всей территории России.

 26 августа состоялось подписание партнерского соглашения между г-ном Аланом Кастель – Генеральным директором Castel Group, и г-ном Паскалем Клеманом – Президентом Direct Group.




Direct Group invests in Online shopping Club (August 2009)

November 16, 2009

Direct Group has invested to online-shop Its CEO – Pascal Clement joined’s Board of Directors. The online shopping club, launched in October 2008, is specialising in online sales in fashion and fashion accessories of famous Brands with discounts up to 70% off boutique prices. Meantime the web site offer more than 100 bargains a month, the gain of each is around 40-50$ tousand. To join the online club, a user has to be referred by existing club member.

Direct Group will offer its expertise in full range of aspects concerning management of supply chains, development of logistics structure and optimisation of orders delivery system. 


Август 2009


Директ Груп инвестирует в интернет-магази


Direct Group вложила инвестиции в интернет-магазин Президент Direct Group Паскаль Клеман вошел в совет директоров. Интернет-магазин, начавший работу в октябре 2008 года, специализируется на торговле одеждой и аксессуарами известных брендов по сниженным ценам со скидками до 70 %. Сейчас магазин проводит более 100 акций в месяц, каждая из которых приносит до $40-50 тыс. выручки. Чтобы иметь возможность совершать покупки на, нужно получить приглашение от уже зарегистрированного пользователя.

Direct Group планирует предложить целый комплекс решений для по управлению цепями поставок, разработке логистической структуры и оптимизации системы доставки заказов.





The Biggest Deal in Distance Selling Sector in Russia (January 22, 2009)

November 16, 2009

I am very proud that we have finally completed the biggest deal in Distance Selling sector in Russia with our long-term partner – the Otto Group. The Otto Group acquired 90% share of NA DOM Group and PROMOPOST from Direct Group.

NA DOM Group (presented by three business-units “Home”, “Health & Beauty”, “MeggyMall“) is one of our biggest and most perspective projects that has taken a leadership position in the Russian distance selling sector within its 12-year existence. PROMOPOST is the Russian leader of fulfillment and logistics operating in the distance selling sector and providing respective services to NA DOM Group. Located in Tver region it carries out order delivery to the clients all over Russia.

It is a very positive step in the development of the Group on the Russian distance-selling market in general. NA DOM Group will certainly benefit from the Otto Group world-wide extensive expertise in assortment, e-commerce operations, logistics & fulfillment.

At the same time, due to this deal Otto Group will leave all the competitors behind and become absolute leader in Russia in distance selling and e-commerce.

Pascal Clement

CEO Direct Group

Assessment of the Russian economy in 2008 (December 2008, Vol.3, No. 11)

November 16, 2009

Assessment of the Russian economy in 2008

I would like start by noting that 2008 was filled with different events. The first half of 2008 was a continuation of the previous years and the economy grew simply by inertia, but the current crisis split the year into two blocks. I see this crisis as a rather positive moment. Certainly, each company now has to review and reorganize its development strategy, business plan and structure. But here also lies the ‘rational kernel’ as the crisis offers an excellent opportunity to look at one’s business from a new angle and also mobilize oneself, an approach that will give additional boost to companies’ energy. So, one can say that on one hand, 2008 was a difficult year because of the global crisis, while, on the other hand, the crisis has given companies new energy and challenges to conquer their markets, improve themselves and become better than competitors.

Company’s achievements in 2008 and plans for 2009

Our first positive change in 2008 was the new positioning of our company both in form and content. Direct Group moved into a new level of development, thus becoming a leader in Market Expansion Services in Russia. Secondly, we attracted new partners to two of our projects. These are three French investment funds – Ventech Capital, XAnge Capital and AGF PE, which have invested into our Internet project Currently, we are completing an agreement with the Otto Group, an investor in the NA DOM Group, a leader in the household goods segment of the Russian distance-selling market. These projects and the discussion around them are a great success for us. Thirdly, and this is particularly important, we continue to study the market with the aim of finding new opportunities and niches, where to invest and develop new projects. So, now and in 2009, Direct Group will be very active and open for new projects.

Prognosis for the Russian economy in 2009

I would not only focus on Russia, because one needs to consider the macroeconomic aspect of the current situation. All companies can be divided into two groups. The first includes companies that have huge debts, which will be consequently affected by the crisis, as they will have to find financing from other banks or the state. For companies in the second group with positive cash flows and less debt obligations, the crisis will offer them new opportunities on the market. Therefore, my prognosis for 2009 is as follows: depending on a specific company, next year will either be very difficult (for the first group) or very interesting (for the second group). But the crisis will continue for not just one, but about five years. Unfortunately, many projects and companies will be closed, but at the same time, new businesses will be founded. All these will last for about 5 years.

Exploratory Trip to the Russian Regions (October 27, 2008)

November 16, 2009

Last week (October 21-24) we had an exploratory trip to the Russian regions: Samara and Yekaterinburg. The trip participants included the representatives of the Otto Group: Alexander Birken, Member of the Executive Board, Human Resources and Controlling OTTO; Katy Roewer, Vice President, Group Controlling; Josef Teeken, CEO bonprix; and the representatives of the Russian partner: Pascal Clement, President Direct Group; Bernhard Schaeffler, General Director Direct Catalogue Service and myself, Martin Schierer, CEO NA DOM Group.


The purpose of the trip was to get acquainted with the Russian regions and establish the business contacts in order to further develop the business of the Otto Group in Russia.


In the framework of the trip program we have visited the call-center of RusFinance Bank (one of the projects developed by Direct Group), have made an opinion poll among the catalogues target audiences representatives aiming at getting the follow-up and improving the service quality and came over to one of the branches of Dostavka Service (our new project launched in the middle of this year in order to provide alternative goods delivery – more qualitative and high speed), where we could see a professionally organized work and discuss the customers’ impressions and feedbacks with the staff.


My impressions from the trip were very many-sided: It was a great view outside of Moscow to the regions. The two cities are very different although the number of inhabitants is pretty much the same. Samara seemed to me and all the other participants as a sleeping city in comparison to Yekaterinburg that impressed us as a dynamic and developing place. The different possibilities for buying goods from the open markets in the suburbs to the shopping malls in the city center allowed us to see absolutely different price ranges and assortment presentations. The style of the open markets is not known in Germany but all of us have seen it before in Asia or South America. On the other side, in the shopping malls in the centre we could feel the dynamics of the shops development.


The conclusion after this few days trip was very clear: There are a lot of chances in this great and big country but we have to be quick!


Martin Schierer,

CEO NA DOM Group Internet-portal Attracted Western Investors (October 22, 2008)

November 16, 2009

“Milanor” Company (the owner of WomanJournal.ruand leLuxe.ruInternet-resources) announces completion of the deal on investments attracting for further development of its Internet-projects. Three French investment funds having successful experience in investing into European Internet-media – Ventech Capital, Xange Capital and AGF PE – have bought minority stake in Milanor for $6 million from its owner Direct Group. Aelios Finance brokered the deal.

The purpose of investment attraction was to provide the future business growth and brand development of female Internet-portal WomanJournal.ruand luxury goods Internet-site It will allow to expand the functional capabilities, raise the content volume and bring into operation new unique web-services ensuring additional cash inflow. At the same time, European partners’ involvement will ensure gaining the leading foreign sites’ experience and acquisition of the expertise on cutting-edge operating methods existing on the world Internet market.

«Primarily we were interested in attracting not only investments but «smart money». Our new partners are the guru of the European Internet market, they own know-how’s in the sphere. They believe in our company and we are confident that their experience and expertise will be beneficial to us. The partners have already provided us with their specialists in search engine marketing in order to optimize our work with Google », – says Pierric Duthoit, CEO Milanor.

«We have appreciated the quality of work being done by the team that entered the Russian Internet market, one of the world’s biggest markets with the most rapid growth rates and potential – more than 75 million users. Currently has all the advantages and opportunities to become a leader of the Russian female Internet on a level with the highest world standards», – comments Alain Caffi, head of Managing Partners de Ventech Capital.

The updated design of is planned to be presented by the portal owners in the nearest future in order to raise its usability, improve structuring, quality and volume of the existing content and enhance its interactivity. The number of partnership programs will be increased. Innovative fascinating services will be proposed to the portal audience. The result of these improvements will be shown in new opportunities for advertisers interested in qualitative targeted audience.

«We are specializing in identifying new business opportunities on the Russian market, rapid launch and further development of the projects up to their maturity. Today the Russian internet is one of the most perspective spheres with a number of outstanding opportunities. And the fact that the Russian Internet-portal has attracted western investors verifies once again that the Runet has a big future», – comments Pascal Clement, president Direct Group.

Energy – Responsibility – Respect (October 20, 2008)

November 16, 2009

Energy – Responsibility – Respect

Je suis tres heureux d ouvrir ce nouveau blog. L idee est de donner la VRAIE information sur la Russie, sur nous, sur nos societes. Combien de medias font des articles sur les hauts, les bas, les changements de la Russie.

Arretons de lire des dizaines d articles de qualite moyenne et montrons, de l interieur d une societe, ce qui se passe reellement en Russie

Je vais souvent ecrire sur ce blog car notre experience de 15 ans en Russie nous a montre bien des facettes de ce pays.

J ai developpe Direct Group sur 3 criteres:

L energie, essentielle a cette vie. Nous bougeons, reagissons, changeons. Il n y a plus de business plan a faire dans ce monde. Un business plan est trop statique. Il faut creer des societes ou le managment est chaque jour  le pilote de la societe. Bien sur, definir des KPI s a 3 ans , des directions strategiques sont necessaires. Mais le plus important est de donner cette energie positive au managment de chaque societe. Ils sont responsables du succes ou de l echec des societes. Tous les business peuvent etre profitables . La question unique est la qualite du managment.

Malheureusement souvent limite a ce que montre la crise actuelle.


Responsabilite. C est une qualite essentielle pour un manager. Nous devons toujours essayer de se sentir concerner aux problemes de la societe et faire son travail le mieux possible.

Un ami m a dit une phrase inteeessante la semaine derniere en parlant du managment dans la societe russe: “LA DISCIPLINE DANS LA DEMOCRATIE ET LA DICTATURE DANS LE PROFESIONNALISME”. Tres belle phrase qui resume le niveau de responsabilite que les managers doivent avoir dans une societe.

Le respect. La Russie, comme partout dans le monde d ailleurs, a besoin de progresser sur ce domaine. Respect de tous les jours, respect du manager envers sa societe, respect de la societe envers son manager, respect de son voisin, respect du passant. Tout est a refaire dans notre societe d aujour dhui.

Ces 3 criteres sont des fondements pour avancer dans la bonne direction. C est en tout cas ce que je me suis fixe.



Я очень рад, что открыл этот блог. Главная идея состоит в том, чтобы давать НАСТОЯЩУЮ информацию о России, о нас, о наших компаниях. В СМИ постоянно выходят статьи о высокопоставленных и простых людях, об изменениях, происходящих в России. Давайте перестанем читать десятки статей среднего качества, а лучше покажем изнутри, что на самом деле происходит в России. Именно об этом я собираюсь писать в блоге, так как наш 15-ти-летний опыт в России позволил открыть множество граней этой страны.

Я развивал Direct Group, основываясь на 3 критериях:

Энергия, самое важное в жизни. Мы реагируем, меняемся, двигаемся вперед. Сейчас нет такого бизнес-плана, который бы подходил на все случаи жизни. Бизнес-план – это слишком статично. Надо создавать компании, где менеджер каждый день выполняет роль пилота. Безусловно, необходимо определять KPIs на 3 года, стратегические направления развития. Но самая важная задача менеджмента состоит в том, чтобы давать положительную энергию своему делу и своей команде. Они ответственны и за успех, и за провал. Любой бизнес может быть выгодным. Весь вопрос – в качестве управленческих кадров. К сожалению, они часто ограничены, что и показывает нынешний кризис.

Ответственность. Очень важное качество для менеджера. Мы всегда должны стараться проявлять внимание к проблемам компании и делать свою работу как можно лучше. На прошлой неделе один мой друг, говоря о стиле управления в российских компаниях, сказал: “ДИСЦИПЛИНА НЕОБХОДИМА В УСЛОВИЯХ ДЕМОКРАТИИ, ДИКТАТУРА В ПРОФЕССИОНАЛИЗМЕ”. Очень красивая фраза, которая резюмирует уровень ответственности менеджеров в компании.

Уважение. Россия, как и любая другая страна, должна развиваться в этом направлении. Ежедневное уважение по отношению друг к другу, уважение менеджера к своей компании, уважение компании по отношению к своим сотрудникам, уважение к близким и незнакомым людям. Многое, что можно и нужно развивать нам всем.

Эти 3 критерия разработаны для того, чтобы все мы могли развиваться в правильном направлении. В любом случае, это то, что я для себя определил.



I am pleased to open this new blog. The main idea is to give the REAL information about Russia, us, our companies. There is a lot of articles in the media about leaders and ordinary people, about changes in Russia. Let’s stop reading dozens of these medium quality articles and show from inside what is really happening in Russia. That is what I am going to write in this blog, as far as our 15-year experience in Russia has allowed us to discover many facets of this country.

I’ve developed Direct Group basing upon 3 criteria:

Energy, the most important thing for life. We are changing, reacting, moving forward. There’s no any business plan appropriate for any case. Business plan is a very static thing. Now we have to create companies where managers every day play the role of pilots. Certainly, it is necessary to define KPIs for 3 years, strategic development directions. But the most important task for the management is to give the positive energy to their projects and their teams. They are responsible for either success or failure. Any business may be profitable. The question is the quality of management personnel. Unfortunately, these are often limited as the current crisis has shown.

Responsibility. It’s a very important characteristic for a manager. We always have to be concerned about our company’s problems and try to do our job at our best. Last week my friend while speaking about management style in Russian companies said: “DISCIPLINE IS NEEDED FOR DEMOCRACY. DICTATORSHIP IS NEEDED FOR PROFESSIONALISM”. It’s not just a nice phrase but also a resume of a responsibility level of managers.

Respect. Russia, as any other country in the world, has a lot of to do in order to make progress in this issue. It’s an everyday respect to each other, respect of a manager to his/her company, respect of a company to its managers, respect to friends and strangers. There are many things that all of us have to develop.

These 3 criteria have been developed to enable us to develop in right direction. In any case, that is what I have defined.


Pascal Clement,

CEO Direct Group

Welcome to the Direct Group’s corporate blog! (October 11, 2008)

November 16, 2009

I’m pleased to welcome everybody at the corporate blog of Direct Group.

For Direct Group as the international, rapidly developing holding, launching the blog is a natural and very positive step. We specialize in finding new business opportunities on the Russian market and launching new ventures in an extremely short time. We’ve already been present on the Russian market for more than 12 years and this is our undoubted competitive advantage.

Here, in this blog, we are going to inform you, on the one hand, about news and ideas of Direct Group and, on the other hand, about tendencies and perspective opportunities of the business in Russia.

We would like to show that the business in Russia might be positive and perspective. We are going to give you practical examples of how to use the opportunities of the Russian market when you have brains, will and creativity to make something interesting and fresh. We are going to show that the Russian market is the right place to apply your abilities, potential and initiatives. In one word, we will say about everything to fit our motto: “Direct Group is the true gateway to Russia”.

So, welcome everybody once again, and I hope our discussions will be inspiring and valuable.
If you have any questions or comments, please, feel free to post them here, in this blog or send to our e-mail:

Pascal Clement,
CEO Direct Group

Hello world!

November 16, 2009

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