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!
CEO NA DOM Group