The Russian Federation offers countless new opportunities for businesses looking to expand their global reach. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a few intricacies involved in doing business in Russia.
To help you better understand the landscape, here’s a look at some of the most important things to keep in mind for the Russian market!
Fast Facts About the Russian Federation
- Russia (the Russian Federation) comprises 22 republics that span almost all of North Asia and a large section of Eastern Europe.
- It’s the world’s largest country by land area, covering some 17,125,200 square kilometers.
- It’s such a big country; it spans NINE time zones!
- Russia is home to more than 144 million people
- The Russian economy is the world’s 11th largest by nominal GDP, and it’s the 6th largest purchasing power parity in the world.
- Russia forms part of the BRICS group, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Among these countries, Russia’s consumers are the richest.
- Moscow is emerging as an international finance center, making it ideal for legal and financial companies to expand.
- Although Russian is the country’s official language (and the language of commerce), there are 27 other official languages throughout the Federation.
- In 2009, Hillary Clinton gave the foreign minister of Russia (at that time), Sergei Lavrov, a mock ‘reset’ button as a way of symbolizing that the US hopes to revitalize its relationship with the Russian Federation. Sadly, the word she chose to translate was “peregryzka,” which translates to “overloaded.” Needless to say, it was viewed as an intercultural Freudian slip.
Understanding Business Mentality in Russia
It might be tough to do business in Russia without the help of a local connection. If you have any Russian language skills, don’t be afraid to use them. Russians appreciate foreigners that have an interest in their language!
Although English is often taught at school, the official business language in Russia is Russian.
Since Russia is one of the world’s largest economies, it presents many opportunities and benefits to companies that are willing to take on the learning curve. Here are some basic rules for doing business in Russia:
It’s best to hire a legal firm for doing business in Russia to protect you from the lack of regulations regarding business loss reimbursements, recovery of damages, and fraud. The Russian Government has strict laws in place when it comes to Russian businesses, federal tax services, and foreign investors. This means that as a separate legal entity, you must comply with the rules of the Russian economy.
Russia’s business system is hierarchical, so make sure you know the meeting attendees before you set up a business meeting. Russian businesses also have tight technical regulations they adhere to, so brush up on your knowledge!
Russians like getting to the point as soon as possible, and mentioning profitability early in the conversation will work in your favor. A glass of vodka typically seals a closed deal!
Etiquette for Local Businesses in Russia
Russians are known to be very hospitable, but like with every other culture, there are some rules that apply.
#1 – The older Russian generation is more traditional and prefers group-based business meetings. The younger generation, however, might be more comfortable with an individualistic approach to business.
#2 – Before you expand your horizons to Russia, learn! You need to know as much as possible about the culture, geography, and history of the country. Russians are very proud of these topics. This is why they’ll inevitably pop into conversations and could help you build stronger business relationships.
#3 – It might be a tedious process to get the older generation of Russians to understand modern commerce that is a product of capitalism. Just keep in mind that they were under communist rule for almost 70 years, so be patient while explaining your brand’s position.
The points we’ve highlighted here are arguably the most important to keep in mind for conducting business in Russia. The culture and business ethics determined by the Russian Government may be very different from what you’re used to. And this is why you need extensive research on the country and its people before you go.
Above all, the most essential thing to do is to hire a professional language services provider for English to Russian translations. If you thought you could approach the Russian market with a literal translation of your English documents and content, think again! Your entire brand messaging approach will need to be localized and adapted to the local audience. And that’s something that can only be effectively done if you have in-depth experience in the field.
Day Translations is the ideal language services partner to businesses that plan on doing business in Russia. Our native Russian translators and interpreters are here to assist you through every step of the process. Get in touch with us today! We’ll explain how our bespoke range of language services can help you cross the language barrier!