Hello! I’m Mauro Benigno, I’m Italian though I self-evidently speak English, and I emigrated from Palermo (where I graduated from its university) to Moscow during 2002. In the years that have followed, as well as studying Russian, I have repeatedly seized opportunities to work in senior management within both native Russian and foreign ventures. In that capacity I have been able to accrue considerable experience in respect of the inner workings of local SMEs and international enterprises alike, observing at first hand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
I’ll spare you the detail here, though If you’d like to read my resume I Invite you to see my personal Linkedin profile at:
Fathoming out the Russian market
Russia, which many do not realise to be by far the largest country in the world by land area, is a huge market with a GDP approaching US$4.5 trillion – making it the 6th biggest economy on the planet. Moreover it sits at the very hub of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – which together generate an even heftier GDP of US$5.5 trillion. Thus Russia has truly enormous potential. Yet for outsiders that potential can be elusive. This is because one needs to penetrate not just the territory and its society but a mindset that governs strategic thinking as well as business models which are indubitably different to those of their European counterparts.
Consultancy firm” My Consulting”
An awareness of these obstacles prompted me, back in 2012, to establish ‘My Consulting’ in Moscow. Its mission has been to both promote and support European enterprises which recognise the need to research new business opportunities if they are to achieve commercial success within Russian and CIS markets.
My expertise, my understanding of the Russian mentality, and my extensive commercial relationships across Russia enable me to provide new start-ups and established companies alike with a professional, efficient and cost-effective resource that generates the critical qualitative and quantitative data which should give them the leverage they need.
Assuming that this prospect interests you, I invite you to visit my website at www.myconsulting.info in order to view and/or download a leaflet that describes and costs my business consulting services.
Learning to sidestep the misinformation that can swamp Russia
Spending almost two decades in Russia, to date, has enabled me to observe at first hand how Russia has developed. The year-on-year GDP has grown by 3.6% on average during that time. And, with it, so has the citizens’ well-being and standard of living. Yet it’s not all been plain sailing. Regrettably in 2014, amidst an overblown political crisis stoked by abundant regulatory misinformation, many European companies rather prematurely abandoned Russia so they subsequently missed burgeoning opportunities. As I write, in 2019, there are signs that Russia is going to normalize its relationship with the Ukraine. This could be enormously beneficial to trade and industry in the entire region.
I should emphasise that short-term experiences of any foreign market can be misleading. Because it can easily take a decade for an outsider to truly comprehend conditions that are effectively eternal and separate them from those which are transient and ephemeral. This is why my two decades of hands-on experience in Russia are invaluable. My expertise and insights make me a go-to trusted and specialist regional partner who can support and guide clients like you as they make informed commercial decisions that are more likely to ensure ventures enjoy early and continued profitability.
My project ‘Online Russia’
With that in mind, in 2018 I set up the ‘Online Russia’ project to provide not only a direct connection between European and Russian companies but, furthermore, an exchange of unbiased up-to-date information.
Online Russia does far more than provide that connection and frequently-upgraded information because It:
- Builds online sales platforms which showcase products from European clients who will be invited to collaborate on the relevant webpages
- Facilitates on-the-ground representational support for businesses whose products and services are not easily sold online or not marketed there for good reason, something which permits our clients to operate efficiently in Russia without having to start an office.
Read the post “Selling online into Russia”.
Interested? So where do we go from here?
To find out more about how to market your enterprise in Russia and/or the CIS please get in touch to tell me about your business to-date and your aspirations as well as any important considerations and parameters of which I should be aware.
I periodically send out a newsletter too, one that shares news on the Russian market and flags up what I think to be opportunities.
If you want to be emailed copies please see the panel on the home page