In spite of the global financial crisis, Russia is one of the certain growth markets of the future.
Koskisen has re-organised its Russian sales operations in order to utilise the potential of the Russian markets and the markets of neighbouring countries: the subsidiary company OOO Koskisen represents and resales all of the Koskisen Group’s products.
Matti Hyöky has operated as the Head of Sales for Russia and its neighbouring countries since last October. In February he took on the operations of the subsidiary OOO Koskisen, situated in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The sales organisation also includes Irina Birch and Head Accountant Julia Holostjakova.
- The situation in the Russian market has been tough lately because the demand for almost all mechanical woodworking products has been low. The demand for prefabricated houses was at a complete halt last year, but some recovery can be seen in the state-funded building sites. However, their price level does not match our targets,” says Matti Hyöky.
According to Matti Hyöky, both chipboard and plywood products have been purchased at a relatively even rate by regular customers, but the quantities are far from the sales volumes during the good times.
- The financial crisis has put a strain on the country but the strengthened rouble will hopefully bring some relief to the situation,” Matti Hyöky says.
The slow recovery of the Russian economy has started, but in addition to the general restlessness and internal conflicts, the customs system also causes extra work and headaches.
- Three of the six customs terminals operating in Saint Petersburg have been axed and the authorities plan to close down two more. It is hard to say in advance whether this will bring improvements, but for our part the transition phase will cause unnecessary extra work. On the other hand, the Russian customs has surprises in store almost every year. For honest entrepreneurs these clearings are actually a good thing since they enhance competitiveness against the so-called grey economy.”
Heading for better times
In spite of the problems, Matti Hyöky says that Koskisen has a functional reseller network which will be complemented with a few new partners. When the economy recovers and industry as well as construction start regaining their momentum, our organisation in Russia will be more effective.
- We are heading for better times but it is impossible to say how quickly the recovery of the economy will take place here. Demand has revived, which is a good sign, but the price level is still low. I have been following the Russian financial crises and plunges for about 20 years. Every single time the country has risen quickly to an even better situation than before the crisis. Even though this is the first global financial crisis that Russia has been involved in, it doesn’t take much to predict that the country will rise again. After that, the speed will be even fiercer than before for the next ten years and life will go on, summarises Hyöky.