Friday, 22 February 2008

Starting Up Business the Russian Way

March's GIM interviewed Dr Vladimir Gershenzon, the General Director of Scan Ex. Despite it being the late 1980s there were still difficulties in setting up a scientific business. I quote

"It is probably hard for an outsider to imagine, but at that time it was impossible to survive by being involved only in "hi-tech". So, with 40000 borrowed dollars ... we went to Germany to buy Mercedes cars for selling on the Russian market. It was dangerous: on two occasions ... I barely escaped from hijackers".

Not your average day at work in the surveying industry then?

And do I detect a lament at the tightening of customs rules and regulations?

"Today you need to fill in many documents to export any commodity, but at the time you could just pack it* in a refrigerator box and roll it past customers on a cart, declaring, 'for school, for school'."

[* a portable meteorological station]

Ah, those were the days...

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