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Dmitry Potapenko on how to develop the business in modern Russia

Дмитрий Потапенко о том, как развивать бизнес в современной России

Through the work of the Public expert Council on entrepreneurship hosted a lecture managing partner of Management Development Group, former General Director of the network “Pyaterochka” Dmitry Potapenko. Entrepreneur, doesn’t mince words, told about the state of trade in Russia, the prospects of the industry and how to survive the business in a neo-feudal society. “Ribbon.ru” wrote down the main points of his speech.

Where are we and where do we go

In the next five to seven years the absolute norm will be stagflation (stagnation and inflation at the same time — approx. “The tape.ru”), which we are seeing now. For next year we will not program our stabilization Fund and the contingency Fund (though it depends on how will bomb in Syria and what would be the costs), but for the next two to three years, the funds can be easily killed.

The main problem with crisis is that it’s not a crisis — a real crisis was in 1998. Then there was a sharp market decline, a new six-hundredth Mercedes was sold for 12 thousand dollars, and the amount of money coming out of bankrupt Inkombank had taken place with the support of bandits and their roofs in uniform. Entrepreneurs, then forced to inject money in short-term government bonds (t-bills), and then said it was just pieces of paper.

The current people in power are more reasonable, they did the right trick and now can say that public debt is not. This is true, but the state Corporation needs so that if there is a default of any of Gazprom, will not find it.

They are very talented, and from the point of view of language proficiency they should be envied. We were promised that taxes will not rise? They do not increase. Because the Rotenberg collection system (“Plato”) is not a tax, social deductions is not a tax. The great and mighty Russian language! In the future we will see other various “deductions”, “taxes” and other magical words, but in the end this will only worsen our situation.

What to do in this situation? It is clear that in conditions of falling consumer demand in areas that I know (retail, DIY retail, catering, production), you need to go in not merely low, but in extremely low price segment. To date, there are two strategies to keep the company afloat.

Дмитрий Потапенко о том, как развивать бизнес в современной России

The crisis of 1998

Photo: Lyudmila Pakhomova / TASS

What happened in 2014-2015, tectonic changes in the market consumer preferences. The consumer now buys a product, and calories, if we are talking about food, just as he buys not mix, and the simulacrum of these compounds. Don’t need to claim to the buyer, when he wants, for a nominal 50 rubles to purchase a quality product, worth 200 rubles. The user buys the simulacrum quality, and the entrepreneur will have to follow this desire, giving quality goods at a low price.

In such a paradigm, the entrepreneurs will be obliged to work the next five to seven years, because “tomorrow” there are no political changes, as some hope, will not happen. I am far from political rallies, especially when all the Federal opposition parties are financed from the budget. This does not preclude any local victories for the opposition, but in General no one to change will not.

This system has the only advantage — changes occur in it on the principle of FBC: “eat each other”. The number of points inside the counter are great, she is like a black hole, devouring itself. Someone will be able to play, and someone no, but we need to approach this rationally, not emotionally, because the people that include emotions, begin to detach from reality. The task of the entrepreneur is to be closer to Economics, and Economics is math. Roughly speaking, two and two make four, and there are no minuses or pluses. Try to count their steps, based on this logic.

The second strategy is to work with the legend: you sell not the product itself, as belonging to the class of goods. That is will be sold calories and legend, everything in the middle, will leave the market, because those who had been middle class (officials and people in uniform), fall into the very cheap segment. If we talk of people working on the budget businesses, it will fall into poverty or hypernymy.

What happened at the turn of 2008 and 2015? There were 18 million people living below the poverty line, now 22 million. If we talk about popular riots, then they will not. The reason is that the Federal TV channels launched a perfect ideological meme — “enemies are everywhere, oil is down.” He explains why it gets worse and it can go a very long time.

A little bit about small and medium entrepreneurs in this system. It is clear that there is business and businessmen who suck the budget, and they have no relation to the competition. The entrance into the power and business investment, when you invest some money, and then get to feeding a particular area.

Our task is to maneuver and not to fall under these “reversible containers”. The niche narrows, but you do not doriot. Someone will need to clean your boots, feed the employees of state institutions, to import and export business in Somalia, finally. Of course, this degradation from the point of view of the country, and you can worry about it, but you have to understand that the behavior of the chicken does not affect the behavior of the Fox.

Дмитрий Потапенко о том, как развивать бизнес в современной России


“The Federal network will select six”

The feds, the transnational, of course, will be dying to pick up, is not a small business, and medium. This will happen because one major supermarket wraps a day from one to six million rubles, and the hypermarkets of type “Ashana” in General the day have a million visitors, and therefore the stalls for them not competitors.

If we’re talking about snacks create a threat to the feds regionals, it snacks create a threat not a hundred-meter shops, and regional networks of objects from three hundred square meters. It’s definitely not our problem. Our problem is that we entrepreneurs sometimes behave no better than our government. Each region is howling, they say, came the Russians and wring out a small business. The ultimate dream of the entrepreneur is to run to the Governor and tell him that, behold, there came “Auchan”, “IKEA”, “Leroy Merlin”, and we died. But dying is the only individual entrepreneurs (IE).

Now look at this situation from the point of view of the consumer, government and provider. From the point of view of the supplier there will be a big market. The manufacturer will need to do not one hundred units of range, and one unit of goods for the hypermarket. Look from the point of view of the government on investment in the region in hypermarket will be in times above, than at small and medium businesses. The hypermarket will not sit on any IP, it will sit on the common system of taxation, accordingly, revenues will increase. People will have stable jobs with a career ladder. Transnational player zapressovyvajut regional player lower prices, and within five minutes customers will betray us (small and medium business).

Snacks create a threat to the feds the middle market, which is less efficient, occurs because he can’t repozitsionirovanie with the feds. Until then, until we find our niche, we don’t need. No country in the world to any Burger does not come to mind to cram a range of Aldi (German chain of discount stores) in the 50-metre shop and wait for a buyer.

We have this ongoing situation where small shops somehow believe your rival Auchan. You have to understand that some people buy depth range, others the width of the range, there are those who buy the brand, and those who buy price. While your store will not be the key indicators that you have nothing to do in the market.

Дмитрий Потапенко о том, как развивать бизнес в современной России

Photo: Dmitry Dukhanin / Kommersant

About “night of the long ladles” in Moscow

The behavior of the authorities in respect of the stalls is very correct from the point of view of normal “Chashniki” (chief of the administrative offices — approx. “The tape.ru”), whom he appointed at the head of the city. Earlier in Moscow was 31 thousand retailers, stationary — 18 thousand, unsteady — 13. It is 30 thousands of idiots like us who constantly need something: give place, give electricity, clean streets. And the chief of the AXO is it necessary?

So now unsteady three thousand. Knocked 20 thousand people, which need to attach. It is better to put at the job and keep the place for a causal what to give or not to give them allowance. When people say that the stalls being demolished in favor of some other business, they don’t understand the logic of AHO. Now is the ideal business for this head is the cemetery. Therefore, the authorities are doing everything mechanically correct, and we, as entrepreneurs, fall under this roller.

About trade with China

To trade with them, we bring out the bells, bells and stuff. Can you go to send the goods? Probably not. I always use the example of Chinese philosophy. First: China is almost never conducted aggressive wars, but almost always assimilated to the winners. Second: in the Chinese language there is no word “no”. It sounds like “not Yes” (this is very important when you will negotiate with the Chinese). Within two days you socialize, drink tea, and the most important issues are dealt with in the last 15 minutes — a normal situation, because the Chinese live on the basis of Zen. They do not seek to deceive.

Here is an example from my experience: I bought the Chinese one and a half car rods, 90 percent of them did not write. When I came to understand, they have just not understood: “did You get the rods? — Yes, but they do not write. — Where in the contract says I have to write?” And now, when we order in China hooks for sausages, then write a contract for 350 sheets. Each rule that is not supported by the contract, they interpret in their favor, earning money from it.

So the Chinese can work. Shameful that in the Chinese city Sanji 15 years ago there were 200 thousand inhabitants and earthen roads. Now there are skyscrapers and 15 million people. Can we call one such city in Russia?

The substitution and guano

It is important to define the concepts. When we say that we have a domestic potato, we forget that the seed is 90% Dutch. Every domestic product from 20 percent import content.

Дмитрий Потапенко о том, как развивать бизнес в современной России


Of course, there the simulacra of the products. A striking example is cheese, which is not really cheese. If we now bring into Russia imported product, our cheese would be near standing — well we don’t know how to do them. Need to admit that it would be more honest than talk, they say, look, we made cheese.

To run at the Olympics you have to train. We’ve got to get here masters, the equipment, and only then after 10 years we will start to do something similar to cheese. The Chinese are a good example. We in the 90s were as much morons as they are, only they admitted it. Now everything has changed: attend a show is Mercedes, and around 50 Chinese clones. In Russia there is at least one analogue of a Mercedes? We has completely disappeared product groups, instead they got some guano, which can be called domestic.

What is profitable to sell abroad

The main problem in trade with the West is not the weakening of the ruble, but the fact that we don’t meet their standards. In Germany, relatively speaking, the cucumber is standardized by the number of pimple and length. Attention, question: who of us is ready for these standards to go? We can tell what we clean the land, but this, again, would be a lie. Our industrial enterprises merge and burn stuff like this so to say that we grow organic cucumbers, even 50 miles from the plant, is a lie.

Where will ravaged the middle class

He will not fight for their political subjectivity. Everything will be significantly harder and more primitive. Like us people will go to the labour exchange, because, first and foremost, you need to decide on what to eat. State, feudal structure, will be offered a job in a state institution (it is clear that without access to the budget section). You can return to the enterprise, but small — no one will forbid us to trade them.

In the feudal state to speak about the political alternative is meaningless. There are feudal lords, vassals, and peasants suzerains. We are peasants when we press, we pull out the forks, but if you have the order, then our heads will be cut down. Walking businessmen to left, right — just some steam games. We have only one “party”: that the President’s administration. But feudalism and the stone age ended because the system devoured itself. We slowly the same thing happens.

I often face the esters with deputies, and on the sidelines they poked his finger at me and say “What do you cipelici? First of all, you’re nobody, we have no money from you, no matter how good you are the taxpayer, and from the depths. We have not only oil and gas, we have the territory, water, forest, quotas for air. We still have something to trade”. This is enough for their life and the lives of their children. They relate to life cynical and pragmatic.

Knowledge is light or darkness?

For education entrepreneurs have no standard. As I see it: me as the entrepreneur must come rector of the Economics University and say, like, I have a certain number of students, let’s do what you need? Relatively speaking, the evaluation of the object from the perspective of consumer preferences. When a client comes to the object, to track its movement, to understand how he chooses. These students on the basis of numbers write the work, then potentially you pick one out of a hundred that comes to you. The rector on the basis of the received I data writes the academic standard which is an Annex to the economy.

Дмитрий Потапенко о том, как развивать бизнес в современной России


We are now all on the contrary. At leading universities have a specialty “commodity”, there is at the stand still hangs the boots in the context of (and I’m not kidding). What merchandisers need to learn? Communication skills. Ability to work with the customer on the point — main skill. We have the same in 90 percent of cases, as soon as two people in subjection, “entrepreneur” puts a crown on the head: “I do strategy and customers do not touch”. Why? Putting the customer first, and if he chews sunflower seeds and swear, so you got squat, and foul language. The service must be relevant to the understanding of the client.

About the militarization of the economy

To quote Carl von Clausewitz: war is being waged to achieve peace on the most appropriate for the winner. We are in several wars and have long must get some profit from them. People go guts for making policy, and we get a certain amount of money in each campaign. If earlier, when the Empire was expanding, we have obtained some wealth, but now what? We have become better or safer to live? No.

I flew this year from Munich, read Russian news: Islamists disrupted the Christmas holidays in Europe, Munich was among the cities where disrupted holiday. I’m sitting at the airport, there is zero police, less than at the metro station “Troparevo”. All live quiet, peaceful lives. We are ready to discuss what is happening in Cologne, but are not willing to discuss how two boy raped by girls in school in Moscow. We need to take care of themselves and solve problems here, but about the people of Cologne will take care of MS Merkel.

About the issue of palm oil

The transnational should not produce a “quality” product. Will explain why in quotes. The word “qualitative” does not exist in nature, because palm oil is not bad nor good, it is a common ingredient, but the main problem is that we have no division between technical and edible palm oil. So we have a mix.

If, as now propose to introduce excise duty, it will raise the price, but the counterfeit will not disappear. The feds will trade the same product for them, small business will not rise. As this happens in the West? This is extremely niche story. There is little producers are United in cooperatives, there is no mythological mythological the manufacturer and the retailer. There distribution chain will always be made up of seven parts: production, processing, packaging, transport logistics, warehouse logistics, delivery logistics, implementation.

Our main problem is that we don’t have these conducting chains, and so small producers should never be in the hypermarket. Such a manufacturer must be “setcheck”, where the buyer acquires not a product but a premium “quality”. If you want to have it then you have to overpay for him in small setchecked, but if you want to save budget, you come to the supermarket. This is a normal division customers. You cannot oppose one distribution channel to another.

Дмитрий Потапенко о том, как развивать бизнес в современной России

Dmitry Potapenko

Photo: Yury Martyanov / Kommersant

How to survive the business in a neo-feudal society

In the feudal state the business will always be a servant for the sake of the feudal Lord. Actively develop, he will begin only when we change the political system. Now we have a collapsing system. Do I need to do something in policy? Can some kind of alternative power, add acceleration to this process?

We are now at the point where the two gears tightly froze. In theory, their release can happen in two ways: the destruction of the gears and the outside impact. The chances that the third gear will be able to nudge, no, more likely it will break. At various parties we have a lot of renegade entrepreneurs starts bickering, if it appeared ghostly briefcase on a budget. Can the business grow? No, it can’t, but to survive — Yes.

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