Krasnodar, 30 July. For the first time, Krasnodar has hosted an interregional conference in the context of the long-term program “Time of new strategies.” The discussion that summoned speakers from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Leningrad oblast and Krasnodar krai was devoted to the topic: “Business strategies and practices of recovery from restrictions mode.”
Addressing the audience with a welcome speech, Tadzio Schilling, Association of European Business (AEB) CEO, said: “Regions are gradually lifting the constraints that were adopted due to the spread of the coronavirus, and there are first signs that international contacts may be resumed soon. But this does not mean exiting from the present economic and epidemiologic crisis. Some countries are experiencing the second wave of the pandemic. This is why our dialogue is very opportune.”
According to Oleg Zharko, Chairman of the AEB Southern Regional Committee, the program ‘Time of new strategies’ has existed for many years, and it is considered an acknowledged discussion platform for the business circles, the authority and the public to discuss most topical problems.
In his speech, Andreas Bitzi, Chairman of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Committee of AEB presented the trends of organizational management and HR-approaches: “We need to use the crisis to analyse and assess our business models, products, services, sales channels and business processes, and their efficiency. We have to make sure that we are prepared to the wave of bankruptcies, we must thoroughly analyse our contractors and be very punctual with payment deadlines.”
Artem Trokhin of Kommerzbank (Eurasia) stated that the economy had undergone structural changes. First of all, some companies had to change their business models. Other players suffered greatly from the pandemic; their fixed assets are staying idle.
Svetlana Saltanova, Deputy Minister of Economy of Krasnodar krai, said: “We have expanded the federal list of the industries suffered [from the pandemic] bearing in mind the peculiarities of our region. The regional list contains 26 directions of small and midsize entrepreneurship that encompass about 50,000 business units.”
Aleksandr Sitov, Deputy Chairman of St. Petersburg City Committee on Industrial Policy, Innovations and Trade, mentioned that “during the pandemic, the level of direct interaction with the business sector was very high: over 20,000 applications were addressed to the Committee via special hotlines or directly, which nearly equalled the yearly amount of suchlike addresses in the previous years.
Anton Finogenov, First Deputy Chairman of Leningrad regional Committee of Economic Development and Investment Activity, said: “We took hazards at the very beginning by permitting the companies to resume work in April on a notification basis, but provided observance of tough anti-epidemiological standards and requirements. To have this done, we organised assistance in purchasing individual protective gears, which allowed major enterprises to avoid lengthy downtimes.”
Chris Mawer, BP Vice President, noted that the most important thing in his company’s approach since the very beginning of the crisis had been to ensure safety and wellbeing of their employees and members of their families. “The pandemic is not over yet, and many people throughout the world continue to die every day,” he stated. “We have always paid much attention to the factors that cause unease and stress in our employees.
Aleksandr Ustavshchikov, Nokian Tyres Production Director, explained that their company had developed their own safety standards: “Until now, our HR, Marketing, and Sales departments work remotely. Only the industrial personnel are present at works – they work in four shifts 24 hours a day. Medium managers have switched to shift-based working hours to prevent overlapping and ensure the operational continuity.”
The results of the meeting were reviewed by Aleksandr Polidi, Chairman of the regional Civic Chamber’s Commission on economy, industrial and agricultural sectors, integral development of rural areas, and support of small and midsize business.
“Our discussion has shown the following two trends that were formed during the crisis. First, it is a mental leap in relations between the state and the business – it has happened and it will continue to happen. Today the both parties have understood that it is a two-way road, and that there is a very serious demand for transparent and constructive partnership. Second, it is the colossal speed of the present-day technological, marketing and environmental changes, the speed that has never been felt before by the global economy,” he noted.
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