Strategies for Strengthening Business
The economic crisis is no reason to throw in the towel. On the contrary, it is the best time to search for new business opportunities, and a unique opportunity to strengthen Russian companies.
Russian transport manufacturing finds itself in new and unfavorable circumstances. The industry faces uncertainty and a lack of stability due to changes in the world economy, structural manufacturing problems, and Western sanctions. There are three possible solutions to this problem. The first is to search for new partners who are willing to join already developed projects, the second is for the industry to develop its own market segment, and the third is to develop new projects with new partners. UralVagonZavod has decided to explore all of these options at once.
Time and time again, I have said that stagnation can be avoided if we provide ourselves with the latest technologies. In order to become a technological power, Russia needs to increase its integration with the BRICS countries. This includes creating common financial infrastructures and a common currency. We don’t have time for lengthy philosophical discourse. Under crisis conditions, we must build a clear development strategy and make conceptual decisions quickly.
To weather the sanctions, we must unite, first and foremost. There is nothing more conducive to this than the BRICS structure, especially since the participating countries are home to over half of the world’s population. Secondly, infrastructure projects within Russia need to be developed – if all industries are supported, then they will pull the rest of the enterprises up along with them.
For example, advances in military-technical cooperation give us a unique opportunity to build upon and export civil machinery. This a key task today. In addition, the potential opportunities that accompany any crisis are forcing us to revise development strategies, seek new markets, and establish technological and industrial relations with countries that were not previously part of our circle – or at least not in recent years.
UralVagonZavod is no exception. Due to anti-Russian sanctions, many of our active projects with European and American partners are now indefinitely frozen. At first, there was the remote possibility of a speedy lifting of sanctions and resumption of relations. Therefore, we studied the rolling stock requirements in the countries of our potential customers. After this, we started research and development to create innovative products with improved performance, using brand new materials such as composites. All of this will also help us remain competitive within the country in conditions of market saturation.
Old new friends
Regarding the supply of civilian goods to external markets, UralVagonZavod signed a contract this year to export freight cars to Azerbaijan. The implementation of the first phase of the agreement has already begun. In addition, we have found an interested partner in Cuba. Our company will serve the needs of the island country’s railways, and will be dealing with the repair, maintenance, and assembly of freight cars. For a quarter of a century, Havana has been a reliable industry partner, and this tradition should be supported.
We are currently considering the possibility of starting similar work in Egypt. A pilot project in the country will be the reconstruction and modernization of a metallurgical plant in Helwan. The main task is to establish a transportation and logistics network and to increase the capacity of production – primarily through investments in equipment and the creation of new production lines.
In addition, we are continuing to strengthen cooperation with the Eurasian Customs Union countries – Belarus and Kazakhstan. We have started working with China and the Baltic states. We are consistently increasing our number of global partners, especially with those who not only didn’t turn away from Russia, but reached out to us. High-tech companies from the East are replacing previous Western and American partners.
It is worth reiterating that this crisis is not just a period of economic recession. There is a reduction of demand and production, but it is also a time for new opportunities and development. Given these circumstances, our choice of strategy is of great importance – it will allow us to set new priorities, tap into our potential, and emerge from this difficult period even stronger and better than before.
As response to the Western sanctions, we at UralVagonZavod studied the rolling stock requirements in the countries of our potential customers. After this, we started research and development to create innovative products with improved performance, using brand new materials such as composites. All of this will also help us remain competitive within the country in conditions of market saturation