BRICS Business Magazine English Issue #1 (27) 2021
Victory Day, which we recently celebrated, brings to mind not only heroic or solemn images, but also conjures the idea of the "echoes of war". This understanding is most commonly used by demographers, but it can also be applied to economics, psychology and social, political or cultural life. Either way, we are talking about the long-term consequences of a certain shock, an event dramatically changing the usual order of things. Today, no one has yet forgotten the talk that the invasion of the coronavirus would lead to an explosive transformation of reality. But the world hasn't changed beyond recognition, developed countries flooded the impending crisis with an unprecedented amount of financial support, and the apocalyptic mood has disappeared by itself. And yet it is likely that years from now we will be talking about the "echoes of the pandemic".
The experience of being alone and locked away, the experience of obsessive control and strict regulations, the experience of prolonged fear and inability to comprehend what the near future will be like, the experience of accelerated digitalization, along with which the awareness of the value of live human communication went hand in hand. The pandemic proved to be a test of our ability to adapt, a stress test for individuals, businesses and entire nations. And of course, this test is not over yet. People and companies have already formed new habits, although these habits have not yet solidified. Some people are unhappy, some people enjoy working remotely, but no one can predict what will happen to us in 5 or 10 years (and not just for a few of us, but for millions of people). Some consider the restrictions imposed as inevitable and reasonable, while others are willing to sacrifice their livelihood and change their place of residence for the sake of personal freedom. Security is important to both, but they understand it differently.
The "echoes of the pandemic" will reverberate in many personal, business, and political decisions (or in the inability to make them). No one will want to return to a state of powerlessness and extreme uncertainty, which means that work will be undertaken around the world to improve predictive and regulatory practices. Algorithms that predict our behaviour and how we react will become ubiquitous, control by states and technology corporations is likely to become stronger, and drug and food security will not be off the global agenda for long. I also see a significant danger in the fact that by defending ourselves against unseen threats, many of us will become even more alienated, although the most healing elixir for planet Earth right now would be mutual trust and understanding. That said, life clearly tells us that we must be able to not only save and earn, but also benefit by giving back. Without a conscientious accounting of non-financial, non-materialistic indicators, we will never get on a sustainable development path. To understand this is to learn one of the most important lessons of the pandemic.
The whole world is already embarking on a journey toward a bioeconomic future, implementing and designing innovative approaches, technologies and business models, as well as accumulating a relevant knowledge base. Russia, by far the largest single deposit of bioresources, has not yet been actively engaged in the global transition processes. So here is what needs to be done to accelerate Russia’s contribution and expansion beyond the bioeconomic frontier, suggests Ekaterina Nesmeeva.
The story of the consumer driving value is as old as the world and probably won’t come as a surprise. Yet companies mainly controlled how consumers could shape their strategies by deciding on the design and components of the offer ,proposing take it or leave it offers to target audiences. Based on recent evidence from the retail payments market, we argue that new business models, consumer empowerment and increased personalisation intended for creating and capturing more value by companies backfired by giving consumers themselves more control. Consumers are now becoming marked orchestrators of value distribution. They and their decisions are now taken directly into account in making strategic managerial choices even in industries where the consumer is less involved in the co-creation of products and value, think Egor Krivosheya and Ekaterina Semerikova of Centre for Research in Financial Technologies and Digital Economy, SKOLKOVO-NES
The Arctic is a strategic region and its development is among Russia’s priorities for the coming decades. The Northern Sea Route is a crucial pivot for the whole plan, providing a new trade transport alternative between Asia and Europe. To build up the Arctic effectively, a modern Arctic fleet and an Arctic shipping system will be needed, believes Nikita Dobroslasky.
The increased environmental standards for operating in the Arctic region impose strict requirements on the quality of marine fuel. This is a serious challenge for Russia and shipowners, who will have to find a cleaner alternative, learn to use it and complete the transition, thinks Nikita Dobroslavsky.
Structural oversupply coupled with low economic growth rate has created the conditions under which the Russian wagon-building industry is to exist in the coming years. To counteract the negative environment, the Uralvagonzavod freight wagon manufacturing company, part of Rostec, is targeting new market segments and changing the quality of their service by promoting full life-cycle contracts.Technology
What makes big businessmen from Russia different from entrepreneurs in other countries? What are their investment preferences? What problems are associated with large fortunes and who deals with them? Dmitry Breitenbikher, Head of VTB Private Banking answers these questions to BRICS Business Magazine.