Russia 101


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  • Love means loyalty beyond reason. So do not be afraid if after these slides you will still not understand why would one love Russia. You will not grasp her with your mind Or cover with a common label, For Russia is one of a kind – Believe in her, if you are able... (Anatoly Liberman)
  • Russia is really huge. When you drive to a Moscow airport you could easily cross several small European countries.
  • You have to keep your world clock widget on the desktop all the time. The regional offices always complain that urgent requests from Moscow come when they are about to leave the office. But the good thing is we can celebrate New Years Eve several times a night – toast for all the relatives, for Vladivostok, for Novosibirsk, for Samara, for Moscow, for Kaliningrad.
  • Historically Russians have been pretty tolerant to other tribes, nations, religions. But nowadays Orhodoxy is dominating.
  • Rural life in the Russian Federation is distinct from many other nations. Villages close to larger cities are usually similar to American suburbs. However, villages far from towns are classified by poor living conditions. Relatively few Russian people live in villages, called derevnyas in Russian (rural population accounted for 27% according to the latest census). Some people rent/buy village houses and use them as dachas, summer houses. Most people in Russia live in the major urban areas.
  • Moscow is called the Rubberville. Everybody keeps coming to Moscow for career and other opportunities from other Russian cities, from CIS, China, Vietnam.
  • While the Russian birth rate is comparable to that of other European countries, its population is declining much faster due to a higher death rate, especially among working-age males.
  • Our men die early, plus the birthrate is falling down. Yet there are several schools of thought on why male population is going down.
  • By the mid-1990s, economic power was being concentrated in Moscow at an even faster rate than the federal government was losing political power in the rest of the country. Moscow is the largest city (population 10.4 million) and is the capital of the Federation. Moscow continues to be the centre of Russian Government and is increasingly important as an economic and business centre. Its cultural tradition is rich, and there are many museums devoted to art, literature, music, dance, history, and science. It has hundreds of churches and dozens of notable cathedrals; it has become Russia's principal magnet for foreign investment and business presence.
  • Russia is a unique emerging market, in the sense that being the nucleus of a former superpower shows more anomalies. On one hand, its exports are primarily resource based, and on the other, it has a pool of technical talent in aerospace, nuclear engineering, and basic sciences. How this peculiar emerging market integrates itself into the world economy over the coming decade is a story as significant in today's world as the reemergence of China, Brasil and India (see BRIC countries). There is a growing gap between rich and poor in Russia. The income differentiation ratio shows that the 10% of Russia's rich live increasingly better than the 10% of the poor, amongst whom are mostly pensioners and unskilled workers in depressive regions. Inflation remained a problem during the last years , as the government failed to contain the growth of prices.
  • We will see why these girls are so optimistic later. But first we will start with the age group who are past university age.
  • Behaviour in the 2008 recession was very telltale if you want to understand how it feels to be Russian. The rumors in Nov 2009 told that on the first banking day in 2009 everything will collapse. The exchange rate went crazy. The ATMs wouldn’t give Euros. The exchange points were out of currencies. The megastores with Ikea and such were crowded. People were getting rid of rubles. This is a habit from previous crises – buy stuff to get rid of cash.
  • To tell the truth the rumors of a crisis were surfacing from time to time for the last several of years. Nobody fully believed this oil-fueled prosperity will last long. That is why the Russians lived for these 15 years of growth in a binge of extravagant consumerism. They lost all their savings in previous crises – so it’s better to have fun while you can.
  • People (over 30 y.o.) consider themselves prepared “for anything” because they were seasoned by the 1998 crisis and previous instability years. Most people haven’t yet been touched by crisis consequences. This is one of the reasons why, despite the growing pessimism, the prevalent mood in the society is cautious, passive observation, wait-and-see attitude. Comcon Crisis Poll , 1-7 Nov : Russians - who used to eat out at least once in a while - began to save on cafes and restaurants: 10% decreased the frequency or stopped eating out altogether; 38% of the polled try to save by choosing cheaper places and dishes .
  • 57% people are ready to fight for their country in Germany for example. Landlords rarely pay taxes. Young people rarely do the compulsory military service. The skill to cheat the systems in every possible way is innate for Russians. People are not willing to take the responsibility, make a small but significant contribution. Like stop littering and start paying taxes.
  • First generation that never read stories about Lenin’s childhood. They might think he is a cool icon to put on their bag. They think that Russia is the land of opportunities: from Zero to Hero. They saw people get unexpectedly rich. They do not dream of going to America. They say it’s boring and you will be limited by the average life level there. In Moscow they saw that you can double your salary every year. Eg, HR managers, marketing specialists were so rare that companies kept luring them with high salaries unrelated to their qualification.
  • This was true up to June 2008. Now with the global recession, this attitude is sure to change. Eg some graduates may have already seen how hard it is to find a job without experience. But the last 15 years of economic growth in Russia has brought a level of confidence that wasn’t affected yet.
  • Despite the crisis there is still a belief in their heads that in Russia you can somehow become very rich.
  • The new generation has seen all the new professions that showed up. New possibilities. They believe that luck is on their side.
  • If you are a journalist and you started working during the 2 nd year of your university, by the time you graduate you are a highly paid professional.
  • But they see it as only one of the sources of opportunities. Their parents were actually told upon the graduation were they will work. Soviet Union had a rigorous system of distribution of graduates. Nowadays you graduate and you have a plenty of professions to choose from. No strings attached.
  • That is why only half the graduates work in the field they studies. Eg we have a designer in the agency who studied nuclear physics. If you study Teaching English you can become a translator, an personal assistant, a realty agent. If you study journalism you can become a copyrighter or a PR manager.
  • Many youngsters now use professional cameras. As a proper MTV generation should. They grew up with vivid imagery around them. So this medium is in their DNA. They like music too so everybody is a DJ now. And DJs work by night. Or they work in MacDonald's at irregular hours.
  • They are always surr ounded by gadgets and appliances. When they do their homework by email, they talk on Skype, they download movies, they listen to music. And TV is in the background. Their life is like a kaleidoscope and they have lots of colorful pieces to combine in different ways to figure out which combination works best.
  • Self-expression is again a mix of everything. My fancy phone, my ipod, my car keys, coins I brought from Europe.
  • Self-expression is part of the name of most of the social network sites. You start with making friends by advertising your look. Your friend is a photographer, a DJ, a stylist, a PR director. And now you can organize a party or any other event with those friends. You can promote it through social networks. Your activity can be rated by the site visitors. You can become famous through your activity. And you can even get paid for that.
  • Even at the universities they come with their cameras. They pose, they show off their gadgets, clothes. They share pictures via the internet. If your pictures are good you will make more friends. And it’s all to create another cause for show-off and attracting attention.
  • How do they get along?
  • This is a traditional model. It is like a pastime for kids especially in the regions. They just follow the traditional path.
  • Because parents are waiting.
  • 60% – of the second 74% – of the third Because suddenly they realize that marriage is not a permanent honeymoon.
  • The next significant model can be called kidults. This is closer to standard European model. They can take a year off in the middle of their career and go to India. They will wear Converse, frequent nightclubs and do skateboarding till they are 30. “I am 29 next year and my parents keep telling me stories about how all of my classmates have 2 or 3 children. But I want to have some time to enjoy myself. This is the model where both usually have equal income and thei r careers develop at similar rates. They maybe married but not planning kids yet.
  • Despite all the fake online identities (when a 50 year old truck driver pretends he is a blonde with long legs), matchmaking websites are still the best place to find somebody. You can filter out the unwanted contacts. You can do it in the office and arrange a date to meet right after work.
  • Most of the Russians are very traditional in every human way.
  • I read an article somewhere that the husband income is the ceiling benchmark for the wife. She figures that her salary should be somewhat lower. And everything above the husband’s salary is out of their tier, above their capabilities. So there is no reason to worry about richer people.
  • They go to the same university but then according to the traditional model she goes on a maternity leave and her career is slowed down right at the beginning.
  • This is also very much in the traditional vein.
  • Classic is classic. But new models appear and grow.
  • This story shows us that several generations of men have been raised without a strong father figure. Little boys never had a male role model to look up to. And when the time comes neither them nor their family act like the role requires.
  • Men forget their role of a strong family monarch, uninvolved in upbringing and emotional exchange. Now they want to do what mothers used to do. They want to work less to be able to come home to see their kids before they go to bed.
  • The cycle is completed and repeated. We have a lot of cases of kids growing up without a father. Lots of divorces, lots of stepfathers, cases when fatherhood is doubted. This blurs the father identity for the father, for kids. Women suffer from this as well.
  • Yogurts, juices from powdered – this is not really healthy but most Moms think it is.
  • Restaurants are mostly for showing off your bag or watch. Michelin star restaurant closed recently
  • But everybody hails the opening of a burger place.
  • Russia 101

    2. 2. <ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>D emographics </li></ul><ul><li>Current M oods </li></ul><ul><li>Ru ss ian Youth </li></ul><ul><li>Boys and G irls </li></ul><ul><li>M en and Women </li></ul><ul><li>Grooming T rends </li></ul><ul><li>Good and Bad A ds </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>D emographics </li></ul>
    4. 4. Russian t erritory: 17 075 400 km 2 Source: RTGI, Russian, 200 8 {100+ Population} Equals to: 70 UKs 48 Germanies 31 Frances
    5. 5. There are 11 time z ones in Russia
    6. 6. Russia is h ome to 160 nationalities and all major confessions: <ul><ul><li>Christianity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>orthodox, protestant, catholic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Islam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Judaism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buddhism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pantheism & Paganism </li></ul></ul>Source: Rosstat 2009
    7. 7. <ul><li>Russian p opulation: 141,930,000 (March 2010)* (7 th in the world) </li></ul><ul><li>75% of Russian population live on 15% of its territory** </li></ul><ul><li>25% of people live in 13 cities with 1 ml n + population*** </li></ul>*Rosstat 2010 ** ***
    8. 8. <ul><li>M oscow: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 mln officially </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 mln non-officially </li></ul></ul><ul><li>St Petersburg: 4.6 mln </li></ul><ul><li>Novosibirsk: 1.39 mln </li></ul><ul><li>Yekaterinburg: 1.3 mln </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Samara 1.152 mln </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ufa 1.011 mln </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volgograd 1.025 mln </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rostov-on-Don 1.107 mln </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chelyabinsk 1.09 mln </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kazan 1.108 mln </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nizhny Novgorod 1.226 mln </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Omsk 1.109 mln </li></ul></ul>Source: Goskomstat 2008 Source: Goskomstat 2009
    9. 9. Russian population is fla gg ing Only in Sept 2009 did birth rate outpace death rate for the first time in 15 years (by 1000 people) Source: Rosstat 2009 Ministry of Public Health and Social Development 2009
    10. 10. and getting o lder Source: Goskomstat 2009
    11. 11. <ul><li>According to 2002 census: </li></ul><ul><li>67 . 6 mln men to </li></ul><ul><li>77 . 6 mln women </li></ul>Source: Rosstat 2009 Men to w omen ratio
    12. 12. Muscovites are 2.5 times r icher than people in the regions Source: Federal State Statistics Service 2009
    13. 13. … and people in the regions are very p oor <ul><li>Minimal official salary* – 4330 RUB / ~$120 </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal pension** – 3540 RUB / ~$120 </li></ul><ul><li>What one can buy for this money: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>~ 86 1L packages of milk, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~ 177 bread loafs, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~ 15 books, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~ 7 DVDs, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~ 2 boxes of perfume </li></ul></ul>*as of Sep 1, 2009. **Source: Federal State Statistics Service, all Russia, 2009
    14. 14. C urrent Moods
    15. 15. <ul><li>“ How does it f eel here in Russia?” </li></ul>
    16. 16. Consumer Confidence Index has d ecreased by 18 points to its lowest in 3 years only in Nov 2008. Source: Nielsen report “Russia Through Crisis” Nov 2008.
    17. 17. <ul><li>“ My friends lost their jobs – both husband and wife. But they still went on a New Years vacation. Because maybe this is the last vacation they will be able to afford in the coming years”. Natalia, 29 </li></ul>Tomorrow is not promised, so Russians live for the m oment. Source: Saatchi Exploring 2009
    18. 18. <ul><li>Nielsen report: people (over 30) consider themselves p repared “for anything” </li></ul><ul><li>because they were seasoned by the 1998 crisis and previous instability years. </li></ul>Source: Nielsen “Russians through crisis” Nov 2008
    19. 19. What are Russians ready to do for their country? <ul><li>but not ready: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to pay taxes </li></ul></ul>Validata 2003. ROMIR Monitoring. All Russia survey. Sample 1630 ( 18 y.o.+ ), 2004 / <ul><li>fight in a war (about 70%) </li></ul><ul><li>do a good job at their workplaces </li></ul>
    20. 20. Kids born in 1988 are the richest and most powerful generation in Russian history <ul><li>First capitalist generation </li></ul><ul><li>First generation “without limitations” </li></ul><ul><li>Have considerable financial potential and remarkable ability to persuade their parents </li></ul>Source: Tween marketing. It’s no longer child’s play. Martin Lindstrom.
    21. 21. About 60% of Russian are optimistic about their future* <ul><li>Will today’s young generation have higher living standard than their parents? </li></ul>Source: Romir *June 2008. Sample 1584, 18+, 100 cities
    22. 22. Because in Russia you can be very rich <ul><li>Moscow has the second largest number of dollar billionaires in the world </li></ul><ul><li>During the last 5 years this number in Russia increased by 4 times </li></ul><ul><li>Bentley orders for Russia exceed all European orders in 2004 </li></ul>Source: 2008
    23. 23. <ul><li>R ussian Youth </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>Young and A mbitious </li></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>“ I had to start working early because I couldn’t rely on support from parents or our government”, Sergey, 23 </li></ul>They grow up faster than their European peers Source: Saatchi Xploring 2009
    26. 26. Young people take education seriously <ul><li>More career opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>More chances to meet interesting people </li></ul>Source: Instant Grass 2006 Source: Saatchi Xploring 2008
    27. 27. But only half of them work in the field they studied Source: . Ipsos Beyond the fringe
    28. 28. “ Work is not worth all the time and effort. I want flexible hours and space for creativity.” Source: Это наша молодеЖЖь. . Ipsos Beyond the fringe Young adults
    29. 29. Reasons for career indifference <ul><li>Change of perspective vs. 1990s: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Work to live” vs. “Live to work” </li></ul></ul>Source: Это наша молодеЖЖь.
    30. 30. Youngsters are m ulti-tasking
    31. 31. S elf-expression is their key word
    32. 32. <ul><li>They become their o wn PR directors, stars, stylists... </li></ul>
    33. 33. They like to s how-off “ Most of my friends have professional photo cameras, and most girls pose as models for their friends in professional studios”. Olesya, 21 Source: Saatchi Xploring, 2009
    34. 34. B oys and Girls
    35. 36. Traditions still prevail in most couples Source: Average age of a Russian bride is 23 , groom - 26.
    36. 37. Then they rush to have children immediately, to meet social expectations What is the best age to have children? Source:
    37. 38. <ul><li>40% – of the first marriages collapse </li></ul>And end up in a divorce. Source:
    38. 39. <ul><li>“ Next year I turn 29 and my parents keep telling me stories about how all of my classmates already have 2 or 3 children… But I want to have some time to enjoy myself.” Yulia, 28 </li></ul>45% of women and 25% of men put career first. But Western marriage plan is catching up: Source: /zachem_nuzhny_deti/
    39. 40. <ul><li>“ I am a nice guy. I go to clubs and other places to meet girls but nothing seems to work out… I don’t know where else to meet girls. That is why I go online.” Viktor, 24 </li></ul>No matter what your marriage plan is, first you have to find somebody
    40. 41. M en and Women
    41. 42. Majority of Russians are married… Source: RTGI, Russia n , 20 08 {100+ Population}
    42. 43. There are more working men than women Source: R - TGI, July-August 2007 Source: RTGI, Russia n , 20 08 {100+ Population}
    43. 44. Men contribute a bigger share to family budgets Source: RTGI, Russian, 2008 {100+ Population}
    44. 45. But men and women are equally educated Source: RTGI, Russia n , 200 8 {100+ Population}
    45. 46. Most of day-to-day purchase decisions are made by women Source: / March, 2008 Who decides about big purchases in families?
    46. 47. <ul><li>“ I never let my boyfriend choose anything when we do groceries. He always ends up with something totally useless.” Olga, 29 </li></ul>
    47. 48. <ul><li>Now who holds the real power? </li></ul>New relationship models appear and keep spreading.
    48. 49. “ S everal friends of mine got married and the husband is no good! The w ife and her family finance all the big purchases and so on …” Marina, 28 Man is not the key contributor anymore
    49. 50. <ul><li>“ My husband really loves our children. He even attended all the mother trainings with me and held my hand when I was delivering…” Maria, 31 </li></ul>Men become more sensitive and emotionally involved
    50. 51. <ul><li>Husband is often deprived of the yearned desire to communicate with kids and kids grow up without a father figure yet again </li></ul>But after divorce usually mother keeps the children Source:
    51. 52. R ussians and Food
    52. 53. <ul><li>“ Natural” is healthier than low-fat and no sugar. Sugar and fats are healthy because they are natural. </li></ul><ul><li>Most moms do count calories when cooking for kids – the more the better, kids need substantial food </li></ul>*Source: qualitative research July 2006 Persevere in their misconceptions about healthy food
    53. 54. <ul><li>Going to a restaurant means an opportunity to show off and converse </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody cares about Michelin stars </li></ul>*Source: qualitative research July 2006 Good food and lifestyle concepts are quite strange here
    54. 55. *Source: qualitative research July 2006 Everybody hails the King!