Dear friends,

The most festive and busy month of the year has arrived with the first snowfall, and we’ve finally said goodbye to the golden autumn! We spent the prolonged autumn in a warm and friendly atmosphere of productive meetings. November was busy and bright, and we are pleased to share with you the most memorable moments of it!

November 7 The Committee for Marketing and Communications held an event dedicated to CRM as client- based technology. Company representatives from UltraUnion, Ruukki Rus, Tebodin and “Platonov and Partners”  discussed the CRM concept including challenges and experiences with implementation. Companies shared their unique uses of CRM-systems within their organizations.

November 8 The SPIBA Committee on Human Resources organized a meeting to discuss the practice of working remotely.  Irina Shenberg of Acsour highlighted the practical aspects of labor regulation regarding remote workers and Elizaveta Blaschuk discussed problematic issues with such employees. Mikhail Danilovsky of Taxcom addressed the details of exchanging electronic documents between employers and remote employees. We also want to express our gratitude to Konstantin A. Khrapov, the State Inspector for Labour and Employment in the Leningrad region, who attended this meeting and expressed the position of the labor inspectorate on some controversial issues.

November 12 Romuald Rytwinski, the General director of GM Auto, became the latest invited guest of SPIBA’s regular event “Breakfast with the Director.”  After becoming acquainted with SPIBA members during the breakfast, Romuald gave a presentation on the topic of the growing manufacturing presence in Russia. What were guests’ experience from the meeting?

 “It was not so much the presentation of the top manager but mostly a story of a man with great experience in management from different positions about his vision on the modern world and business and their problems at “macro” and “micro” levels, about his personal challenges at his job, views on the “work-life-family” balance, and etc. This story, where individual views, experienced impression and established personal principles were dominating on “company performance results for the past period,”  transformed  “Breakfast with the Director ” into a warm and very useful conversation, the impressions of which I immediately wanted to share  with my colleagues and students.”

Pavel Novikov, Director of Executive MBA Programs, SSE, about the “Breakfast with the Director”

November 19 SPIBA, in conjunction with the Graduate School of Management, held a roundtable “Large Businesses and Social Entrepreneurship: Issues of Interaction.” The main objective of this event was to attract the attention of big business representatives to the actively evolving worldwide phenomenon of “social entrepreneurship.”  The roundtable discussed the role of business in solving social problems, and the increasingly recognized practice of social entrepreneurship as supported by large businesses. The roundtable was moderated by Yury Blagov, PhD, Head of the program “Project Management in the Field of Social Entrepreneurship,” and Director of the Center CSR of  PricewaterhouseCoopers GSOM. Among the speakers were representatives of the Graduate School of Management, ZAO “Citibank”, cinema studio “Giraffe,” Charity Center “Hesed Abraham” and the company “Liberty.” The roundtable resulted in participants identifying areas of cooperation between big business and social entrepreneurship.

November 20 SPIBA held a pilot meeting of a new project designed for expats living and working in Russia. The meeting entitled “Expat Life in Russia: Guidelines to Success” was held at the Hotel Domina Prestige. This first meeting covered the basic key issues faced by foreigners in Russia: how to do business in Russia, the risks for top managers, taxes, insurance, real estate and issues related to visa regulations. The atmosphere of the meeting was informal and positive; guests asked questions and gladly shared their personal experiences. After the formal presentations, the participants were treated to a master class on preparation of cocktails and tasted the work of talented bartenders.

November 22, the SPIBA Committee on Environment, Health and Safety invited members to attend a meeting with the management of the Committee on Natural Resources, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety of St. Petersburg. Valery N. Matveev, Chairman of the Committee, reported on the activities and plans of the Committee and answered questions related to environmental protection and environmental concerns of the business community. We thank Valery Nikolayevich for his sincere dialogue and willingness to cooperate with SPIBA members!

Preparation for the SPIBA Annual General Meeting is underway, so we look forward to seeing you on December 5 at 18:30 in the hotel “Hermitage!” We wish you a successful and memorable December!