This post will be about my personal impressions from life and studies in St Petersburg, Russia. Although not even two hours away from Stockholm by airplane, I must say it’s culturally quite a journey.
Russia is a country of contrasts. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty; old majestic buildings side by side with Soviet constructions; incredibly hospitable people and store clerks without a remote concern for “customer satisfaction”. I had to make some adjustments to the life here, but must admit that for the most part I’m having a great time. Because what does it matter that you live four people in a two-room apartment when you can visit the Hermitage, Peterhof or go clubbing beyond the break of dawn? Things can move slowly, but since the grocery stores are open 24/7 you’ll survive.
From a marketer’s point of view, Russia offers opportunities both for up-scale offerings and more base of the pyramid-styled approaches. What is important is to have a clear understanding of which part of the population you’re aiming for and realize where in this huge, multi-timezone country they are. Personally, my favourite product so far is the Yota stick, which offers me fast wireless broadband all over town. Just like with my pre-paid card for the phone, I recharge my account every month at one of the prolific machines designed for this.
As the semester continues, I hope to get back to you with some lessons from my studies and further life in this upside-down world.