The New Russian Business Leaders

The New Russian Business Leaders

New Horizons in Leadership Studies series

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Stanislav V. Shekshnia, Konstantin Korotov and Elisabeth Florent-Treacy

Based on extensive interviews with the pioneers of Russian business and the authors’ own experiences, this perceptive new book attempts to decipher the enigma of Russia’s new generation of business leaders. The authors present six in-depth case studies focusing on companies of vastly differing sizes, ranging from a newly-privatized operation, and the creation and organization of an oligarch’s empire, to several entrepreneurial start-ups in different service industries. The case studies document the changes and developments that have occurred in Russia since the privatization era of the 1990s, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the emerging business leadership orientations.

Chapter 4: Russian Standard Commentary: Roustam Tariko and Russian Standard

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Stanislav V. Shekshnia, Konstantin Korotov and Elisabeth Florent-Treacy

Subjects: business and management, business leadership

Extract

4. Russian Standard Emanuela Carboncini was, as she recalled, ‘pretty desperate’. She had many clients who wanted to come to Moscow, but she could not find anywhere for them to stay. It was late 1988, when the developments of perestroika and glasnost were opening Russia to Westerners. Her company, Business Tour, specialized in booking hotel rooms in Moscow for Italian businesspeople. However, there were only four hotels in Moscow that were allowed to have foreign guests, and Emanuela was having great difficulty working with the slow, bureaucratic, corrupt and unresponsive official Intourist booking agency. She met and discussed her problem with many Russian representatives of the newly emerging travel cooperatives. They all proposed to show her clients ‘the beautiful sights in Russia’, but none of them were willing to take on the challenge of finding them rooms. One day a young man, Roustam Tariko, came into her office. He worked for a small cooperative that provided transportation services to foreigners. Emanuela recalled, Right from the first, I saw something very intelligent in his face. I said to him, ‘If you want to make money, help me with one simple thing. Get me access to decent hotel rooms in Moscow. If you can do this, you will be very rich. Go to the Rossia Hotel, for example. They have 4000 rooms; I can’t believe that there aren’t at least two or three for me!’ Tariko agreed to help Emanuela find a way to circumvent the laborious Intourist...

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