Now it works for us. Part 1

Russian companies are actively acquire foreign assets. The goal of our business — quickly adopt modern technology, expand the product line, develop new markets and use the best brains to grow your business.


Foreign expansion of Russian companies have not only limited to a single output products to foreign markets. Our entrepreneurs are buying and production facilities, R & D-center, open subsidiaries logistics companies and so on.

What motivates Russian industrial enterprises engaged in shopping outside the country? How to buy assets abroad contributes to the development of their business? And what problems they have at the same time cashing in? We asked these questions in a number of domestic technology companies and have identified three strategies.

The strategy of "Buy ready" provides for the acquisition of Western niche leaders — highly specialized companies with an average size of the business, having a very good and sometimes outstanding products and technologies honed to perfection by their manufacture. Good and outstanding products of our company is completing its product lines, and the understanding of modern equipment and technical processes used to pull up the technological level of its Russian production to the level of developed countries.

The second strategy — "Make a lot and cheap" — Russian entrepreneurs realize in China. It is to use the production base of China, its workforce and the support of the Chinese government for the development of their business. In the late 1990’s — early zero-organization of production in China has a project cost effective in all respects.

The third strategy — "Take the best" — is characteristic of high-tech business. Such businesses to maintain position in the global market for high-tech to the most advanced all — ranging from the most advanced materials and the most prominent manufacturers of components and competencies to the most brilliant brains of scientists. Provide access to these resources — the main function of overseas assets.


For companies "Interskol", "Dielectric cable systems" (BCS) and "POLAIR" impetus for the purchase was the desire to go out into the more lucrative and high-tech market segments. All three had an alternative — to spend many years and many millions on the creation, refinement and marketing of its product. However, our heroes prefer to buy ready-held businesses with the product. And won, saving time and money on development.

For instance, "Interskol", a leading manufacturer of power tools in 2009, acquired the Italian company Felisatti — a recognized technology leader in the field of professional power tools for woodworking. A year later, "Interskol" expanded its new line of professional tools, buying another strong niche player — Spanish Casals with close to Felisatti specialization.

The company BCS, the leader of the Russian market kabelnesuschih systems, too, has made two successful acquisitions in Europe. In 2007, it bought the Italian firm Cepi, producer, perhaps, the best-in-class metal trays for gaskets, and electrical wiring. A year later — the same Italian Costel. Owner Costel, a former biker, took great control cabinet.


Sergey Nazarov, Chairman of the Board of Directors’ INTERSKOL ":" We saved money and bought time — instead of twenty years to master an entirely new line of power tools in one year "

It is worth noting that the first BCS followed the path of creating your own metal trays, but in time realized that their programs permanent backlog. "We have started to develop its own product, but take everything from scratch was very hard. We have seen that there is in Europe, and we realized that we should not continue the project — we will do our trays "on the knee" — says Dmitry Kolpashnikov, Founder and CEO of DCS. — Due to the fact that we found Cepi, we got everything ready, including a snap. Now the process for the production of the tray we employ one person, but by our technology had to work eight. Today we are 40 meters per minute tray, and without Cepi production rate would be a maximum of six or seven feet. "

As for interskolovtsev, they initially understood that they were not able to create a wide range of professional high-tech tool (this product with high added value needed "INTERSKOL" to quit in the premium segment, the way in which our toolmakers opened the global financial crisis). The reason — the backwardness of Russian power engineering school. "To create and work out a professional tool, we would need more than 20 years and enormous investments in R & D" — says Sergey Nazarov, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors’ INTERSKOL. "

Buying Felisatti and Casals made overnight "Interskol" winner broad line (50 items) professional tools of the highest level. It’s got a wealth of Russians cheap: 100% of our toolmakers Felisatti purchased for just 2.7 million euros, still around 2.5 million euros they paid for the controlling stake (51%) Casals. "We won the time — instead of twenty years to master an entirely new line of just one year. And save money — emphasizes Sergei Nazarov. — When creating a new product we just have to spend on R & D to 3 million dollars a year. Plus preparation for production, which in China, even in the case of a simple product costs 150-250 thousand dollars. And in Europe, we bought everything in the package, and all of a very high level. "

ABAC also made the right decision: a tech Italian trays (more precisely, with the designer of a thousand-odd parts that you can collect all your heart desires), the company took the unoccupied mid-price segment of the Russian market. A similar story came out and in electrical cabinets. Average bid price on the Russian market at the time was not, and ABAC finished product from a former biker firmly entrenched in this segment. However, the European trays and cabinets cost the Russians dearly — in two Italian firms BCS paid tens of millions of euros.

The company "POLAIR", Russia’s largest manufacturer of refrigeration equipment for the trade and public catering, completing a deal to buy 60% stake in the company Snaige, Lithuanian manufacturer of refrigerators, for 20 million euros. This takes the "POLAIR" also will finish its line of all-new for the company finished product — midget refrigerator with glass door. "We get this product with a recognized brand tomorrow, but not when we do it will develop and put in his belt — emphasizes Alexey Kovalchuk, Founder and CEO of "POLAIR." — In terms of technology it will be one of the best products on the Russian market. " Like the BCS, "POLAIR" intends to gain a foothold in the new for a segment of the Russian market. "The volume of the market of refrigerators in Russia is quite large — about 3 billion rubles. We expect to take 30-40 per cent of this segment, "- said Kovalchuk.


Along with the product held Russian companies received an order of magnitude more sophisticated production techniques than those as they possessed at the time of the transaction. Thus, the owners of the DCS has the first acquaintance with Cepi drew attention to the fact that "the cost of manufactured products in Italy is lower than in Russia, even with the higher cost of labor and electricity." It was all about optimization and smooth flow of processes.

Due to the acquired technology entrepreneurs could not only reduce the cost of their products, but also to raise the technological level of the Russian sites. "We have an understanding of professional tools in terms of production — there are completely different system of tolerances, no protection, another level of electronics and so on. And modern technology to perform complex professional equipment is cheap enough ", — says Sergey Nazarov. "INTERSKOL" has got a unique five-axis machining complex worth 1.2 million euros, made by special order for the firm Felisatti. This industrial robot performs all operations on their own and can handle up to 256 different items at the same time. On Bykovskii elektroinstrumentalnom plant, the Russian production site "INTERSKOL", he replaced the more than two dozen turning, milling, drilling and so on. machines of previous generations!


Victor Bykov, Director General of NT-MDT: «We have created the R & D-center in the United States. Let who left the Russian scientists are working on Russian in America — make development for us "

On Casals * masterpieces such machine tool not. Spanish factory is equipped with the usual for Europe fully automated machining centers. Their performance at least five times higher than that of conventional machine tools, precision machining — on the order. A well-established marriage automated equipment does not produce at all. As a result, the cost of production of sophisticated equipment is not much higher than the Chinese. The quality varies roughly the same as that of "Mercedes" and "VAZ".

Now "Interskol" actively uses the equipment and technologies of acquired Spanish plant and to produce the best of their own products. Are well underway, for example, release drills — they took interskolovtsy with its Chinese venture. From moving to a European platform product quality has improved several times, and the cost was not higher than the one that gave China. In other words, the "Interskol" at the Spanish plant is now producing high-tech for the Chinese cost.

Just going to do and "POLAIR." The company is going to move into the Lithuanian plant Snaige production of their refrigerators for trading — a product that would sell well in Europe, but currently does not maintain price competition because of duties on imported components, and a "double" logistics. "Russia is unprofitable to produce products with high added value, intended for export, — says Alexey Kovalchuk. — You first half of the components are imported, paying duty, are you taking them in the middle of the country, and then collect the finished product and you’re taking it back. " When the "POLAIR" move production to the plant Snaige, the cost of its refrigerators fall by at least 25%, and increase the quality: the level of marriage in Lithuania is much lower than in Russia.

We also have a BAC that migrate to Europe, closer to the market: The company intends to put on a production site Cepi ladders. "The product we developed in Russia, where its production is mastered and now deliver the trays to Italy. We Cepi this was not ", — says Dmitry Kolpashnikov.

Continuing the discussion on the strategy of "buy ready" note: only equipment company Felisatti was removed from Italy to Russia, all the other six plants: Casals, Snaige, Cepi and Costel ** (at firm Costel three sites — in Italy, Hungary and Romania) — have remained in their places. These compact, well-equipped enterprises have production sites in Europe, Russian companies.

In addition to the technologies our company received valuable for business development engineering brains. For example, experienced designers Cepi, including the son of the former owner of this company, are now actively involved in the development of new products within the group ABAC.

A "Interskol" put in the development of new technology not only engineers acquired plant Casals, but experts leading Italian engineering company Caleidos, aces in the field of industrial design. Caleidos, partner of the firm in the past Felisatti, is now cooperating with "INTERSKOL" — continues to improve the tools of this oldest European brand. "If we did not have the Spanish plant — we would not have worked with the Italians", — says Sergey Nazarov. Now engineers to create Caleidos "INTERSKOL" heavy hammer — a machine that has only the leaders of the industry. "Heavy Hammer makes Bosch and Makita, no one else can — emphasizes Sergei Nazarov. — We have started to do it with the Italians a year ago. Six months later, a maximum of a year he will be with us in the series. In Russia to design and develop a new technique to produce as quickly possible. "


The third component, which Russian companies received a package "ready to buy" — shaped the market. Thus, the market share of the Spanish professional power tools for woodworking for some product groups reached 30%, and the most popular models of the brand Felisatti at the time of the arrival of "INTERSKOL" occupied about 15% of the market in Europe and almost 80% — in Israel and countries in North Africa. Rebuilt dealer networks in these markets have moved to the "INTERSKOL" "inherited". Our toolmakers have ordered inheritance wisely: for the first time in the history of the Russian company started to deliver professional miter saws and sanders to Western Europe, and the output of the factory owners who replaced Casals has tripled.

Cepi position and Costel on local markets, primarily in Italy, also were strong. However, the company’s BAC had to play the role of rescuer to save Cepi for its market, which she almost lost due to errors in the sales policy. "We needed to quickly build a normal distribution in Italy, — says Dmitry Kolpashnikov. — If we’re late, Cepi be replaced. A tight market out there — enter it on the new it would be very difficult. " Personally engaged in rescue Marco Cecconi — Italian entrepreneur and one of the founders of the DCS. He managed not only to maintain the market, but to expand it by 2010 Cepi sales in Italy increased by 2.5 times. Sales Costel, after Marco Cecconi came from and for them, too, have increased substantially — now three sites together sell 80% more than the biker.


Dmitry Kolpashnikov, CEO of DCS: "Thanks to European assets BCS has become a global company. Apart from the new EU market for us as we went to North Africa and South America "

Thus, "Interskol" and took to the ABAC new market of Western Europe. Now, thanks to a production
site, their in this highly competitive market, take "for the". To date, the two companies have become global players. "Interskol" delivers the professional tools to France, Italy, Greece and Israel. BCS, having mastered the European market, has declared itself on two continents, trays and cabinets Cepi Costel DKC Europe under the brand name sold in Algeria, Egypt, Venezuela, and Colombia.

Unlike "INTERSKOL" and ABAC company "POLAIR" in Europe already knew. But now they know better. Due to the relocation of production to Lithuania commercial refrigerators and reduce the cost of a quarter "POLAIR" expects to expand its presence in this segment of the European market at once at times — from the current 2 million to tens of millions.

We note one important point. Not just buying a ready-made business, namely the niche leaders, Russian entrepreneurs get a chance to quickly expand their reach in the global market. On the basis of purchased finished products of our rapidly developing new and out with them in promising segments, including the just emerging.

Thus, the company was able to participate in the BCS anti-crisis program of the Italian government promised to private households and industry to compensate for 50% of their investments in equipment to produce solar energy. As a result, return on such projects has decreased from 15-20 to 7 years, and the demand for "sun" has risen sharply. "Under this program, we have developed a special trays, brackets, piping and more — everything you need for mounting in installation of such equipment, — says Dmitry Kolpashnikov. — Due to this new product, we have grown very well. " Now I have a BAC of waste products for the emerging segment, which will be expanded to improve and reduce the cost of solar energy technologies.


Together with our foreign assets of the company acquired personnel and management problems. For example, "Interskol" in Spain was faced with a powerful system of social guarantees for employees and strong trade unions, which are a priori opposed to the owners. "In Spain, the corruption of the working class. People are so good socially protected, that is not afraid of losing their jobs, "- says Sergey Okunev, Deputy General Director of "INTERSKOL," Chairman of the Board of Directors Interskol Power Tools Spain. In the case of dismissal of an employee suddenly becomes rich. "To dismiss the former Managing Director of the Spaniard, we had to pay him 46,000 euros compensation. And if we want to lay off a worker with a great experience, we will have to pay him a lump sum up to 60,000 euros "- reveals the Spanish" severance pay "Sergei bass.

Another distinctive feature of the Spanish working class — the lack of motivation to work. For example, workers flatly refused to temporarily switch from one machine to another or to the assembly line, when in fact occurred by necessity. Could earn more (piecework wages), but they do not need.

Interskolovtsy approached the problem creatively and for the year, and they have managed to establish a dialogue with the trade unions, and in relations with the workers to remove the tension. "The former owner of the workers did not speak, and to settle disputes through a lawyer. He looked at them both on the plebeians, — says Sergey Nazarov. — And we — ordinary guys: we greet them by the hand, communicate directly. On Christmas day came to him, sat at a table together, dances with them were taken. " Spanish workers "Russian approach" liked, and the ice melted.

A worker motivation spurred by running the plant a "fifth column" — Russian specialists were brought from Latvia. "Those fools are not dumb: they are now on the machine on the package tomorrow, the next day — on the assembly — says Nazarov. — The Spaniards saw that so you can work, it’s okay. "

Interestingly, the Italian company plants DCS workers behave exactly the opposite. Italians value their work place and are constantly finding opportunities employer to prove its necessity — increase productivity, reduce costs, that is engaged in the continuous improvement of production processes. "And Cepi, and Costel there are many people who work in these firms by 20-25 years. They grew up here, studied here, everything is mastered, so their level of professionalism is very high. On the other hand, nothing else they do not know how. Many workers do not even have a secondary education, to find work elsewhere — describes the specifics of the local labor market Dmitry Kolpashnikov. — Yes, and there are no jobs — new industries offer very few, and those that work for a long time, reduce people. "

Assets acquired by BAC, can be considered error-free. The only thing over which she had to work hard — almost from scratch to build the operational management of the acquired plants. "Both firms, which we bought in Italy — this family-owned businesses. And the family business has a weak spot — the lack of professional management, — says Dmitry Kolpashnikov. — Director Cepi we put the young Italian, who in previous owners was sort of our chief engineer. He is well educated and has a lot of rationalization ideas. And Costel we hired new managers. "

Interskolovtsy besides quiet sabotage of workers faced with one management challenge: to manage the process of creating new products was not easy. The difficulty stems from the fact that we now have our toolmakers — as many as four R & D-center (in Moscow, Italy, Spain and China). "New products are developed four countries in Moscow doing TK, Italy — the design documentation, Spain — prototypes, while in China the finish fine-tuning is performed on the test bench, — Sergey Nazarov tells how it operates an extensive engineering management. — Such cooperation is very difficult to manage all the dock. After all, every engineer — his understanding of the product. Plus the language barrier. Arguing by the four languages! "


In 2008, "Interskol" has a joint venture with the corporation Crown Power-Tool Manufacturing, China’s largest producer of power tools (joint venture was called Interskol Crown Group, the share of Russian companies — 50%). Russian businessmen are expected to use cheap labor and support of the Chinese authorities to expand in China, mass production of inexpensive household power. Alternatives to China with our toolmakers did not exist. At that time, they already had the experience of creating a full production cycle in Russia and distinctly understood that it is so long and expensive that you can forget about competitiveness.

By 2009, the partners work together to build 500 kilometers from Shanghai factory Hengtai (total investment amounted to 10 million dollars). In contrast to the strategy of "Buy ready" and the product itself, and engineering competence for its development, and the market for its implementation in China has brought our company. Thus, the Russian toolmakers added two Chinese manufacturing assets own quality control system (it they have borrowed from the Soviet space industry), and R & D-center, equipped with over 600 thousand dollars — he engaged in the manufacture of prototypes tool, their testing and development to finished products. "We even sent its engineers to China — to quickly rip and play the best German, American and Japanese models," — says Sergey Nazarov.


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Alexey Kovalchuk, founder and CEO of "POLAIR": "On the European plants are much better organized business processes and production management. We will tighten its Russian site to these standards "

In the end, the Russians have achieved what came — began to produce high-volume batches of Chinese instrument cost and quality of the Soviet space industry. At the end of this year on the Chinese production site will be produced about 5 million units of power. With such volumes of Russian-Chinese joint venture took sixth place in the table of ranks elektroinstrumentalnoy global industry, and the share of "INTERSKOL" in the market of Russia and CIS countries increased from 15 to 19%.

It was in the plans of our entrepreneurs and the development of new markets: with cheap and quality "Chinese" tool they expected to get out, particularly in North Africa and South America. However, to realize these plans prevented the growth of the yuan. "When we came in 2004 in China, the yuan to the dollar was 8, he is now 6.8, and in two or three years it will be 4.4-4.5, — says Sergey Nazarov. — So that exports from China becomes unprofitable. "

Production is also less and less cost-effective. Primarily due to the growth of wages. "The Chinese have started to create a middle class. They invest in the engineers — the ordinary Chinese engineer now receives 2000 dollars. Salary Senior Engineer — 4000. Chief Engineer paying up to 10,000 dollars. Salary of a worker in 2002 was $ 100, then 200, now 600, — Sergey Nazarov argues that "rates are rising." — Each year, production in China is going up by 15-20 per cent. "

Another aspect that reduces the attractiveness of China in the eyes of our entrepreneurs — too long a process of setting new equipment for production. "We have with the Chinese on the development and design of a simple blade takes up to three years. That means three years, we need to pay people salaries. And the Italian engineers from Caleidos make us a very serious car only six or seven months, "- Sergey Nazarov proposes to assess the benefits of professional engineering.

Plus, the effect is the difference in mentality that prevents the Russians effectively manage the business in the PRC. "The Chinese are in any conversation at all agree with you. Do you think that you have agreed on everything, but they will eventually come on their own — shares his experience Nazarov. — Conducting business together, they mean that it is their business. "

Olga Ruban

Part 2 here

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