A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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The Transformation of Business to Spur Economic Growth
3 June 2021
11:00—12:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates Business Transformation

I remember in March last year, when COVID-19 spiked in the UAE, I was trying to imagine how we could take our meeting online. This was before Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and others were widespread. At the time, literally within 23 days we managed to go digital, and it happened swiftly. And in fact, this is the most important part that COVID-19 plays: it encourages and accelerates digitalization in both public and private sectors — Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates.

Prior the pandemic, our business was actually ripe for transformation. The pandemic accelerated some of trends that were already there. Much of the investment banking business had to do with meeting our clients face-to-face. <…> The pandemic put a big bullet in all those business processes that existed for decades, if not centuries. And it turned out that we could do without them — Dmitriy Sedov, Co-Head, Goldman Sachs Russia.

Transformation of business drives its development

Last year, at the peak of the crisis, we did a major research. We looked at about 2 thousand companies and their quarterly results over the past 25 years, to understand what distinguishes the leaders that systematically outperform their respective sectors to create long-term value for shareholders. And we discovered one very important universal pattern. It is the company’s resilience, the ability to navigate through critical times better than others, to adapt faster, to achieve more and recover in a crisis — Kirill Tuishev, Managing Director, Partner, BCG.

I think the sources of transformation lie both outside and inside the company. Competition is, of course, an outside source, and within the company, I believe, transformation means conflict management, because conflict is the only dialectical driver of development. And in our traditional industries, for companies that operate on the basis of privatized Soviet assets and try to transform and change the company’s image, this conflict management is a constant thing — Ksenia Sosnina, General Director, ILIM Group.

Out of some specific initiatives we draw a conclusion that transformation is becoming an integral part of the current business, and thus its importance is growing constantly — Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer, Polyus.

ISSUES
The share of Russian business in the global market needs to be increased

Russia ranks first in the world in terms of forest resources, while the intensity of its use stands only at about 30% compared to the global leaders – Europe, US, and Canada. And we have a very long road ahead for the industry development, because the potential is huge; Russia’s share in the global market for timber products is very low, it should be much higher — Mikhail Shamolin, President, Chairman of the Board, Segezha Group .

Domestic competition has been somewhat left behind already; when you are as big as ILIM, you find yourself in a different situation of global competition — Ksenia Sosnina, General Director, ILIM Group.

Gender equality drives business transformation

It is very important that transformation, including gender transformation, is not taking place without some kind of a role model, be it international or domestic. In terms of gender equality and diversity, representation of women among business leaders, representation on the directors’ board and in senior management of companies is very important. In Europe, more than 30% of board members <…> are women. In 2005, there were 9% of them. That is, over 15 years there has been a more than threefold increase in the representation of women on the boards, and this cannot but influence the way companies do business — Dmitriy Sedov, Co-Head, Goldman Sachs Russia.

SOLUTIONS
Focus on business digitalization

Our private sector learns a lot from the government. And digitalization proceeds at a fast pace. Of course, the government has a big role, this role has room for increase, and we definitely can help small and medium-sized businesses. We apply a ubiquitous approach to economic aid; at the macro level it is important to help businesses and enterprises advance, and to ensure this digital revolution is happening on all fronts. Besides that, it seems to me that governments around the world should update their policies in industry. This process is very important, and it is already underway in many countries. So, we need to encourage the approach based on digitalization in industry — Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates.

The result of our digitalization is not some kind of final product. We do not present it to buyers, tenants, or anyone; it is built into our processes, and the key feature to evaluate this product is improving business performance, whether it be asset management or end-to-end budget planning. It is an integral part of a larger process within our business — Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer, Polyus.

Digital systems within a company are already a kind of internal regimen. If we look into the future, I think digital channels will advance further when we are completely open in the supply chains, both from the buyers’ and the suppliers’ points of view. <...> So, by and large, further competition will probably take place not in terms of price levels, because we all use certain technological solutions; it will rather be a matter of some kind of empathy between suppliers, between buyers, when we are able to build interaction on a fundamentally different level through digital channels — Dmitry Konyaev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM.

Globalization and unification are paths to transforming business

Deglobalization carries certain risks in terms of security, in terms of data ownership. Accordingly, it is important to prevent this process somehow. On top of that, it would greatly imbalance social equality — Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates.

Together with the TAIF shareholders, we are making this merger happen [SIBUR is merging its assets with the Tatarstan-based TAIF Group, – Ed.] to be one of the world’s leading companies in the sector. <…> A transition from being the largest player in the local market to become one of the leading global players is the next step towards transformation. So, from the point of view of corporate culture, this is not the kind of a deal where one company brings corporate culture to another. This is a deal where, in order to take the next step, two merging companies bring their strong cultures together to create a culture of their own — Dmitry Konov, Head of the Administration of the Gusevsky City District Municipal Structure.

Investing in people

I would like to support the importance of the point made about investing in people; because no software product or sensible idea for business optimization – that can be invented and implemented – will survive and show results in case there is no broad consensus within the company as to why it is being done, and what it will bring to each particular user — Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer, Polyus.

Transformation is done by people. And the question is, what kind of people will make this transformation happen. <...> Transformation of corporate culture is perhaps a priority that stands even higher than the company’s strategy, as it basically sets the tone and sets the horizons for the future — Dmitry Konyaev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM.