Business relations in Russia are largely based on personal contacts, which must be established and maintained. It is, therefore, not surprising that the success of the Russian subsidiary DWI, Deutsche Werkstätten Interior, is very much dependent on the business network built up by its managing director, Daniel Neumann.
It all began in 2008 when Daniel was sent to Moscow together with another colleague from Hellerau to set up the Moscow office and production facility. Since then numerous projects have been realized and the office and production facilities have been relocated to a larger site. Over the years DWI has built up an excellent reputation and knowledge of the Russian market.
In 2018, project manager Benjamin Pettermann joined the Russian operation and has since been responsible for supervising construction sites and their processes as well as managing offers for new work and invoicing. This splitting of responsibilities allows Daniel Neumann to apply his skills to the acquisition of new projects. Some Russian customers have been known to refer to him jokingly as "Deutsche Werkstätten Daniel".
"Business in Russia is very personal. The contract is one thing, but the personal relationship should never be underestimated. A man’s word can count more than a piece of paper. I like that," says Neumann. Which is why he understands that for his Russian partners, carefully written minutes of a meeting may not enjoy the same status as in Germany. Nevertheless, there is great respect and appreciation for the diligence and correctness of Deutsche Werkstätten.
Daniel Neumann has become familiar with Russian expectations and having to be available all the time: "When a project gets the go ahead, cost calculations should be made available without delay and everything in place for construction work to begin immediately.”
Reconciling Russian tempo and German precision remains a constant balancing act for DWI.
"Business in Russia is very personal. The contract is one thing, but the personal relationship should never be underestimated. A man’s word can count more than a piece of paper. I like that."