Happy Birthday Simem Solutions - Russia
Simem entered the Russian market in 1998. Although it was a difficult period for the country due to the crisis and many European counterparties were leaving the market, the active steps that Simem had taken allowed the company to enhance its standing. Local dealers represented the interests of Simem for 17 years, but 5 years ago, on April 22, 2015, Simem SpA founded a company named Simem Solutions in Yaroslavl city, Russia. We have interviewed Viktor Darhel, General Director and Co-Founder of Simem Solutions.
Viktor, there are many dealers successfully representing Simem products in other countries. Why was a captive company established in Russia?
The local market is quite complex. First of all, it is reflected in the country’s geography. The area, that our company covers, includes several countries: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and some Central Asian countries with the total population of 236 millions of people. Thus, the area covers 9 time zones. Second of all, the local market is very competitive, because European, American, Turkish and Chinese counterparties also operate here, not speaking of the local manufacturers. Due to high competition level, Simem’s branch reduced the response time for the clients’ requests, improved the clients service quality, provided spare parts and equipment availability within the close proximity to our clients.
How did it all start? Why was Yaroslavl chosen to be the headquarter of the new company?
In the beginning there were only 5 people working in a small office which had been a clothing shop before that. In a few months with the help of the parent company, we arranged a spare parts warehouse. The main asset that we have had and will always have is our loyal clients. Since day one, we have established a certain strategy and vision. We have chosen Yaroslavl because we planned to create an assembly factory here in the future. This industrial city offered a better price ratio for the main productions factors, I mean, for labour force and workplace, if we compare it to Moscow, St.-Petersburg and other big cities. We also had potential suppliers here with whom we could cooperate in order to start production locally.
What have Simem Solutions achieved for the 5 years of operation?
We have been doubling sales results on the Russian market each year for 5 years and have achieved the level of several millions euros. We have created a flourishing production, which started as a CKD assembly and became a full cycle production, from metal cutting, bending and welding to finish machining and painting of high quality. We have enlarged our clients range and started working with big building, oil and metals companies. Due to the local production and tight cooperation with the parent company now, we are able to execute large-scale projects regarding the construction of precast productions on a turnkey basis. One of our most important projects is an integrated house-building factory Betonium in Penza city to where we have supplied a tower with 4 mixers, a pallet circulation line and a distribution system. Simem Solutions in Russia have produced a great amount of metal framework for this project.
What prospects for the future do you see?
We had long-term plans for Simem development on the local market but now we have to make adjustments to them due to new world circumstances. The economic crises, which happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, gives us a range of opportunities, opportunities of a lifetime. Simem if the only European company, which has a developed production of batching plants on the Customs Union area, which includes such countries as Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The national currency rate is very low as never before. Our competitive ability is rising in comparison to European and Turkish manufacturers. That is why we have to make the most of it. Just like when in 1998 Simem appeared in Russia on the back of crisis, we have to multiply our market share now. We are supported by our parent company, which helps us with engineering development and technical decisions. We are a part of the big Simem family.