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Report 14.11.2017 at the exhibition MEDICA-2017 (Dusseldorf, Germany) on the topic: "How initiate sales in Russia. Search for local dealers"

Viktoria Shmatkova, Ph.D., MBA, CEO of ZERTS TD

Dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen!

My name is Viktoriya Shmatkova,

I am a founder and an owner of the ZERTS group of companies, holding a PhD in Economics, MBA on “Strategy” course and a medical sales professional. For many years I have been promoting the products of ZERTS and products of German manufacturers in Russia. And today I will tell you what is the best way to enter the Russian market.


We all know the kind of stigma attached with the Russian market, is present, when manufacturers think of entering it.

  1. It’s very difficult to obtain permits.
  2. Why are required so many documents?
  3. Why does not anyone explain anything?
  4. Where can I find partners?
  5. The dealer that turned to us, what is the dealer’s capability?

So how do you get started in Russia and get a guaranteed result?

Nowadays Expocentre it’s not only the organizer of exhibitions. For the first time, the centre is collaborating and integrating experts within the medical market, i.e., : the Association of Foreign Producers, Meditex, which deals with research and registration, we are their customers.

Therefore, together with our above-mentioned partners, we offer a comprehensive and turnkey service of accessing to the Russian market together. We are the ones who can help you find the right dealer and start selling in Russia.

Who is ZERTS?

ZERTS is a Russian medical consulting and manufacturing company, whose working structures are inspired by European management frameworks. For more than 10 years we have been manufacturing medical equipment and medical furniture ourselves in Russia; therefore, we know how to promote equipment in Russia. We have been successfully working for over 10 years under exclusive contracts with several German manufacturers, you can get their reviews. Given our tacit knowledge, we have an extensive knowledge of dealers within Russia, and easily get acquainted with new dealers daily.

In 2015, we brought together experts in the field of medicine and opened our own Agency for Medical Consulting D-ZERTS to help investors in opening clinics and to make the medical business more effective.

In our team, there are experts who hold a degree in medicine and economics, we have a varied approach to each project - from medicine and from economics and marketing.

As a team we have more than 20 market experts in different areas in one team. In Russia we have more than 1000 satisfied customers.

Here are the Key Stages of work to enter the Russian market:

  1. Market research plan, medical market evaluation
  2. Permits and certifications
  3. Comparative market analysis, financial and cash flow analysis
  4. Business development strategy
  5. Partner selection, representative office setup
  6. Translation of corporate and product advertising material for Russian market
  7. Audit of management and financial activities of local partners, partners exchange (if necessary)

From what we will start:

The first is market research, we must understand whether your product is required and competitive in Russia, i.e. product-market fit.  Are there analogues and are they produced in Russia or not? We will assess how difficult would it be to promote your product in Russia.

We will find unique features of your product that differ from the existing competition.

What can we solve after the first stage:

1) Should you enter in the Russian market with this product (Product viability)

2) What price policy to implement

3) What kind of partner would you require

Next, we will determine the following questions about working in Russia:

  1. Will it be single partner or multiple?
  2. Whether we will open a representative office or not?
  3. Who will be responsible for the servicing in Russia?
  4. How to obtain permits?
  5. What will be the price and discounts?

We will compose a promotion plan and compile a list of all possible partners.

Let's look at 2 ways of working when entering the Russia:

First version: Working without exclusivity. When the manufacturer wants to find several dealers, which he believes will be responsible for different territories. Usually it means that multiple partners will invest money for registration and promotion of the product.

Yes, you have less risk that one dealer would not cope with sales, but you will have to: 

  1. promote the product by yourself
  2. receive all the documents by yourself
  3. research competitive environment each year by yourself.

Usually, in this case, you need to open your representative office to solve these problems, as well as the tasks of dividing projects between dealers. Examples of such strategy are: Mindray, Schmitz (although there is no representation, they have a Russian manager who almost lives in Russia, participates in exhibitions and resolves conflicts).

Second version: Working with exclusive partner: There are certainly more risks here that one dealer may not be able to cope with sales, and the dealer may not be the one you expected. However, you have almost no costs, usually the partner in this case is ready to receive the permission documentation by themselves, promotes your product in Russia by themselves and at their own expense will work with a multiple partner in Russia. In addition, they will create the right pricing policy.

There are many examples of such strategy: Carl Zeiss, Zutter, Heinemann and many others.

This is the strategy that we recommend choosing; when the manufacturer doesn’t intend on opening a representative office in Russia.

How to protect yourself? Put the choice on us.

Given our extensive knowledge of dealers in Russia, we can evaluate it before signing the contract. Additionally, then we will be able to evaluate the efficiency of the dealer’s work and promotion. And if it’s necessary, to warn you in advance, and change the partner. We notify all Russian dealers about a new product on the Russian market, about new dealers or about changes in the company's policies.

How we will find a partner for you?

  1. Firstly, we will analyze the product and evaluate the competition, we will find the USP.
  2. Secondly, we will formulate a policy of work and compile a list of potential dealers.
  3. We will coordinate all steps with you and choose the best dealer for you.
  4. We will accompany you before signing the contract.
  5. WE will define the leading opinion and organize the approbation of the equipment.
  6. We will create and design a sales and promotion plan.
  7. We will evaluate the work of the dealer and warn, about the performance and recommend replacing if needed

How to reduce risks when entering the Russian market?

Here are a few steps that will make the work easier.

  1. Perform self-registration of the product. If you obtain permits, many partners will be interested to work with you, especially if you offer them exclusive rights. Thus, you will share the costs of registration and promotion with a future dealer.
  2. Do market research before entering the Russian market. It may turn out that your product is not competitive and then you can make another offer you incur losses.

Take part in exhibitions, get acquainted with partners, with clinics of Russia.

Ask experts of the Russian market for assistance, to avoid pitfalls. We will help to solve any situation.

The team of experts that Expocentre has assembled can now help at any stage of entering the Russian market

How to get started:

  1. Contact us, describe your task
  2. We will conduct a mini-research, offer options for interaction and market entry.
  3. We will accompany you at any stage before starting sales start and after.
  4. We can find an effective dealer for you, help him to work, if necessary.


Entering in Russia, it's easy with us!

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