Entrepreneurship in Russia. Yves Rocher

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History of Entrepreneurship in Russia

Introduction In Russia, any cosmetic coming from France has a special aura. The reason is that, for the Russian and a lot of other countries, France rimes with glamour, fashion and elegance. That is why I decided to study one of the most successful French business abroad, Yves Rocher, created in 1959 and now implemented in more than 50 countries all over the world. We are going to see how the company spread in Russia starting in the beginning of the 90s, first in Moscow, to reach today Vladivostok and we will observe the very specific political context the firm settled in and how it contributed, in a way, to the success of the French business. History The man who created Yes Rocher Company was Yves Rocher himself, his concept was to use plants to make cosmetics and to sell it by mail order. Yves Rocher is born in 1930 and died in 2009; he was an industrial and a politic. He grew up in La Gacilly in France, where everything started for him. When he was 14, an old lady gave him the recipe of a hemostatic cream, and then he decided to create it in his attic and to sell it by mail order. Natural products and mail order constituted the foundation of his cosmetic business founded in 1959. Early he was focused on the biological agriculture and he wanted to democratize access to beauty products. His business won’t stop to grow up and 3 years after the beginning he opened his first shop. At the late 80’s Yves Rocher group was a prosper business with international dimension, and open its first shop in Russia, in 1991 in Moscow.

The Arrival To begin, we must situate the context in which arrived the company. In 1991, Perestroika year, the country’s borders are closed; it is impossible to find any product coming from abroad. For a foreign company, it is very complicated if it is almost impossible to enter the Russian market. However, shelves in the stores are empty, diversity of products is very low, competition is inexistent. In that way, Russian women represent the perfect target for Yves Rocher, which has in its hands the product that they desire the most. The company, combining ambition, audacity and smelling potential success, decides to open a store in Moscow, on the Pouchkine Place, next to Tverskaya, the “Russian Champs Elysées Avenue”, street in which, the same year, the American multinational company Mac Donald’s, settled in too. Results are instantaneous, the company’s arrival starts the buzz, thousands and thousands people are queuing in the street during the opening day, on the 15th of August 1991, not only people living in Moscow but coming from other cities, in order to buy and bring home a French product. It was the first store in Moscow where you could see all the products and test them. Yves Rocher was the first foreign cosmetics company coming to Russia, in addition it turns out it was French and the firm was offering to the market a luxury product. The supply could not have been more in line with the demand of the time. Yves Rocher cosmetics are made of vegetal product only, that is what the brand wanted to highlight and that contributed also largely to the company’s success. The spread Given its size and complexity, Russia is not a territory to be conquered overnight. It was therefore extremely important to proceed gradually and logically. First, by creating a network of stores in cities that were counting more than one million inhabitants, then, in their periphery. That is what generated notoriety. Only after that, the brand developed distance selling through catalogs...
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