Tatarstan seeks a way to expand market access for self-employed workers, create preferential logistics park, and train staff in e-commerce
In the midst of an e-commerce boom, entrepreneurs in Tatarstan have joined a network of markets but they do not have enough warehouses, logistics capacity and staff. This was raised at a meeting of the President of the Republic and e-commerce companies. Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent attended the interview. “We compared the indicators over 5 months and 5 years: the number of sellers in some places has quadrupled,” described the business mediator Farid Abdulganiyev, an unprecedented dynamic. In response, Rustam Minnikhanov commissioned Ak Bars Bank to prove a logistics park with preferential rental terms in Zelenodolsk district, while Wildberries manager Tatiana Bakalchuk promised to start exports from the current Russian warehouse in Zelenodolsk in transforming it into an international hub.
Nearly 8,000 online retail entrepreneurs
Companies from Tatarstan have increased sales of goods in the Russian market, but they cannot do without expanding their infrastructure. In a meeting with the President of the Republic on June 15, it was discussed how to solve the problems of fast growing e-commerce. Rustam Minnikhanov met entrepreneurs at E-com PORTAL logistics center in Koshchakovo village, Pestretsy district. It is so far the first and only site in Tatarstan where entrepreneurs can market their products and integrate warehouse operations and transport services into a single supply chain.
An exhibition of products from e-commerce entrepreneurs has been set up at the center. After browsing it, the public started talking about business. Tatarstan’s business ombudsman, Farid Abdulganiyev, and founder of iWENGO e-commerce school, Yuliana Gordon, became the moderators of the dialogue.
Barely six months ago, Rustam Minnikhanov listened to the proposals of entrepreneurs, but there are still problems. Before the start of the meeting, the business ombudsperson reminded the audience that on the instructions of the president, a number of decisions have been taken to promote the products of the manufacturers of Tatarstan, the E-Commerce Development Center which helps almost manually companies to enter the market was created. . “As a result, there is rapid growth. At the show, we compared indicators for 5 months and 5 years, so the number of sellers in the market has doubled and quadrupled in some places, ”he said.
According to the Ombudsman for Entrepreneur’s Rights, the amount of accounts of sellers of Tatarstan in the first four places Wildberries, Ozon, KazanExpress and eBay has increased to 7,993. For the foreseeable future, no other segment of the economy has will have such growth potential. At the same time, there are a lot of unresolved issues, he said.
Why the market does not like the self-employed
The entrepreneurs raised the question of the relationship between the self-employed and the marketplaces, which concerns them first and foremost. Why are Wildberries and AliExpress letting them in when others don’t?
“I was self-employed myself when I started working with the market,” said entrepreneur Timur Khusniyarov, who makes sportswear Tatkiem. “I know very well what difficulties they have to face. Unfortunately, not all markets work with self-employed workers. Since Wildberries and KazanExpress are already working with freelancers, we would like to be present in other markets such as Ozon, Yandex. Market, KazanExpress.
However, during his cooperation with them, the production exceeded the target of 2.4 million rubles, which is why he changed his status and became an independent trader. Wildberries manager Tatiana Bakalchuk confirmed that with the help of Tatarstan, the company has become one of the first to cooperate with this category of entrepreneurs. According to her, they are growing rapidly, but there are now 82 self-employed workers in Tatarstan. One of the founders of KazanExpress Kevin Khanda responded to the criticism of the businessman from Tatarstan.
“We were the first to work with independents. But for the moment, we have temporarily abandoned this activity but we will return there in the next two weeks, ”he said and added that the abuse of this status has become the main reason for the closure. “We are responding to them. We’ve launched additional vendor moderation to find out what exactly they’re making and if they’re actually doing it. Second, not all banks are ready to work with self-employed people. For example, our accounts have been repeatedly checked, blocked. When a lot of people withdraw money, money laundering is suspected.
The President of Tatarstan has vowed to solve this problem, turning to the Russian Prime Minister for his support.
“There must be regulation,” Minnikhanov replied. “I was ready to address the government of the Russian Federation because the very idea of self-employed people belongs to Mikhail Mishustin. And I think the government will give corresponding signals to avoid such incidents. We have to deliver the order. But I think a bank can easily come and see. Second, we have to start working with the big players, stimulating them to accept freelance workers.
The Ministry of Labor is responsible for training seamstresses and account managers
Yelena Batayeva, who makes children’s clothing named Balabay, raised the issue of a shortage of women in needles.
“We encountered an unexpected problem: the demand exceeds our capacity. 10 seamstresses are working with us now, while we need 35. In other words, we are ready to employ 25 more seamstresses now. But neither Naberezhnye Chelny nor the nearest municipalities have educational establishments to train such specialists, ”she lamented.
Bugulma entrepreneur Timur Bulushev also complained about a lack of staff: “Actually, we have to train the online sales departments from scratch. Today, the labor market lacks specialists with such knowledge. Can we consider the possibility of organizing customer manager training for companies, including medium-sized companies? It seems to us that this profession will be in great demand in the coming years.
The President of the Republic instructed the Tatarstan Ministry of Labor to collect data and develop a training program for a specialist needed for short courses in resource centers.
AliExpress: bring your felt boots!
Kukmor entrepreneur Almaz Gibatullin making felt shoes complained six months ago that working with markets was worse than with government officials. But on June 15, he looked happy and content. In 2020, its turnover was 15 million rubles, while in 5 years Gibatullin plans to reach 100 million rubles. This time he also had a few suggestions.
“Mr. Minnikhanov, I usually speak Tatar, but the felt boots are associated with Russian… I will speak Russian,” he said when given a microphone. Eventually, he switched to his native language.
“Now the goods can be sold in Europe and the United States through Wildberries. But buyers from other countries only see leftover felt shoes in warehouses in Koledino, Moscow oblast. Wildberries also has a large warehouse in the Zelenodolsk Industrial Park. Is there a possibility to internationalize it? So overseas buyers could also see goods in this warehouse, ”he asked, trying to turn Kukmor into an international center for felt shoes. Besides, there is no translation for the shoes in English, they are called valenki.
Tatiana Bakalchuk promised to study this idea.
“For the moment, goods destined for countries that are not members of the Customs Union can only be exported from warehouses in Moscow oblast,” she agreed. “But the warehouse in Zelenodolsk receives around 600,000 goods daily, about the same amount is shipped.”
In turn, the director of public relations with state agencies of AliExpress Russia, Sergey Lebedev, decided to help the entrepreneur from Tatarstan to promote Kukmor felt shoes. “It is enough to register on the marketplace without registering a legal person in a foreign country, and to confirm a zero rate of VAT via B2C. The goods can thus be sold in all countries of the world, ”he found a simple solution for the Kukmor businessman.
Give a preferential logistics warehouse
The founder of the republic’s first market for medical products, Vadim Fyodorov, complained about the high rents in warehouses and the shortage of good areas. He asked the President of Tatarstan to develop support measures for young businessmen such as preferential rent by opening a logistics incubator. According to him, entrepreneurs could rent space in such a warehouse “from five square meters” at a preferential rate, for example, during the first three years with a gradual increase in the rent.
In response, Rustam Minnikhanov offered to consider the Zelenodolsk district warehouse, which is owned by Ak Bars bank, for the logistics park.
“KazanExpress is moving now, and if it does move, make small areas for newbies. Some concessions can be made, ”the president set himself a task.
He says there are plans today to build industrial sites in Laishevo, Pestretsy, Vysokaya Gora where “there will certainly be a logistics component”, while the authorities will try to “come to an agreement”.
E-com PORTAL Managing Director, Maria Abdullina, supported the issue of the warehouse shortage.
“We have almost exhausted this warehouse capacity,” she complained. “According to our estimates, around 12,000 companies in Tatarstan already need such services. Therefore, the volume of the market for this type of service is measured in tens of billions of rubles. The lack of available logistical capacities is a deterrent here. This is why we settled in Pestretsy, because there are no such centers. We need warehouses near Ozon and Wildberries. We propose to create an e-commerce center in Tatarstan which, first of all, will have warehouses and provide entrepreneurs with all services. But we don’t have enough money and land.
“We also have little money but we have a lot of ideas,” replied the president jokingly but made it his mission to solve this problem.
By Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: president.tatarstan.ru