The international companies forging a future on the Russian welding market

The Russian welding market is a key area for international manufacturers and suppliers of welding equipment, materials and technologies.

Around 90% of all welding equipment and technologies is imported as Russia’s domestic production is low. The majority of imports are sourced from European countries, the USA, and China.

Russia’s mammoth oil & gas sector plays a large role in the country’s welding industry. Accounting for 16% of GDP and 70% of exports, the Russian oil and gas sector is vital to the country’s economy and is heavily reliant on welding processes for its pipelines.

Some 29 new oil and gas developments are set to begin over the next six years, highlighting the mid-term potential, and continued investment opportunities, Russia holds.

Entering the Russian welding market is a lucrative opportunity for international manufacturers and suppliers. We spoke to some of the companies making a success of the Russian market.

IGM, Austria

Austrian-based robot welding technology and automation firm IGM has long been operating on the Russian market. Dmitry Goloshchapov, Regional Manager (Russia, CIS, Ukraine) at IGM told us more.

How long have you been working on the Russian market and why did you decide to enter it?

We’ve been working on the Russian welding market since the mid-1980s. Our first projects were the Chelyabinsk Tractor Works and the Cheboksary Promtractor, with over 50 welding robot systems per installation.

What is your competitive advantage in Russia?

Turn-key solutions from a single source based on our own robots, software and peripheral equipment.

What advice would you give to new companies looking to enter the Russian market?

I would say have perseverance, and recruit and the nurture the ‘right’ local managers.

Why do you exhibit at Weldex and what are the benefits of exhibiting for your company?

Weldex is our ‘show-time’ in Russia. It’s a platform to meet existing partners and capture the attention of new segments, companies, decision-influencers and makers. We don’t take part in any other public or industrial event in Russia.

Italfil, Italy

Italian welding wire manufacturers are relatively newcomers to the Russian market, we spoke to Valentyn Khlopotov, Sales Area Manager, to learn more about their experience so far.

How long has Italfil been working on the Russian market and why did you decide to enter it?

Our first trip to Russia was in 2015. At that time, we had a representative dealing with Russia, but we decided in 2016 to really boost our presence there and grow our sales. We started to attend Weldex and gradually get more information about the needs and trends of welding consumables on the Russian market. We collaborated with a distributor, who opened three more branches across Russia. This year, we started to also sell directly to international companies who manufacture in Russia. We’re at the final stage of testing and hope to have the first direct shipment done in the autumn, which is important to us to get a good reference to help make a good impression on other potential buyers.

What is your competitive advantage in Russia?

Our main competitive advantage is our range of EVO wires. We are the second company in Europe (and third worldwide) to produce uncoppered wires by DRY drawing technology.

Our other main advantage is our quality. Italfil is a well-known producer of high quality products. We have a lot of OEM business collaboration and our customers are well-known international groups.

One more advantage is our huge range of products. We produce around 70 type of welding wires, unalloyed, low alloyed and hard-facing wires. For example, we produce around 50% of European needs of IT-600.

Talking generally, I should add one important thing, Italfil respects our partners, and in Russia it is one of the main requisites for long-term collaboration.

What is your biggest challenge on the Russian market?

In my opinion the biggest challenge is to convince end users that we’re different and to really believe in us. The Russian market has many producers from all over the world and it's not easy to find a really good quality producer. We’re confident in our company and we have a lot of patience, so we will reach all our objectives.

How optimistic are you about the Russian welding market over the next few years?

I don’t know what’ll happen in the next few years, but if politics remains good we are very optimistic. The Russian market is really huge, and we’ve only been here for three years so we are just at the start of our journey and still have everything ahead of us. 

What advice would you give to new companies looking to enter the Russian market?

Be transparent, be open, keep to your word, Russians appreciate relationships, so do your best to become reliable. One more thing is patience, there is a phrase in Russian: "Russians are slow at harnessing, but fast at riding."

Why do you exhibit at Weldex and what are the benefits of exhibiting for your company?

It really helps establish relationships with actual customers, and can help to get new customers. In general, not only in Russia, but once you have an exhibition stand, you should continue work because it's also a signal to other companies about how your business is going. It particularly helps to grow your exhibition space year by year.

Take your place on the Russian welding market

In October, the entire welding industry will converge at Weldex 2019, Russia’s leading exhibition of welding materials, equipment and technologies.

Both IGM and Italfil and hundreds more companies will be at the show to improve their brand awareness, show off their latest products, and catch up with the industry.

Will you be there to expand your business on the Russian market?

Enquire today for more information on how the exhibition can help your business.