Read our interview with Leonid Fishman.
This year has turned out to be very difficult, the organizers of events and exhibitions have either canceled or postponed them, and only a few events are still planned this year, including Thaifest. How are things going with the event at the moment? Will it take place, as announced earlier, in the autumn of 2020?
I agree, this year is exceptional. We all had to face a number of external challenges and make difficult business decisions. As you know, until recently we have planned to hold Thaifest on the scheduled dates, but, alas, the whole world lived in a lockdown in May, so we had to postpone the festival until autumn.
I can say that preparations for the festival continue, we are constantly in touch with our agent in Turkey, we follow the development of the situation in the world and keep our finger on the pulse. I think that in August it will be clear what awaits us in autumn.
For today we have announced the new dates for the Thaifest. It will take place in Turkey from October 20 to October 25, 2020 in a comfortable five-star hotel Asteria Kremlin Palace. Of course, the festival will be held in compliance with all required sanitary standards, and special attention will be paid to this. No online conferences can completely replace live communication and experience exchange.
The announcement of the formation of the Astkol-Dzhaga Group of Companies coincided with the beginning of the period of self-isolation in Europe and Russia. Has this influenced the business processes taking place within your new structure?
The work on the creation of the Group of Companies has been going on for a long time and by the end of 2019 it was fully formed. The official announcement was made in April 2020.
The Group of Companies was created from already actively working and developing enterprises. It includes the companies “ASTKOL-ALFA”, “FISHERO”, “DZHAGA-DZHAGA”, “BIOMED-NUTRITION” and several individual entrepreneurs. All inner work went on and continues to follow the planned course. We plan to significantly increase the wholesale turnover, expand the retail network, so in June 2020 we will open 4 new Dzhaga-Dzhaga stores (the net will have 35 outlets). We are planning to strengthen production capacities and develop new product models in the range of toys (today there are more than 1000 articles), and in the range of the cosmetic line (today there are about 100 articles).
What has changed in your business during to the period of self-isolation?
A lot of things! Let's start with the fact that the work has increased many times! The new realities required restructuring of the business, both in wholesale and retail areas. The share of shipments to online stores has increased, we have actively begun cooperating with new (for us) marketplaces. We have also increased the matrix of goods sold in the marketplaces with which we started cooperation before the pandemic, and expanded the geography of supplies to marketplaces. The Dzhaga-Dhzaga retail network has also restructured most of its sales to go online.
Self-isolation also manifested itself in the fact that it revealed weaknesses in the company. A tremendous amount of work was done to correct errors, and internal warehouse and logistics processes were improved.
Everything was burdened by many restrictions on the work of not only the retail segment, but also the wholesale one. I had to introduce new categories of goods into the assortment, making it possible for the company to live and continue shipping.
I want to express my deep gratitude to all clients who have gone through this period with us! All fought for their business, survived and showed remarkable ingenuity to continue trading. Without you, our Dear Clients, nothing would have happened either! I can proudly say that this difficult period has shown that our market has real professionals who take care of their work!
Have you noticed any changes in sales?
Despite all the restrictions during this period in our Group of Companies there was a noticeable increase in shipments in wholesale and production. I can say that we are coming out of this period with our heads held high, aimed at further growth and development!