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EU-Russia Innovation Forum & EBN Annual Congress

Pekka Viljakainen at Innovation Forum: “Russian ownership will grow in Europe”

Media release.
Published: 14-Jun-2012 05:20 pm
Publisher: EU-Russia Innovation Forum & EBN Annual Congress

Pekka Viljakainen, Advisor to the Skolkovo Foundation, is certain that we will see Russians buying European companies in the coming years. He stated at the EU-Russia Innovation Forum and EBN Congress in Lappeenranta today that we all should learn about the Russian business culture.

“We have to understand how to work together. It is crucial to Russian and other European business people. It might be that the owner of a European company speaks only Russian,” said Viljakainen.

Russian companies are led by a significantly younger generation than European ones. The young managers are open-minded and demand transparent leadership.

”If you look at the leading people in Russian companies, they are about ten years younger than, for example, in Finland. The generation shift is taking place now,” said Viljakainen.

Angry Birds listens to its fans

Russia offers significant business opportunities to European companies. Harri Koponen, Executive Vice President of Rovio Entertainment, which developed the mobile game Angry Birds, has a long experience of working in Russia.

“The development of the economy is more up to the people themselves, not only the government. Changing Russia is an individual’s choice. If you have a dream, you can make it happen. You just have to love what you do, think big and believe in your idea. That is the secret of success,” said Koponen in the event.

Koponen emphasized listening to the customers − or fans in the Angry Birds case.

“Free your mind from the locks of the corporate world. If your fan asks you for something, it may be a billion dollar idea that you cannot ignore because of some corporate policy,” said Koponen.

The EU-Russia Innovation Forum and EBN Congress continue until tomorrow, Friday. The three-day event has gathered over 800 participants to Lappeenranta from 34 different countries. The event has 130 speakers.

More Information:
Minna Martikainen
Vice-Rector, Professor
Lappeenranta University of Technology
tel. +358 40 569 2652

Event in brief

The 3rd EU-Russia Innovation Forum and the 21st EBN Congress are being arranged in Lappeenranta on 13-15 June 2012. The events provide concrete support for cooperation between the EU and Russia – by providing information and contacts. The themes of this year's event are energy and the environment, logistics and mobility, as well as networking for companies. The events are organized by the City of Lappeenranta, Lappeenranta University of Technology and the European BIC Network.


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