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Main | Archive | Issue 2/2008

MAWYs Growing Presence in Russia
Column: Under The Sign Of Mercury

Few Muscovites and residents of other Russian cities have heard of the MAWY group of companies headquartered in Bavaria. But people light up when they hear the names of the goods and services that have appeared on the Russian market thanks to the efforts of Quirin Wydra, a former jet pilot, who founded and is the president of MAWY GmbH.

When he first came to Moscow in 1990, he saw not only empty store shelves and low standards of service but with his sharp pilots eyes he also discerned the huge potential of the emerging consumer market. The Escada stores, which rapidly became popular with men and women fashion plates of St. Petersburg and Moscow, opened as early as 1991. A year later, the food market was targeted. As a result, 400 or so food products of the Rewe and Edeka companies appeared in Russian supermarkets. The introduction of Ehrmann yoghurt was an even more spectacular breakthrough in 1994. In the first four years, the sales across Russia-from Moscow to Vladivostok-reached 50 million a year. Such unprecedented growth prompted the managers of Ehrmann to build a plant in Russia. The decision was made against the backdrop of the 1998 financial crisis. MAWI and Ehrmann had confidence in Russia and took a chance. They proved right!

In 2000, Quirin Wydra launched his sweetest project here. He brought Ritter Sport chocolate to Russia. The advertising slogan Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut has now become something like a popular saying.

The building of a Marktkauf hypermarket in Lyubertsy (opened in 2003) was a result of the relations of mutual confidence developed with the Moscow authorities over the preceding years. The initial investment of 58 million in the project was recouped already within a year, and the 2006 sales reached 108 million.

Interaction between German and Russian supermarkets revealed another item in short supply, namely, shopping carts. In response, a joint venture, Wanzl-MAWY, selling shopping equipment was set up. Things went so well that it was decided to build a cart-making plant in the city of Serpukhov near Moscow. Production is to begin already in 2009. Another plant, that of the company Barry Callebaut, a leading cacao and chocolate manufacturer, was built in the Moscow Region. MAWY not only gave it the idea of entering the Russian market but also chose a suitable place in the town of Chekhov and oversaw all the construction and mounting work right up to the commissioning of the production unit.

In 2006, MAWY began filling yet another gap in the Russian market. Moscow authorities allotted ten lots for building three-star hotels-without them increasing tourist flows to Russia is inconceivable. The Minister of Economic Affairs, E.. Huber, and the mayor of Moscow, Yu.M. Luzhkov, gave Quirin Wydra the green light on his initiative.

In a word, MAWY is carrying on filling out the Russian market in the interests of both Russia and Germany.

-, 2006