From Russia with love

Torsten Brose

As Business Development Director for an innovative technology company, I recently found myself in Samara – the sixth largest city in Russia and the development base for Magenta’s Echo software.

In fairness, I’d visited Moscow before, so was not a complete Russian virgin. But Samara is two hours further inland and close to the Kazakhstan border, and I really didn’t know what to expect ... surely this will be the Wild West, there’ll be no electricity, and, if your papers aren’t in order, a gruesome death awaits you …!

Yes, I know this was a misconceived preconception and a stereotype view, but let’s be honest, we all have them. But here’s the thing: I had a fantastic experience, and not just personally or culturally. On a professional level, the Echo development team has a higher bar to climb than they would in England.

Competition to secure a job is fierce, as Samara is home to some of the country’s top technical universities. Institutions such as the Samara State Aerospace University and the Samara State Technical University are producing the strongest candidates for software development and innovation, and contributing to a ‘silicon valley’ effect. Magenta has a reputation for employing the best and brightest developers, and these are the people who, with your help, are shaping the future of private hire software.

I guess what this trip confirmed to me is that if you can recruit, retain, inspire and reward the best possible candidates, then their location becomes irrelevant. Surely we should focus on the functionality, usability and durability of the work that is produced, and not where it is produced? In a global world, we should embrace the opportunities provided by interaction with international teams and their different perspectives and experiences. We should challenge preconceived ‘negatives’ and recognise them for the positives they actually are!

I am sure I will be travelling to Samara regularly, and I think the least I can do before my next trip is to learn some Russian, da!!

Torsten Brose | Business Development Director Echo | Magenta Technology

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