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Of course, being at a shareware conference in Russia is the ideal way to find out what is going on in the Russian marketplace.
There are really 2 aspects to this: What we can buy from Russia (supply) and what we can sell in Russia (demand).


I already learned last year that the shareware world is very different in Russia from Western Europe and the US.
In Western Europe and the US, shareware is developed by single people, sometimes as a hobby, or by very small companies with maybe 2 or 3 employees. There are of course exceptions, but this is a general rule.
In Russia, shareware is big business. The normal size of the companies is a lot bigger. You could say that 10 employees would be a typical number, while it can be much more.
These companies are also doing incredibly good: One person told me that their company was making 300,000 sales per year. At 30$/license, that means they make almost 10 million dollar in sales per year!

In Europe and the US, we expect people to go to shareware conferences out of their own interest.
In Russia, this is different: People go there because their boss pays them to do so.


One particularly interesting topic that many people want to know about is outsourcing in Russia. I may need to write a separate entry about that, but will say a few words about it here.
Russia is probably the number 2 outsourcing country in the world, after India.
In Russia, you will almost certainly get better quality.
But, Russia as a low wages country seems to be a thing of the past.
You may still find low wages in small towns, but the serious companies in big cities (Moscow, Novosibirsk) will ask wages that are almost as high as in the West. Remember that these cities are also expensive to live in, and that prices are also similar to prices in the West.
If you are looking for low wages outsourcing these days, and don't want to go to countries like India, you might want to go to the other former USSR countries. I heard the lowest prices ever quoted by a Kazachstan company that was recommended to me by a current client of theirs.


According to the latest BSA study, Russia is the number 5 country for pirated software, and 87% of software used in Russia is illegal.
There are only 4 countries doing worse, with China, Vietnam and Ukraine having over 90% illegal software.
Because of this, many people think the Russian market is not worthwhile and ignore it completely.

But there is another side to the story.
First of all, the Russian legislation on intellectual property rights has been dramatically changed, and using illegal software is now taken seriously. There are also organisations such as Russian Shield trying to enforce intellectual property rights on software. Because of this, the situation has improved very much and will continue to improve.

But let's look at it a different way. Today 13% of software in Russia is legal, and this is increasing. I was told that today, Russia is the second largest market for software in he world, preceded only by the US. I don't know how accurate this number is and have my serious doubts, but it is probably true for the people who told me this.

If you are among those who are neglecting the Russian market, now is the time to think about making a change.

This is also very clear from the success of the Russian registration service SoftKey. Posted on Friday, September 24, 2004 12:06 AM Shareware | Back to top

Comments on this post: ISDEF 2004 - The Russian Market

# re: ISDEF 2004 - The Russian Market
Requesting Gravatar...
Dear Brother,

I like to know about the Russian market as we are in the Business of contraceptives. Please help me to know the market potentiality of Russia.

Can You help me

My email

Thanking You

Your Sincerly

Mathew Thomas
Left by Mathew Thomas on Apr 09, 2005 1:11 PM

# re: ISDEF 2004 - The Russian Market
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We run a cosmetics company in Israel.
Our main line treats depigmentation and bleaching solutions, sunscreens with clinically tested SPF and more.
The company's website:

we would like to know about the Russian market as we are in the Business of cosmetics. Please help us to know the market potentiality of Russia.

Please use this email adress:

thank you,

Eng. Alex Moradin
Left by Eng. Alex Moradin on Sep 11, 2005 9:52 PM

# re: ISDEF 2004 - The Russian Market
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We want to sell laptop battery to russian market, but don't know the station there. could you mind tell us.
Left by laptop battery on Nov 26, 2009 9:01 PM

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