Hungary is attracted by millions of people all over the world, and Russian speaking immigrants are not an exception. Living in Hungary, a Russian person tries to be somehow connected to his homeland, and Volga-Press.BT a Hungarian company organised by Russian immigrant helps keeping them in touch with the latest news and culture. Volga-Press.BT is a company that distributes press from Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States. It offers Hungarian and immigrant subscribers to get their favourite periodicals directly to their letter-box either every day, weekly or monthly depending on the type of periodicals they are interested in.
I had a chance to meet with the director of this company and discuss what she found interesting in establishing her business in Hungary. My interviewee was Takacs Irina, she was born in Russia and 20 years ago moved here to Hungary. By accident she met the representatives of Russian press and in order to settle here in Hungary she stated a business company which offered the Hungarians to subscribe Russian and other language periodicals.
She has been in this business for more than 10 years and, therefore, she had experienced the culture differentiation not only in everyday life. We discussed whether it is difficult for the foreigner to start a business here in Hungary, covering the difference in style of developing business communications. As a result we found a lot of differences in these cultures but not less similarities.
I asked Irina whether she has any Hungarian clients, and she added that here clients consist almost equally of Hungarians and Russians. Irina was really surprised in the interest of Hungarian clients in Russian press and literature. She explained: ‘Hungarian clients that I have are very anxious to the novelties in press and literature… with great please they subscribe or order very diverse materials. Some of them are interested in traditional and well known newspapers while others subscribe to very rare issues. There are also some clients who impatiently wait for the old issues of their favourite periodicals, which we deliver to them in cooperation with the archives of Russian publishing houses. ’
Comparing the business style of these cultures, Irina stated that ‘for a Russian person it is really comfortable to work here in Hungary’. The cooperation with Hungarians seems to be fast and straightforward. Usually, in order to conclude a contract with a Hungarian it is not difficult to be trusted and to trust. Moreover, the Hungarians gladly use different ways of communication including e-mail, telephone calls and faxing. Despite of the fact that each culture has its own rhythm of life there is not a big difference or misunderstanding between the Russians and the Hungarians in the sphere of business. One important factor she faced during communication with Hungarian partners or clients is the need of applying appropriate titles (Doctor, Professor) in formal communication, which is not common with her Russian partners. In Russia there is no need to apply their titles and usually people communicate on the equal basis, expressing respect for their partners. (The Russians usually name an elder person or a respectful person with his/her name adding his/her father's first name).
Irina found it very comfortable to cooperate with her Hungarian partners and clients. She appreciates those Hungarian clients who with such impatience wait for the new issues, and come to her to practice a bit Russian. I was really glad to meet this woman, and wish her as much as possible clients and future thrift for her business.