Large-scale events draw Swiss company to Russia and Kazakhstan

In Russia and Kazakhstan, infrastructures are needed for events such as the Olympic Winter Games or the World’s Fair – and the Nüssli Group from Hüttwilen in the canton of Thurgau are only too happy to offer their services. The Swiss company specializes in temporary buildings and has made a move eastwards. Carsten Nadler, Key Account at Nüssli, talks about his experiences in the Russian and Kazakh market. 

Temporary construction by Nüssli at the World’s Fair 2017 in Astana
Temporary construction by Nüssli at the World’s Fair 2017 in Astana

Carsten Nadler, why is the Nüssli Group active in Russia and Kazakhstan?
As a leading global provider of temporary buildings for sports, cultural and business events, international large-scale events are of great importance to Nüssli. Such events offer a platform on which countries as exhibitors or companies as event sponsors can present themselves. Nüssli uses the events to position itself as a reliable partner for temporary construction with a local office. Nüssli's long-standing international experience gives the customer a competent partner they can rely on “away from home” and the certainty that the project can be handed over on time with the right quality.
Nüssli was attracted to Russia and Kazakhstan by the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014, the Swimming World Cup in Kazan 2015 and the World’s Fair Astana 2017. Intense preparation is needed for such large-scale activities, part of which begins five years in advance. We founded official companies in both countries.

What were the hurdles to market entry?
Kazakhstan is not exactly a major tourist destination. For Nüssli, the inland state was also uncharted territory at first. The World’s Fair Astana 2017 is the first project we implemented there. I intensively engaged with the culture and mentality of Kazakhstan as a Key Account Manager of the World’s Fair projects in Astana. I know about the challenges that the large-scale Fair project posed and I know the key to success. Things are done differently in Kazakhstan. Thanks to our over 15 years of World’s Fair experience, we were able to prepare for this year’s event with a focus on the country and its people. We benefited from a local network of suppliers that we built up before the start of the planning project office in Astana. This is how we managed to attract organizations and countries for whom we have never been active before.

How do you succeed in these markets?
We work with our projects in an environment shaped by international competition. It is essential to understand a project as a holistic process and to work together with the customer in the closest possible way. Every planning stage, every logistical parameter, assembly and disassembly, everything is done in permanent coordination with the customer. I am convinced that loyal closeness to customers was the main reason for the timely completion of the five construction sites before the opening of the Fair, while for many other countries and companies it was ultimately a race against time.

One major project in Kazakhstan is the World’s Fair 2017; Nüssli implemented the exhibition pavilions for China, UK, Shell, Air Astana and the Vatican. Will you continue to work in Kazakhstan after the Fair, or will you pack up and go home?
The preparation and implementation of the World’s Fair Astana 2017 has brought us good staff and strong partners. It is now a matter of evaluating the business potential of temporary construction, in order to decide whether Kazakhstan offers Nüssli further opportunities.

About Carsten Nadler

Carsten Nadler has been with Nüssli since 2015 and is responsible as Key Account for customers in the areas of pavilions, museums and exhibition stands. The World’s Fair Astana 2017 was one of the first international large-scale projects, for which Carsten Nadler was able to use his many years of experience in the trade fair and event industry.

About Nüssli:

With its temporary and modular event buildings, Nüssli helps to ensure unforgettable sports, cultural and business events all over the world. The product range includes temporary grandstands, stages, event structures, event halls and pavilions as well as trade fair stands, museums and exhibitions. Since Nüssli was founded in 1941, the Swiss company has been developing technically advanced, well-tested building systems, which form the framework for sports and cultural events as well as for business events of all kinds and sizes. Every day, 450 specialists at 23 locations around the world apply their profound expertise, innovative thinking and flexibility to complex projects. Nüssli erects around 2,000 event buildings worldwide.

Would you like to know more about exporting to Russia or Kazakhstan? Meet Carsten Nadler and other experts at the Export Dialog on 5 September at Nüssli in Hüttwilen (in German). Register now

Detailed information can also be obtained from a Russia or Kazakhstan country consulting session from Switzerland Global Enterprise. Register for an individual free consultation.

Carsten Nadler, Key Account bei Nüssli


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