“An important prerequisite for success in Central Asia is a close and transparent relationship.”

Burckhardt Compression AG successfully exports to Central Asia. But what does it take to be profitable as a Swiss company in this region? In an interview, Jiri Rus points out where the business opportunities are and how SMEs can enter the market in the long term.

Burckhardt Compression AG
Burckhardt Compression AG

Why is Central Asia an interesting market for Burckhardt Compression AG and where do you see opportunities?
For many years, the Central Asian market was not high on our list of priorities due to limited knowledge of the region. In addition, the political landscape hampered business development as many countries were very closed. However, this has changed. We see huge potential mainly due to the region’s natural gas reserves. Burckhardt Compression identified the demand for high-quality and reliable equipment. The oil & gas sector will develop and modernize in general to meet the increasingly stringent regulations, and this is definitely a great opportunity for us. There is a clear need to modernize old equipment, and it is here that we can provide our expertise to our local partners and customers.

What hurdles did you have to overcome to be successful as a Swiss company in Central Asia?
There were certainly many cultural differences that we had to address. We also had to learn a lot about local processes. It is an ongoing learning process and anyone deciding to enter this market has to be prepared for a learning journey and accept this in respectful way.

I can only recommend travelling to the region – it helped me not only from a professional point of view, but also from a personal perspective.

What are the most important points for long-term success in Central Asia?
You need to approach the region with respect and be prepared to embark on an open-minded learning process. In order to be successful in Central Asia, it is extremely important to develop very close and transparent relationships. Companies from outside Central Asia first have to invest a lot in establishing these connections. Initially, we needed a lot of education and training and learnt to see this as an investment in our future relationships and partnerships.

How does the market in Central Asia differ from other markets?
This market has a very specific tendering process, which is far more complex and protracted than here in Europe. Customers expect you to provide complete solutions and services. This also means helping them to find suitable financing instruments. This was also something we had to learn.

What advice can you give to Swiss SMEs that want to export to Central Asia?
This is very easy – be respectful, patient and transparent. When entering the Central Asian market, you will learn what “thinking out of the box” really means. On the other hand, it is a lovely and very beautiful region, and we can learn a lot from their values. I can only recommend travelling there – it helped me not only from a professional point of view, but also from a personal perspective.

About Burckhardt Compression AG

Burckhardt Compression is one of the world’s leading providers of reciprocating compressors and the only manufacturer that covers a complete range of reciprocating compressor technologies. Its customized compressor systems are used in the upstream oil & gas, gas transport and storage, refinery, chemical, petrochemical and industrial gas sectors. Burckhardt Compression’s leading technology, high-quality compressor components and the full range of services help customers to minimize the life-cycle costs of their reciprocating compressor systems around the world. Since 1844, its highly skilled workforce has crafted superior solutions and set the benchmark in the gas compression industry.

Business opportunities in Central Asia

Are you interested in Central Asia? Don’t miss our event on January 29 in Zurich. During the event, we will outline the latest developments in these countries and the business opportunities for Swiss exporters, followed by a presentation by Mr. Jiri Rus, Vice President of Burckhardt Compression AG, which is already present in the market.

Register now!

Jiri Rus, Burckhardt Compression AG


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