Yury Zyabkin: “Move on and never look back!”

Yury Zyabkin, AGCO Machinery Commercial Director in Russia, shares the company's vision on business development under current conditions, which are known to be complicated, and also gives some recommendations agrarians could follow to survive during challenging times.

About the Russian market

“The situation on the Russian market of imported agricultural equipment is quite tough. As the general economic situation in Russia has become more complicated, large farms and agricultural holdings are doing their best to economise by cutting investments where possible. Thus, they are not so enthusiastic about purchasing imported equipment as before. The US dollar and euro exchange rates are not stable yet and, actually, are quite high. This influences the prices of imported machinery and equipment. At the same time, the prices for agricultural products and corresponding profit margins of farmers remain practically the same. Sooner or later, this gap should be eliminated, and the competitiveness of the imported machinery will not be hurt by increased exchange rates. Still, it is difficult to say when exactly this is going to happen. At the moment, large farms consider equipment purchases only in the most urgent cases, for instance, when they experience serious production problems which only high-quality, innovative equipment could deal with. By the way, this is a great opportunity for the domestic manufacturers to sell their products in greater amounts, as already happened during the crises of 1998 and 2008. Anyway, we believe we will make it up in our time.”

What the future holds

“Along with challenges, the crisis is providing good opportunities as well. Our purpose is to take chances and get a shot in the arm. Naturally, we are experiencing a dip in sales and tend to reduce costs and expenses, as our competitors do. Nevertheless, we keep on the alert. Our point is rapid growth and development whenever possible. Our Russian localisation projects are still relevant. In 2015, we are going to exercise our best efforts not only to retain, but also to improve the company's market standing.

We keep thinking of our clients throughout the tough times. We have proposed a series of measures to mitigate the effects of economic shakeouts and fluctuations in exchange rates including fixed prices for most equipment and machinery models, extension of the free warranty period for the Massey Ferguson tractors for a second year of operation, and special leasing terms and conditions provided, of course, by our partner AGCO Finance. Applications for leasing are being reviewed in proactive mode, literally, during the course of one day. Agricultural producers can not only get all required equipment on credit under favourable terms, but they also avoid increase in prices upon completion of the transaction and reduce expenses for repair during the second year of operation covered by free warranty.

The year 2015 is apparently going to bring in new challenges. Still we are not afraid of difficulties and are ready to move on and never look back!”