Globalisation has opened borders, markets and doors for great business opportunities. We want you to be able to seize them all and feel at home in the world with our services always within reach. Therefore, we present you in the fourth part of our “Alphabet around the World Tour” our friends and Alphabet OneNet partners from Major Profi. They are here today to tell you a bit about beautiful Russia. Let’s jump right in!
Tell us a bit about your company, please. What makes you special?
MAJOR holding was founded in 1998 in Moscow. Today, Major Profi is one of the leading players in the regional automobile market. We are happy to be able to provide our customers with a wide range of services beyond leasing such as roadside assistance, repair and emergency commissioner’s service.
Driving like a local: your best tips
We’d like to see more of Russia! Can you recommend some nice spots in your area as a must-visit for drivers?
Russia is a huge country and is well known for its vast territories. From Moscow to Kamchatka, from the Baltic Sea to the warm shores in the South – you’ll be warmly welcomed everywhere. It takes some time to travel all of Russia, so, coming back to see more is always a good idea! If you are going to visit Moscow, we recommend the Red Square, the heart of the capital and the country. After that, you can take your journey to the old town roads and admire the city's architecture. Finish your capital car trip on Vorobyevy Gory, near Moscow State University with the panoramic view of the city. Moscow Metro should be mentioned as well as it is not just a subway but almost an art museum.
If you would like to know more about Russia and its history, you should travel the Golden Ring. The Golden Ring is a touristic route through the historic cities of Russia with unique monuments and culture. It consists of eight major cities – Sergiev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Suzdal, and Vladimir. And of course, you shouldn’t miss the “capital” in the North: Saint Petersburg. It’s easy to get there from Moscow and there are so many beautiful sights to see.
What is your best advice as a local on vehicles, traffic and general customs that you would give to a driver from abroad?
Always check for traffic jams if visiting Moscow or Saint Petersburg. There are lots of vehicles on the roads here, especially during rush hours. If you’re planning on going into nature or visit the historical cities of Russia, a high clearance car is a good idea.
What do drivers in your region attach particular importance to?
SUVs have become very popular in the last 2 years. This trend reflects on how Russian drivers handle regional landscapes: off-roads, deep snow, long distances with frequent landscape change etc. are more easily mastered in a more robust vehicle. Russian drivers also value air conditioning, heated seats and climate control options because of the frequent weather changes and large temperature difference throughout the year.
The new normal: COVID-19 measures in Russia
How has the daily business changed for you since COVID-19?
We have become more cautious about social contacts inside and outside the company since the pandemic started. Most of the meetings are online these days, some employees work remotely. In direct contact we use personal protective equipment, keep the distance, wash and sanitize hands as often as possible.
What special measures did you take to protect customers?
We strictly stick to the World Health Organization’s and government’s medical recommendations. Meetings with customers are limited. Most of the contact happens online. We also introduced distance contract signature, so customers don’t have to come in for this. Another service is contactless car delivery to the customers locations instead of handing over the car at the dealer centre or office. Important information is rather delivered by phone than in person.
Mobility trends: fleet development
Which partners are you currently working with (e.g. gas stations, repair shops etc)?
Major Profi works with the best partners to provide high quality and fast service. We currently have 956 active suppliers. Among those are tire service providers, car transporting companies but also partners from the Major family. Major Assistans for instance provides a countrywide roadside help, emergency commissioners assistance and a field tire service. Major Auto Trans/Major Cargo Service are well-known providers of logistic service. They perform the car deliveries to our customers all over the country.
Which mobility services are the most important in your market?
Daily car rental isn’t very popular in Russia even though it is, of course, an option. Instead, carsharing and taxi services are very common these days. The carsharing market of Russia increased significantly in the last few years, Moscow being the fastest-growing market in the world. You’ll easily find carsharing vehicles near any airport, train station or downtown.
There was also a shift of driver’s interest to short-term rent because of its convenience and low price. Last year, operational lease for individuals was one of the main topics in Russia. The government developed a subsidy program for that type of customer leading to a market growth spurt. Major Profi is one of the few companies that do already offer financial lease for individuals in our country.
Our partners at Finlog would like to know: What are the main difficulties you had since the pandemic slowed down the mobility sector?
The main difficulty was, of course, that people had less need for cars as governmental restrictions required them to mostly stay home. The lease market declined as a result. At the same time, those customers who, due to the specifics of their business or personal life, continued to use the car needed our attention more than ever. We supported them wherever we could and still do while simultaneously limiting direct contact.
The next interviewee will be from our OneNet partner Autoplan in Norway. What would you like to ask them?
How does the operational leasing product for individuals develop in your country? What trends do you see in this area?
Thank you for taking us through Russia. See you there soon!