If you’re traveling to Russia on business, expect to dress sharply, arrive on time, be patient while waiting for the notoriously late Russian businessmen – and bring a gift. Gifts for Russian businessmen are expected at your first meeting. And even if your Russian business associates make a big deal out of not wanting to accept the gift, make sure they finally take it.
Being too eager to take a gift is a sign of rudeness, although you don’t want to take it as a sign that your recipient is not appreciative. OnCallInternational says Russians generally take great pleasure in giving and receiving gifts in a business setting, especially if you choose your gifts with consideration and care.
Gifts You Don’t Want to Give
Grabbing a handful of cheap pens sporting your company logo may not go over too well, nor will certain other gifts. While gifts with business logos aren’t exactly taboo in Russia, you want to focus on delighting your business associate and not promoting your brand. Poor-quality gifts can be seen as insulting, as can gifts that include items for which the country is known.
That means you should never give a bottle of vodka as a gift in Russia, especially if that vodka was produced in a different country. Giving a gift of vodka in Russia can easily be taken the wrong way, as if the country’s own vodka isn’t good enough – or perhaps that your business associate doesn’t have the good taste to already have plenty of it on hand.
Good Gifts for Russian Businessmen
Your first step in selecting appropriate gifts for Russian businessmen is to take a peek at their company policy. Cyborlink notes certain multi-national firms have strict policies concerning gifts, and you want to make sure your gifts follow company protocol.
Good ideas for business gifts include:
- Food Items: Chocolates are typically a hit just about anywhere, and you have a variety of sizes and types from which to choose. High-quality coffee and tea often go over well, as do candies, cakes and caramels.
- Electronic Gadgets: Electronic gadgets that are useful for business can be a wise choice. Here you can opt for calculators, electronic address books, personal digital assistants (PDAs), laser pointers or other devices your recipient could use for business purposes.
- Office Accessories: Office accessories can make great gifts for Russian businessmen, with ideas that include high-end pens or pencil sets, leather organizers or briefcases, business card holders or other useful, high-quality items.
Regardless of what you end up choosing as your gifts for Russian businessmen, make sure it’s of high quality without being ostentatious – and it isn’t a bottle of vodka.
Ensure you’re properly prepared for your Russian business trip with the right gifts, professional dress and your expedited Russia visa before you go.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.