The book sheds light on how Sberbank of Russia was transformed from the old-school institution with outlived Soviet practices into a decent member of the world’s financial elite and one of the richest brands on the planet.
Sberbank reform was an unprecedented event in the history of Russian business. Never before such a large post-Soviet establishment has undergone such a radical and total reorganization according to western patterns. Initiator of the Sberbank reform in 2007 is the ex-minister and well-known liberal German Gref, whose ambitious plan was to turn this huge, unwieldy institution into an advanced financial company. Wins and losses of Gref’s team became not just a personal achievement or the bank’s chief failure. They essentially answered the key question of Russian business: can people in Russia work on the same level as people in the West?
For the purpose of this book, journalist Eugeny Karasyuk conducted dozens of interviews with employees of Sberbank on different levels. The result is a breathtaking economic thriller with a remarkable story of how progressive management techniques were implemented in that reality.
Sberbank: The Rebirth of Russia’s Financial Giant will be interesting to anyone seriously considering reforms in one’s company, and those who are curious about doing business with Russia.
Translated from the Russian by Lewis White.
Evgeny Karasyuk is a journalist and author of numerous articles on business and management that have appeared in leading business publications (Sekret Firmy, SmartMoney). At the beginning of the 2000s, he wrote a guidebook to the professional services market entitled Pervichnoe Razmesheniye Aktsii ('Initial Public Offering'), which explored Russian stock market launches. He later published a series of reports on companies in Russia implementing Japanese management styles. This inevitably drew the author towards Sberbank and the grand reforms, inspired by the ideas of Japanese giant Toyota, that were taking place there.