St.Petersburg School of Economics and Management

Digitalization and service management: collecting opinions of academics and entrepreneurs from Switzerland and Russia

International scientific workshop on management was held for the third time on November 25 at the Higher School of Economics - St. Petersburg in cooperation with the Swiss Consulate General in St. Petersburg and the Technopark MOBAHAUS.

We proudly consider this workshop to be one of the main results of the productive cooperation between HSE - St. Petersburg, the Swiss Consulate General in St. Petersburg and the Swiss Technopark MOBAHAUS. This year we decided to define the following topic for our experts and participants: “Digitalization and international service management”.

Our faculty is infinitely pleased to host this event, assembling representatives of the academic and corporate communities as well as of small enterprises. We have attracted to the discussion many passionate students of all educational programs of the School of Economics and Management and the rest of the university.

SEM Dean Elena Rogova and Swiss Consul General in St. Petersburg Roger Kull willingly opened the event. Both sides thanked each other for productive long-term cooperation, expressing their readiness to work together hereafter. Mr. Kull drew the attention of the audience to the significant transformation in all spheres of human life, often caused by the galloping development of IT. According to Mr. Consul, these processes by no means should be left aside not only by the business community, but also by representatives of the academic network.

Indeed, this year we decided to tackle a very difficult topic - digital technologies in business: their rapid development and impact on modern interactions entrepreneurs and consumers.

In terms of instantly changing market conditions, the adoption of adequate and effective business decisions seems to be a non-trivial creative task. We gradually come to the logical conclusion: traditional management tools and business administration strategies no longer work, in many industries we will be compelled to think and act faster and sometimes even differently.

In order to improve these abilities, it is necessary not only for business actors, but also consumers, and scholars to evaluate the results of such development, resting on a detailed study of the intricacies of various factors, including the features of organizational processes in their connection with digital technologies. These and other issues were thoroughly discussed in course of the event.

For example, the moderator and encourager of the workshop, Professor Paul Ammann, who currently manages the MBA education program at the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, made an extended presentation on the role of digitalization and internationalization in the business of Swiss companies.

Associate Professor of SEM Tatyana Grishenko spoke about the effects of digital transformation using consulting services as an example, while Svetlana Suslova, who presented Sidenis AG in St. Petersburg, focused on the insurance industry, and Polina Borisova, Swiss-American School of Business and Hospitality (SwissAm ), - hotel business.

As part of the event, several group collaborations were accomplished, on the topics pre-defined for the students: “Merz + Benteli - Entering the Russian Market” and “Augmented Reality”. Students of the SEM undergraduate and graduate programs presented their proposals on these cases.


We interviewed Mikhail Kochnev, one of the graduate students, who, together with his colleagues, presented his vision on the company's business strategy.

“It was suggested to divide us into teams of 6 people and offer a case for participation in an international workshop. We had three days at our disposal, during which we prepared our presentation and conducted needed research.

We needed to elaborate on how profitable it was, if at all, for a Swiss company to enter the Russian market. We chose a 60-page case, as it seemed more interesting to us, we worked with a large company that produces construction tools in Switzerland. We were to process all the data on the company and, in terms of all rules of business administration, describe the practicability of the company's entry into the Russian market.

We performed the assignment without any assistance of the representatives of the MOBAHAUS. We are indeed proud of this. During the actual presentation, we received useful comment and corrections from the moderator.

Thanks to my team for the successful accomplishment and excellent performance! ”