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Magnus Brännström: Conquer Fear and Take Risks

Published: March 7, 2014 (Issue # 1800)



  • According to Brännström, Russias strong women have helped turn the country into Oriflames number one market.
    Photo: For SPT

When Magnus Brannstrom was 12, he andhis family, suppressing their fear, crossed theIron Curtain fora vacation inthe Soviet Union, their friends warnings still ringing intheir ears.

You will never come back, andend up inSiberia, theBrannstroms neighbors said. Instead though thefear remained he became enraptured.

In Russia they say, if you dont risk anything, you will never drink champagne. Or that you will never get tokiss beautiful women. I believe that, Brannstrom said. This country is clearly rewarding therisk takers.

Related: Jennes de Mol - Russian Rock and Diplomacy

Brannstrom, 47, is not aman torest onhis laurels. After thepioneering preteen excursion tothe Soviet Union, he went intothe Swedish military. Later, deciding tolearn Russian andstudy thecountrys history, he worked as atour guide inthe last years ofthe communist state, going toLeningrad with Swedes who basically, wanted toget drunk. He also served as part ofthe original management team ofthe landmark Grand Hotel Europe inSt. Petersburg.

Trying todo business inthe anarchic 1990s, Brannstrom had tonavigate bundles ofred tape, contradictory laws andface off against alandlord who negotiated therent byputting alock onhis tenants office door. He rose tobecome cosmetics group Oriflames regional director forRussia andthe CIS, Baltics andAsia. Theexperience served him well he was appointed chief executive ofthe entire company atthe age of39.

Becoming regional director ofSwedish Oriflame, theBrannstrom family friends predictions about his winding up inSiberia became areality with one small difference. Rather than being exiled there, Brannstrom opted toconquer it, along with thecountrys other regions.

Related: Anna Anisimova - Coming Out For Human Rights

Russia is acountry ofstrong women, says Brannstrom. This has helped turn it intoOriflames number one market, andsales are expected toincrease further as thecompany opens anew factory inthe Moscow region town ofNoginsk this year.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmChams Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaacs Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburgs showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the teams website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literatures most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poets birthday. The tragic tenors work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russias greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Centers Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test ones intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only mans best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during todays reenactment titled Winter War: How it Was. More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie Black Cat, White Cat, as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of Takoy Festival, a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonights festival finale is Fathers and Sons, a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenevs classic about familial relations.



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