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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

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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