Panel Discussions

Panel Discussion: Russia’s economy – what is going to change?
Panelists: Chris Weafer, Roland Nash. Moderator: Tom Adshead.


29th January 2016: Discussion “Russia’s Economy in 2016” and New Year’s Drinks 2016 (with the Oxford University Society, Russia)
When: Friday, 29th January From 7.00pm.
Where: Whisky Rooms, Leont’evskiy pereulok, 8, Moscow, Russia, 125009 Map

Panel discussion: Russia’s Economy – what is going to change?

Panelists: Roland Nash (Verno Capital), Stuart Lawson (EY). Moderator: Tom Adshead (Peterhouse)


In the depths of Moscow’s exclusive members’ club, Whisky Rooms, Oxford and Cambridge alumni drank, dined and chatted the night away, full of festive New Year’s cheer. They were treated to a talk about Russia’s economic forecast by the experts: Tom Adshead, Roland Nash and of Verno Capital and Stuart Lawson, former head of HSBC in Russia. The panel held a thought-provoking (if somewhat depressing!) discussion in front of an audience of 70, including many current students. Our thanks go to Whisky Rooms for hosting us, our speakers: Tom, Stewart and Roland, and our sponsors, Penot Ricard. (James Robbs)
When: 23 January 2015
6.30pm – Discussion
7.45pm – Drinks (sponsored by Pernod-Ricard) followed by New Year’s Dinner
Where: Whisky Rooms, Leont’evskiy pereulok, 8, Moscow, Russia, 125009

Panel discussion: Is piracy good for the creative industries?

On 5 June 2014, Vlad Davydov, Bas Grasmayer and
Egor Yakovlev spoke about “Is piracy good for the creative industries?”

Panel discussion on Piracy in the Creative Industries,  moderated by Peter Morley
Panel discussion on Piracy in the Creative Industries, moderated by Peter Morley


Russia is often criticised for failing to enforce intellectual property law in the creative industries, imposing damages on the creative industries and, ultimately, artists. What if, instead, the Russian environment is actually the ideal crucible for experimentation about future, viable business models in the creative industries in a world where consumers are flooded with new content as distribution becomes virtually frictionless? Is there a role for traditional gatekeepers in such an environment?

Peter Morley (moderator), Vlad Davydov, Bas Grasmayer, Egor Yakovlev
Peter Morley (moderator), Vlad Davydov, Bas Grasmayer, Egor Yakovlev

Vlad Davydov, Owner/CEO, Icon Management
Bas Grasmayer, Product Lead, Zvooq
Egor Yakovlev, CEO, Tvigle Media
Moderator: Peter Morley, EM Communications


We would like to acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors:
Refreshments: Glenfiddich, Interstice Consulting
Event host: Internet Initiatives Development Fund

Internet Initiatives Development Fund - City Hall

Panel discussion: Building an Internet and New Media Business in Russia


On 6 March 2014 the CJBS alumni group in Russia organised a panel discussion on the topic: “Can Russia’s Internet and new media businesses protect their territory from international competitors?”

Our expert panel included:

  • Mr Hardie Duncan, Managing Director – Russia, Vice Media
  • Mr Maxim Kashulinsky, CEO,
  • Mr Kirill Makharinsky, Cofounder, President,
  • Mr Andrew Verbitsky, Regional Managing Director, KAYAK
  • Mr Peter Tatischev, Curator, Digital October (moderator, and CJBS alumnus)

Expert Panel Digital October Cambridge Alumni in Business

As attention elsewhere focused on Russia and its armed forces, our guests heard what the events in Crimea mean for the people writing the news and the travel businesses offering a way out.

Vice Media have been making waves with their video reports from Crimea, but the head of its Russian business, Hardie Duncan, said that Westerners have always been intrigued by their reports from Russia. Maxim Kashulinsky, the CEO of, explained what big and bad news usually means for his company: more readers, fewer advertisers.

Kayak’s boss in Russia, Andrew Verbitsky, surprised guests when he said that sales have grown in the last couple of weeks. He reckons that Russians want to put their rubles to use before they weaken, while’s UK-educated founder, Kirill Makharinsky, encouraged guests to take the long view!

The event was attended by about 40 of our alumni and senior professionals from technology and media companies, venture capital, and foreign embassies.

The organising committee (Peter Prabhu, Will Bland, and Peter Tatischev) wish to thank our speakers and guests for creating such a lively forum, and also wish to acknowledge the kind assistance of our event sponsors:

The Invisible Wine Company
Khortytsa (Хортица)
Interstice Consulting

Event host: Digital October





17 April 2013 — “Can Russia Compete Globally?”

Our inaugural CJBS Russia alumni panel discussion was held on 17 April 2013 and debated the issue of whether Russian companies can compete globally.


Dr Christos Pitelis from CJBS travelled from Cambridge especially for the event and delivered the opening address by presenting his research on global value chains, including examples of his consulting projects in the automotive industry, where his recommendations have been implemented with great impact on the bottom line.

Our next panellist, Oleg Bagrin, CEO of NLMK and CJBS MBA alumnus, described his company’s extensive international facilities and how they capture value at various stages of the steel production process and in various locations. It was an excellent example of a company putting in place a global structure to realise its comparative advantages, further illustrating Dr Pitelis’ insights.

Nastasya Savina, Vice President of ABBYY, focused on the importance of attracting and nurturing world-class engineering talent, as well as the more general benefits and challenges ABBYY faces as a Russian-based technology company. She also explained the key role of the company’s US-based operations.

Finally, Dmitry Tarasov of Sberbank outlined his bank’s efforts at building a regional presence, including its entry into the Turkish market.

The event was very substantive and well attended, and has been highlighted in the global CJBS alumni newsletter.

Many thanks to our outstanding speakers:

  • Dr Christos Pitelis, Reader in International Business and Competitiveness, head of the Centre for International Business and Management (CIBAM), CJBS
  • Mr Oleg Bagrin, Chief Executive Officer, NLMK and CJBS MBA alumnus
  • Ms Nastasya Savina, Vice President, ABBYY Software
  • Mr Dmitry Tarasov, Head of Strategy, Sberbank


We would like to thank the British Alumni Club for their cooperation in publicising the event to their members, and also Victoria Pyatanova (CJBS MBA alumna) who arranged the room at Plekhanov University where the event took place.