"Only the strong survive" is the motto of entrepreneurs in 2020-2021. Each business participant adjusts and adapts to change in order to stay afloat. The unstable economic situation has been a severe test for startup companies that have just entered the market.
The AsstrA representative office in Tashkent opened in the midst of the pandemic in June 2020, which was a very difficult time for endeavors. Despite the restrictions associated with Coronavirus disease, transport fleet shortages and queues in ports and railway stations, the AsstrA team in Uzbekistan has still managed to follow the basic principles of the group of companies: to comply with the agreed transportation deadline and take into account customer wishes and requirements.
Otabek Buribekov, Country Manager at AsstrA Uzbekistan, explains how to overcome barriers at the stage of development and build trusting relationships with local business participants.
- What products and services have been added to the range of services of AsstrA Uzbekistan in the last six months?
Our team has launched container transport by road from Uzbekistan to the Georgian port of Poti. Previously, this service was available only to Russian ports, e.g. Novorossiysk Sea Port. First of all, it is referred to the exports of dried fruits and vegetables to America, where container road transport from the producer to the port becomes the initial stage of multimodal transport. We have also expanded the line of services and directions for the chemical industry.
- Tell us about a project the Tashkent team is proud of.
It's good to note that there have been several such projects this year. High demand for chemical fertilizers, particularly sulfur, and an active export flow of raw materials contributed to this.
In early 2021, AsstrA won an advantageous contract to deliver 20,000 tons of sulfur from Uzbekistan to the Russian port of Kavkaz by rail. A limited number of companies transport such cargo in the market of Central Asia. And by implementing the project in compliance with all customer requirements, AsstrA has proved to be a reliable partner in the transport of fertilizers.
We have implemented several other major projects: rail delivery of sulfur from Uzbekistan to Ukraine; transport of 9,000 tons of carbamide to Georgia; we worked out and launched trawler transport of sulfur from Uzbekistan to the port of Rostov (Russia).
- What difficulties do you have to face in your daily work?
It has become more difficult to quote rates and predict how the market will react to the next global challenges. Flexibility, responsiveness and adaptation to change help. After all, it' s the proposed solutions that matter to the customer, not the causes of certain problems.
- What are your plans for the coming months?
We have many plans. In the near future, we will start carbamide export shipments to Europe via Uzbekistan – Lithuania, and we are also working on transport of chemical fertilizers from Turkmenistan to Europe.
Applications for large industry projects show customer confidence. And our main task is to justify it.