Pro: Meet girls and learn the real world of the agency scene first-hand. Limit the cost of translators per hour, the costs of letter writing, and joining another agency.
Con: Expense, keeping good employees, insurance, taxes, office expenses. Finding out how hard it is to convince a real FSU woman to join an agency without resorting to paying them a fee as some other agencies do.
Pro: Wage differential is 25%-40% of what you would pay for a Western software developer. Profit margines are exponentially greater to base offshore operations.
Con: Making sure you can find capable software developers. Hiring management staff who themselves are above laziness and corruption. Keeping employees on projects and doing the right thing.
I have a business contract with a software company in Odessa with ISO9000 quality standards. That is rare world-wide. And the work they do for my client (Dell Computer) is superior to none I have seen. They handle all the work and I just ride out the project. I suppose I could sit back and just sit on a beach with the royalties on this, but I'd rather keep working doing what I do (software design, website design and mobile software design... and architecture).
One of my friends (Dima from gotonikolaev) had a foreigner trying to get him to invest in starting their own consulting firm. I warned him against it. Why put up $100k to build an office if there is no history of an established clientelle or projects coming in? He thanked me for the obvious advice. Plus the guy's credentials didn't say anything about him ever having run or built a software consulting firm. Would you give money to a dreamer? If so, prepare to lose it all...
I am still thinking to create a marriage agency in Odessa with the existing group of girls about 6-7. I dont intend to create a major website and compete with the others. The temptation to hire ringers (scam girls, chat girls, etc.) is all over the place. That is why it is done.
See it from the business side. No, I don't have statistics, but from first-hand observation I can say a high percentage of men joining the sites pay to join, or write and/or chat (per minute) but never come to visit. A smaller percentage do show up, and you reward translators with more money due them from hourly translation, and also get a commission from apartment rentals.
Regardless, there are pros and cons to a successul relationship being created. It depends on the mentality (morality) of the agency manager/owner. For some it is a selling point to recruit other girls into the agency (a girl was recently engaged!), for others their girl no longer generates anymore revenue.
The business of agencies is up and down. But can be very profitable for the owner who has no morals and hires the sexiest local girls they know to chat 2-10 men at the same time. Or to hire employees to write each single man, regardless of personal interest.
It was not easy to run a large agency in South America. I had employees rob the bank account and withdraw money the exact day my flight left, to others who would create fictional bills for me to pay and pocket the money themselves... not to mention dealing with unrealistic agency girl expectations and the player men.
pS> Existing group of girls are the friends of my fiance in Odessa... just if you didn't know. They are very beautiful (and single). They are tired of local boys only wanting them for sex and nothing else. They too dream of a gentleman who can care for them in all ways and see them for marriage for all life. If any man in this forum were to see them in real life, they would have to be a enuch not to rise to attention at the sight of them.
I have met them all and for sure they are beautiful, lovely, kind, considerate and needing a good man in their life. The good PR words you see on agency websites describe them for sure.
Apel, i befriended a girl in Kiev who basically became a part time headhunter amongst her other employment duty's in a business involving very smart looking girls(international firm)this firm sent her to ukraine.
she seemed to me to be a very cool customer, from the Mediterranean, married to a very handsome Russian, they have children, both seemed very successful people and really, way up the scale of me.
she was very much a straight shooter, i enjoyed her time she gave me, i think she was intrigued by my manner and been a new zealander and what i was doing over there, she invited me into her world of
Kiev restaurants to the extent of visiting them in cypress at their home, i have lost touch with her now but to get to the point of this.
(and yes i had concerns i could have been used as a sex slave of some sorts)
she hated her job and was counting the days for her contract to end at this company.
her problem was the amount of thieves she had to deal with on a monthly basis at times was to me a little scary, this may have given me another reason why to search in russia.
she always pushed to me to be very careful with ukraine girls, she said its their nature to be deceitful, not all but rather a lot.
i think the share scale of dealing with deceit, getting rid of thieves in this business was putting a lot of pressure on her and really had her sick of ukraine.
having any business in ukraine seems to me to be a very dicey game?
from inside to possible outside undesirable interference's of your business.
even today most of our firms here in NZ do not(i have friends in this business) and i do mean do not involve ukraine and russia on their manifest of places to deal with in shipping containers.
they are just to unreliable to deal with.
the price is never the price for shipping once its on their wharf, and vise versa.
i know of a guy still waiting for his container here in NZ and its more then a few years now.
the funds they want now for its movement onto a ship its just not worth it,, russians must of looked inside it seems and noticed it full of night-vision and other army junk so they have put a new delivery price on it.
i could only imagine ukraines dramas.
I used to know a Ukrainian guy, who ran the Ukraine office of a major western European manufacturer. It was a sales and service operation, for a very specialized technical product line. He told me that he received a visit from some gangsters representing a competing company, who explained to him that the success of his operation was becoming dangerous to his health. He left that business (this was about 10 years ago).
In a similar time frame -- about 10 years ago -- foreign businessmen were experiencing threats, or simply getting murdered, when their businesses were conspicuously successful. It seems that making good money, is what makes you a target -- so a business that is small and obscure should bring less troubles.
"The were a grim crew, anchored by two large pockmarked gentlemen. One wore a white suit, the other black. They both bore gold chains and bracelets. Kingpins from the local Azeri and Georgian mobs, Warren explained. [note: this account is from the south of Russia] "Colleagues and competitors." Didn't he ever worry about safety? "No. We've got a simple arrangement. I control twelve percent of the market. That's my limit. Anything more, I'm dead." Andrew Meier, in "Black Earth" (C) 2003 W. W. Norton and Co.
A well-known expression in the FSU is krisha (roof), meaning the mob protection that is necessary to run a business. I met a woman in Saint Petersburg (in 2008) who managed a large commercial real estate office, and asked her about this problem. She explained that her firm contracts out its security (guards patrolling the properties etc.) to one of the Petersburg mobs -- the "security" including protection from all of the other gangsters.
Now, to balance this out, I have heard that this situation is improving, and businesses are less subject to organized crime harassment. I'd be interested to hear from anybody who knows more about the subject.
Count me in as a client or partner. There is no reason a successful agency cannot be operated with integrity.
That is, in certain countries. My personal experience is limited to Lithuania and Latvia. In 2001, I visited Kaunas, Klaipeda and Vilnius in Lithuania and was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of beautiful, receptive women. I suggested to my travel buddy and his Lithuanian girlfriend that we share the abundance with other US guys and conduct escorted tours to meet these beauties. It was a natural fit as he had traveled there many times and she was senior in the LT tourist industry.
At first, she seemed a bit reticent until I outlined the entire business plan and my seriousness about its potential. Of course, I noted, we would have to "prime the pump" with a known quantity of known quality women. She said she could bring her friends aboard. When I asked how many is that, she said 150! I decided to do some competitive intelligence and visited the American Singles office in Riga. They were quite professional and helpful and I cannot fault their execution. I just now looked and see they are no more but that a site called "Spark" resolves to their URL and they still have my account!
Well, inertia and other business demands intruded and the years have passed. Now, I am interested and motivated to go back to and likely will. My business partner in Romania advised me against the Russian/Ukraine approach as there are indeed some unsavory characters and business practices afoot. He has found us some great coders over the years and I trust his judgment completely. If he tells me there is plenty of marriage-grade women to choose from in Romania, where I have friends and employees, that is probably one of my stops . . . before or after Lithuania and Latvia.
Durak - Yes, the Ukraine mafia are strong and thriving (still). Even my fiance has told me several times about how much the mafia run the country (and goverment). Its something that isn't a regular topic of conversation, but not one person I talked to has ever said "no way" to this.
Kiwi - Yup. I did live in Auckland for a year in 2002-2003 when the dotcoms went belly-up. Great place. Yes 100% agree about the Ukraine shake-down syndrome. I don't need a big company there that takes from local people/businessmen. I'd rather use it to compete internationally. That is a very different approach. In agencies in Ukraine now, one can become too big locally, but fortunately it is a network of small agencies into a CO-OP and if these agencies are all making money and you don't have to have a central office located there, its a lot harder to shake down. I'd rather not do business with Ukraine businesses if I can help it. Rand corruption index for Ukraine is 5/5 and still is. Beware!
Thor - re: Agency with integrity. In South America I did try the very sincere agency approach and did not date the agency girls (even though I was single). The market had unfortunately dried up and most of the girls were using facebook and using other free sites to date men. The city I was in (Cali Colombia) had a lot of previous insincere guys dating agency girls just to go to bed with them and many refused to join another. I do build websites for the largest companies in the world (even military). It wouldn't be difficult to build. The real expense is in advertising / marketing and operations / sales). That is a number that is 6-7 figures to build up momentum to put anastasia and dream-marriage out of business.
Thor - re: going in Romania. I have a good friend who loves Romania and the women there. He goes into reverie mode each time he talks about it. He also warns their ethics are not great either. And I do agree to not trust Ukraine people. It is in their culture to deceive to survive, to take advantage or be taken advantage upon. That's what makes the agency business there harder in Ukraine.Russia than any other. Hard, but not impossible. Yes, there is potential. I never been to Lithuania or Latvia. But also in Ukraine it depends much on the morality of the agency owner on what the real experience for men will be like.
Aussie - a radical twist would be to run an agency with ethics. ;) I think one where men can comment on their dating experience on girls (for an extra fee) would be beneficial too. But that's too social networked and breaches all sorts of privacy ettiquette. I know a few years ago we talked about it. I can see where abuse would be all over the place with such a site. ;-0
Well I plan to come to Odessa in a few months again. I have to visit during the holidays so have to figure this one out. Perhaps getting a Visitor extension visa if I stay longer...
You guys are trying to jump on a bandwagon that rolled down the tracks some 20 years ago ... You think you've discovered the wheel ... Well guess what? ... You haven't!
Dating agencies ... a mugs game, unless you want a tarnished (scam) reputation you'll permanently need to be policing the scammers whilst employing additional staff to do so.
A company in Ukraine? ... WHY FOR PHUCKS SAKE, UKRAINE IS AS CORRUPT AS SHIT ... Register an offshore company, my offshore company is registered in Belize, this is the day and age of internet phones and I don't mean Skype, if one happens to be a Yank living/working in Ukraine/Russia then get some +1 internet phones, keep your head down and no one need know where you are.
But ... you guys are dreamers, the only way lesser dating/marriage agencies can get anywhere, these days, is by affiliating with the likes of such scam organisations as Anastasia, Global Ladies etc.
The bandwagon rolled down that track some 20 years ago!
Most governments are corrupt, in my homeland of UK quite recently an untold number of politicians were identified as have been fiddling their expenses, knowingly taking monies to which they were not entitled, and a number of them have since served prison sentences.
Maggie Thatcher and Ronnie Reagain colluded to be, basicly, corrupt together, Reagan became the first US president since Nixon to interfere with the US Grand Jury instructing them to drop a fully legitimate case ... because Maggie persuaded him that if they wanted their 'special' relationship to continue then this is what he needed to do.
One thing, where I am now, is that the Philippines government are very pro, and actively encouraging and promoting, tourism, no I'm not trying to set up some internet dating site, I'm developing tourism.
Some 3 weeks ago girlfriend and I were out for an evening meal at the neighbouring resort, the restaurant was busy with the only seats remaining available at our table when we observed the mayor entering, at this point the Australian owner's Filipina wife had got in to a flap because the mayor had walked in. The mayor approached our table politely asking if the seats were free and if it was OK for him to sit there ... we welcomed him and he was shortly thereafter joined at our table by the Australian resort owner and an American lady (who he had come to see) who was promoting a sports competition or two locally.
Some way in to their conversation the mayor turned to me, making polite conversation, addressing me as "Martin" ... it was so funny, the Australian resort owner's jaw dropped, to the effect, "How the phuck does the mayor know your name?". Aussie caught up with me later on when I joked with him that girlfriend and I had only had a meeting with the mayor earlier that day so imagine our surprise when he subsequently arrived at our dinner table.
Nope, the government and local officials are definitely pro tourism here, just pay one's taxes and other government charges and they, pretty much, leave one alone.
P.S. Of course there are those that acquire conflicting information from hearsay, from Google etc, such people need to get out more ... that's if they can afford to of course!
"One thing, where I am now, is that the Philippines government are very pro, and actively encouraging and promoting, tourism, no I'm not trying to set up some internet dating site, I'm developing tourism."
As I said before, wait until you are making money. Internet dating also promotes tourism, does it not?
Comparing US and UK to the Philippines and Ukraine is a joke. Take a look at the corruption index for 2011. The UK is #13, the US is #18, the Philippines is #101 and Ukraine is #120 out of 150 nations.
If you can envision success in your venture, how can you not envision someone apa1's? You could be totally right or totally wrong, but you and him are at about at the same frame of reference.
You both are in a country and in business connected to tourism in corrupt countries. In your own words....... You think you've discovered the wheel ... Well guess what? ... You haven't! A company in Philippines? ... WHY FOR PHUCKS SAKE, PHILIPPINES IS AS CORRUPT AS SHIT.
The mayor now knows you now? Expect to see more of him, especially come election time. Starting a business? The mayor is the first person you should avoid.