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Sunday, July 8 2012 | Creon and viewpoints

This Sunday is mainly for Felix and Rolf to sort out their schedule. A nearby garage has agreed to weld a few special parts for their project, whilst I try to glean some vital information. I get a tip from the chief mechanic which will solve our washing problem. As we now know, there are virtually no launderettes or if they do exist, no-one has ever actually seen one.

He mentions a hotel in the neighbourhood. Our subsequent enquiry there proves to be spot on: We have a deal involving a few roubles in exchange for three large bags of dirty washing which are dropped off at the hotel to be returned, washed and ironed, in two hours. Not bad! Tomorrow I have an appointment with Inventra, Creon’s plastics company in the city. My contact at Inventra is Anna Dautova who had suggested recently that we could perhaps arrange a first unofficial meeting on Sunday evening, followed by a second the following morning. So we set off towards Inventra. Their offices are located in a beautifully laid-out area, and Inventra has its HQ in the inner part. Finding the entrance proves difficult but after a quick call, Anna comes to collect us in front of the building. She greets us with a pleasant smile, then takes us to the offices, where the Vice-President Mr Sandjar Turgunov awaits us. The subsequent informal meeting, where we are all casually attired, turns out in reality to be an in-depth discussion in which I learn a huge amount not only about Creon’s and Inventra’s work in management consultancy and conference organisation, but Sandjar and Anna offer me invaluable support in evaluating Russian market data in the PET sector.

Following our meeting Sandjar takes us to a wonderful vantage point near the offices. Here you can get a marvellous view as far as the Kremlin. Eventually, Sandjar departs to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation, whilst we linger at the viewpoint, get something to eat, and absorb the myriad experiences before finally we return to the Inventra offices and park close by for the night, ready for tomorrow's second meeting.