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Competition or collaboration: What should companies building business ecosystems emphasise?

In recent years, many companies have focused on creating or joining a business ecosystem to fully communicate their value propositions to consumers. This has led to a kind of “ecosystem peer pressure” where each player tries to build stronger brand loyalty around their products. Meanwhile, the rapid development of digital technology has led some companies to discuss the potential integration of various ecosystems. Igor Lotakov, Country Managing Partner in Russia and Eurasian countries, PwC, and a panel of experts at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum discussed the potential ways to integrate business ecosystems.


The panel speakers highlighted the strong need for a regulatory framework to govern business ecosystems, but noted that adoption will take time. According to the experts, competition and collaboration go hand in hand: competition drives development and collaboration enables the maximum benefit from development.

“By competition, we mean both the customer base in the market and relations among players. That is why it is important to avoid limiting competition when developing the regulatory framework. In Russia, the regulators will, first and foremost, be tracking disproportions in market volumes. The role of the regulatory body will be crucial precisely at the point when competition could be limited. The global trend to regulate ecosystems will continue to grow. However, productive conversation between business and government is also critical here. This conversation could help foster a more predictable and trust-based regulatory environment.”—Igor Lotakov, Country Managing Partner in Russia and Eurasian countries, PwC.

Igor Lotakov also shared his view of closed ecosystems, saying he believed both open and closed models were viable: “Many existing ecosystems originated as closed ecosystems and then opened up as they become more mature. It is noteworthy that closed ecosystems enable closer control over relations among participants and better oversight of product quality. However, I believe we will gradually move towards models evolving from closed to open and vice versa.”

Other session participants included:

  • Igor Bogachev, CEO, OOO Zyfra;
  • Pavel Gontarev, Managing Director, Mail.ru Digital;
  • Dmitry Ivanter, CEO, VTB Leasing;
  • Mikhail Konstantinov, Executive Vice President, Gazprombank and General Director, Electronic Trading Platform GPB;
  • Anna Serebryannikova, President, Big Data Association (BDA);
  • Sergey Solovyov, CEO, Chairman of the Management Board, T1 Group;
  • Vladislav Fedulov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russia.
игорь лотаков
пмэф 2021
игорь лотаков

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Anna Smischenko-Mironova

Anna Smischenko-Mironova

Head of communications, PwC Russia

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