GSOM Alumni Expertise Club: present and future of online platforms were discussed in GSOM SPbU

The GSOM Alumni Expertise Club took place in the framework of the GSOM Family project. Business practitioners, graduates, teachers and students gathered in GSOM SPbU to discuss the development of the platforms business in the world and Russia.


Platforms business that bring together suppliers and customers, captures market and modifies the competition. Airbnb online platform does not hold apartments, but it is the most expensive ($ 25 billion) company in the hospitality industry. Uber also has no material assets, but it did not prevent the company to get more than $ 1 billion investment and assessed more than $ 60 billion. Traditionally, companies have to compete for customers and learn new rules. 





The founders and top managers of companies doing business online, shared their vision of the situation. Discussion was moderated by Olga Verkhovskaya, Associate Professor of Strategic and International Management GSOM.


Edward Gurynovich, a young entrepreneur, co-founder CarPrice, believes that the future of business is online business: "If you are not online today, tomorrow you will not exist".  According to a successful entrepreneur, a company must keep up with the times and to be able to adapt to changing market conditions, and to have a development strategy for the next ten years.


Sergey Ivakin, marketing director of Gett, shared the experience of Gett company, which developes as a taxi aggregator for four years and then began to explore new fields of business. Sergey highligthed the importance for businesses to have the ability to change and adapt to the rapidly changing market realities.


Nikolay Petrov, a development manager of BlaBlaCar – business services that helps cars owners to find travel companions for joint trips, defines the project feature as the creation of "a new way of movement", which does not change the existing ones and do not compete directly with them. The main thing that BlaBlaCar platform gives is reliability, portability, and the ability to join a kind of "social network".


Ilya Dmitriev, CEO of Monopoly, speaks about the importance of the experience of going through all the light and dark sides of the logistics business, and how multi-agent Uber-type system can work in complex B2B systems.


Alex Cherepakhin, founder and CEO TVIL.RU, service of private housing and hotels reservation throughout Russia, including remote regions, defines the criteria of well-functioning online platform as duration of the period when the platform can work without any involvement of people.





Statements of discussion


  • In the next five years online business will define the future business, but it is important to take into account changes in the market and technological developments.

  • For a well-functioning online platform it is important to build up the "critical mass" of reviews, and to build the trust of clients, so for new market players it is difficult to compete with the giants.

  • New business is better to develop in the areas where there were no technological breakthroughs for a long time, and where there are dozens of small players.

  • In business, as in the past, persistence and luck have an important role. Persistent practitioners sooner or later will be lucky.





Special attention was paid to the interaction with the government. It is important to note that existence of online platform also beneficial for the government. Taxes on those areas where previously there were oral agreements, go to the state treasury.


GSOM Alumni Expertise Club is a regular meetings of Alumni Association of Graduate School of Management. Leading experts in the field of business visit GSOM SPbU to discuss current market issues and share their experiences.





Клуб практиков: онлайн платформы, их настоящее и будущее обсудили в ВШМ СПбГУ