5th day – Irkut & Yandex

Today was the rainiest day of all. I was wet, and I was cold. It was basically a day to have hot tea and read a nice book!

We first visited Irkut in the morning, followed by Yandex in the afternoon. In between, we recharged our batteries over a nice lunch. In the evening it was time to say goodbye to Moscow and take the evening train to St. Petersburg, an express train that connects both cities within four hours. At the end of the day, my classmates could socialize with me again and everyone was happy. I think.

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Irkut Corporation is a manufacturing company of airplanes, founded in 1932. It not only manufacturers military, but also civil airplanes. We were invited into the show room of MC-21, where part of a 1:1 model was showed. We were introduced to the company and its achievements were highlighted. From this presentation, I got the impression that Irkut’s airplane are by far better than the one of Airbus and Boeing. The people presenting were proud and excited of their company. Especially about the newly designed airplane. They gave me the feeling that they achieved something very important for their country and they wanted to share this excitement with students from Switzerland.

Yandex was a very interesting company visit. Wikipedia says that Yandex is the biggest search engine in Russia, with a market share of 60%, and similar to Google, it develops a number of applications, such as mail, maps, and a taxi app. However, Yandex problem is that it is only big in Russia, the CIS countries, but nowhere else in the world. Thus, it is much dependent on the Russian market and Russian economy. If the economy slows down, revenues from ads will shrink, and thus Yandex’s revenues too. Google, as the biggest competitor of Yandex, is market leader in almost every part of the world, except for China and Russia. As we walked through the offices I realized how similar they are to the offices of Google. There were many rooms where the employees could relax, or brainstorm in a very typical Google environment. The offices were all green, with lots of plants, and terraces allowed the employees to get some fresh air whenever they want.

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Thank you Andrey and Christina for the great tour of Yandex!

In the evening we took the train to St. Petersburg. I was excited to see the city since I just started to read the book City of Thieves by David Benioff. The fictional novel describes two young men who have to provide a dozen eggs in Leningrad, the other name of St. Petersburg. From the book I also learnt, that the citizens liked to call their city Petri, which I found pretty cute. Sad thing about driving by night is that you do not see the country. Traveling by train is the best way of getting to know a country.

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