Add to favorite
Subscribe to our Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletters Get Daily Updates RSS
russian visa

Money has No Smell or the Most Stable Business in Russia
August 16, 2007 12:46

Lack of outhouses seems to be a weak spot of any modern city including Moscow, since all us sometimes or quite frequently feel the necessity to visit a water closet, and in case it is not around, some forget the shame and “commit hooliganism” entailing fines.

To understand how this kind of business works in the Russian capital, you should drink a couple of bottles of beer while walking and wait for a while. If you are in the centre of a city, finding a water closet will hardly become a problem and 10-15 rubles (40-60 cents) will let you in. Generally about 2 million people a day use portable toilets in Moscow, which makes the business quite profitable.

At the end of the 1970s Moscow had only 200 public outhouses or one “seat” for 3000 Muscovites and visitors. Prior to the Olympic Games of 1980 the city authorities put into operation several more dozens of water closets. That was the first time ever when first portable toilets directly connected to the sewerage system appeared near stadiums and malls. People could breathe freely.

However, perestroika adversely affected the number of stationary toilets in the city: most of them were given to newly born private entrepreneurs. The first pay-toilet functioned at the Byelorussian railway station in the centre of Moscow in 1989 and cost 10 kopecks. Later the country faced total “toiletisation” with mass additional services like classical music in water closets and providing visitors with shoes and cloth brushes.

 A bit later the brand-new businessmen realized that the rooms they had as toilets could have been used differently and bring bigger profits. Many of them turned into restaurants and commercial shops, which were of no help for citizens looking for water closets. In 1996 it was much easier to find a striptease bar or a Japanese restaurant in Moscow than an outhouse. The authorities familiar with the situation carried out an experiment. A trial consignment of plastic portable toilets was acquired in the USA and leased to entrepreneurs, who found this business profitable.

The most welcomed audience for the Russian toilet businessmen is builders; they are 70% of all clients. There are about 3.5 thousand development and construction companies operating now in Moscow and St Petersburg, and each of them requires at least 15 water closets for a building site. Long term lease means a lot in this business, particularly in winter, when the temperature goes down to 30 degrees Centigrade below zero.

The portable toilet cabins occasionally suffer from vandals, who break walls, wrest doors open or simply turn the cabins upside down, though an empty toilet unit weighs at least 80 kg and a full one is three or four times heavier. Sometimes Russian enterprising citizens force locks after the cabin is closed in the evening, sit down at the water closets with a toilet roll and get money from late visitors. The cabins can be stolen or used as a sleeping place by homeless people.

Nevertheless, businessmen believe nothing can prevent the toilet market from growing. In some time portable water closets will fall into oblivion and will be replaced with comfortable stationary toilets, but till that moment the entrepreneurs can be sure in their income.



Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian business     

Next Previous

You might also find interesting:

New Tobacco Regulations Come Into Force Putin Never Talked To Trump Businessmen and Politics Domestic Car Market Drops Down The Turkish Stream Draft Agreement

Comment on our site

RSS   twitter      submit

Exhibition Fairs  Noah's Ark  Vladimir  Eurovision  Russian scientists  ecology  active holidays in Russia  Federal Antimonopoly Service  Russian Cinema  bicycle rental  Moscow Museum Reserves  Russian Composers  VDNKh  mixed rally  Sports  Russian science  Moscow  Volgograd Monuments  Russian Fashion Designer  Russian economy  Transportation  Russian academy of sciences  Soviet Film Actresses  Events in Suzdal  Russian Film Directors  Puppet Theatre  space food  Russian business  Exhibitions in Moscow  Stavropol Territory  AvtoVAZ   Krasnoyarsk  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia  Year of Literature  Jazz  Literary Prizes  medicine  Satellites  Russian tourism  Tennis   drugs  Novgorod Region  Reindeer  Gothic  Kimono  Fashion Futurum  St. Petersburg  Brothers Lumiere Center of Photography  Zaryadye  lapty 

Travel Blogs
Top Traveling Sites