Russia's "decade of sport" will showcase the country's intellectual and organisational progression, Gruman to tell GSIC seminar
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
July 25 - PwC Russia Advisory's practice leader, Robert Gruman, has spoken to insidethegames ahead of this summer's Global Sports Industry Congress to explain how they are helping to build and leverage the "intellectual legacy" of Kazan 2013 and Sochi 2014.
PwC is a Partner and the Official Professional Services Provider to Sochi 2014, and is also a Partner of the Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade.
Through these partnerships and their role in the Russian sports market, PwC sees first hand the challenges faced in putting on major global sports events.
At the heart of their Russian operations, Gruman will be at the Global Sports Industry Congress on August 2 at Russia.Sochi.Park in Kensington Gardens, contributing to the discussions which will focus on the country ahead of so many sports events they will host this decade.
Gruman (pictured top) insists that the task ahead for Russia is nothing out of the ordinary, and that he views the major events being hosted as opportunities rather than challenges.
"We see things from both the inside as well as the outside of Russia," he told insidethegames.
"It is not so much looked at in terms of challenges – these are very definite opportunities.
"With the Russian Government having identified sport as a priority stream in the country's ongoing development, Russia has been entrusted with an impressive number of sports mega-events.
"There is an article in the press every day about the potential issues that are going on with London, so there are inherent challenges with everything of this magnitude.
"But the opportunities are enormous."
Gruman and PwC are also looking to contribute to the legacy of these events by passing on expertise to future major sports events taking place in the country.
"One of the keys will be how successful we are in leveraging all the planning and projects that we are carrying out along with our partners at Sochi 2014 and Kazan 2013," he said.
"It will be key that we capture that intellectual capital and pass it on to the next events, committees.
"That will be part of the legacy of these sports mega-events.
"How best to apply the planning, the training programmes, the experienced personnel that emerge... all of this is managing the intellectual capital built up through our work."
With the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and other major events such as the 2013 World Athletics Championships and the 2015 Ice Hockey World Championship coming to Russia in the coming years, the opportunities are certainly there to make further use of the intellectual legacy PwC is busy accumulating.
One of the methods pioneered during preparations for Sochi 2014 has been to create an HR Club, bringing together all of their fellow partners with the Organising Committee Workforce Department to coordinate their respective workforce plans for 2014.
PwC say this is the first time this has happened in Olympic and Paralympic history, and ensures there is no duplication in recruitment methods and for personnel.
They are keen to stress this will also contribute to the legacy of the Games, creating a workforce capable of managing major sports events in the future in Russia.
Gruman also insists Russia is fully capable of rising to the challenge of the "decade of sport".
He cites last year's World Figure Skating Championships, held in Moscow at the last minute due to the tsunami and earthquake which hit Japan just before it was due to host the competition.
"When the unfortunate events happened in Japan, Russia stepped in and was beyond capable, did an outstanding job of hosting the World Figure Skating Championships in a very short time period," he said.
"The sporting culture and ability to do global events is inherent in Russia itself.
"Sochi, naturally, is a huge opportunity for Russia."
Electricity consumption will increase during the Olympic and Paralympics by 250 per cent, while the Black Sea resort's power grid will have a vastly increased capacity as a result of the Games.
PwC is playing a key role in the organisation of the Games, providing consultation on planning and preparations as well as delivering professional services projects to support the Organising Committee – over 170 projects so far.
"Specifically with Sochi in 2014, it is a huge undertaking just like it is for any country," Gruman said.
"Sochi 2014 is having a significant impact on the culture throughout the country.
"This includes changes in beliefs and attitudes towards volunteerism, green standards and a barrier-free environment.
"All these will contribute to the further development of Russia and how it is viewed internationally.
"It is a chance for the world to see the great things that are happening in Russia.
"It also allows internal to Russia the ability for Sochi to be a model city to others across the country.
"The Games are a catalyst for many things from a global perspective, and certainly from a country perspective.
"We're excited to be a part of that."
The GSIC 2012 takes place on August 2 at the official House of Russia in Kensington Gardens, London. For more details on the event, including how to register, click here.
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