Wednesday, June 24, 2015

e-Commerce Business in Kazakhstan: How is your Experience?

Dear All, I love buying stuffs online. They provide hassle free buying experience from home. They give discounts also and the products arrive at your doorstep. In India, I was regularly using, and to buy range of products.

I thought to try online buying experience in Kazakhstan and till now, I have not had much success. I am sharing my experience (actually, it is a feedback given to website: satu dot kz after I could not buy 4 pieces of beer glasses from a Seller "Био Компания ТОО"). I would like to hear from you and you can also recommend e-commerce sites of Kazakhstan.

I was trying to buy from the following link:

The goods I had ordered was 4 pieces of beer glasses made in France. (Стакан для пива 570 мл. d=90, h=160 мм Ультимэйт Пинт /24/, доставка из Алматы)

My Comments:

"Since I do not know Russian well, I am giving my feedback in English. Please use "google translate" or take help from someone to translate it for you if you do not understand English.

After I placed the order, I got an email which said that the company would deliver the products only if the order quantity is more than 100 glasses. So, they did not deliver 4 pieces of glasses which I had ordered.

In an email, they gave an alternative (big beer mug of 1 or 1.5 Litres) if I am interested to buy other items which they will deliver irrespective of the quantity and costs. I was not interested in alternative products and refused to buy. I requested them to close the order. The executives from the Company were prompt in sending emails, and giving calls. My Agent (who knew Russian) talked with the company executives and explained the matter. I will rate their Customer Service Branch as good.

Now, I would like to state some inherent problems with Kazakh e-commerce business. I want it to grow to be like Amazon. I am sad to see it still in a nascent stage.

Some problems I observed:

1. When I bought the product, I received an email saying that the company people will contact me soon. I was expecting to see My Order Tab and wanted to track from there. I wanted to know from there how and when the goods are transported.

2. In this sites, most of the products are intended for B2B transactions and require a huge order amount for the order to be valid. I want a good B2C ecommerce business in Kazakhstan.

3. It seems most of the companies in Kazakhstan are doing business only from Almaty having no business presence like supply chain team and warehousing in Astana. There are no local collecting points/stores after making online order. I faced a problem while thinking to order a bicycle earlier.

I suggest and other online portals to "pull their shocks up" and be a thriving multi billion USD e-commerce economy in Kazakhstan. I can be your consultant. :)"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Blinchiki, Kismis, Bread, Butter and Tea in Astana

They have always said, (I do not know who they are) that a man should eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a decently rich man and the dinner like a pauper/beggar/poor. I understand this has been said by keeping a health and dietary issues in mind. Heavy dinner before sleep is not good as per them.

To a certain extent, the above proverb has been followed by me in Astana, Kazakhstan. I have always started my day with heavy breakfast and with many cups of tea. Today, I will show you in my blog what I am eating in Kazakhstan, Astana. As there are different food items which have been consumed, this series will be a long one. Stay tuned to this blog to know food items of Astana, Kazakhstan.

Here you can see BLINCHIKI (блинчики). I understand that Blinchiki are also called Blini and are Russian Pancakes. I like Blinchiki very much and we regularly eat them at Astana, Kazakhstan. I do not know how to make Blinchiki. If you want to learn, you can visit the recipe in the given link below.

On the table, you can also see the butter (/Masla/ in Russian, масло), bread (/Khlep/ in Russian, хлеб) in Kazakh Language NAN, Sugar (/Sakhar/ in Russian, сахар) in Kazakh Language KANT, Chocolates (/ Konfeti/ in Russian, шоколадные конфеты), dry apricots (/Sukhiy Abrikosi/ in Russian, сухие абрикосы) and Raisins (/Isyum/ in Russian, изюм) in Kazakh Language KISMIS. In many languages, like in my native hindi language too, the Raisins are called KISMIS.

In subsequent photos those which I clicked in Astana, Kazakhstan; you can see Honey (/Med/ in Russian, мед) and Curd (/Tyorag/ in Russian, творог). I see that my table also has Cake (/Tort/ in Russian, торт) and Home Made Jam- made from Apricot- in Astana, Kazakhstan. Home Made Jam in Astana, Kazakhstan is called /Bhareniya/ in Russian. Jam = варенье

In Astana, Kazakhstan, I like the culture of drinking tea with all family members and guests together. It will not be just tea or /CHAI/. The table will be full of dry fruits, Chocolates, Raisins etc. and multi-cup of teas make the environment warm in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Please Share what are you eating in your breakfast in Astana, Kazakhstan or in any other parts of Kazakhstan or Central Asia/Eurasia/CIS Countries or in Russia.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Astana and Khan Shatir Shopping Mall

I went to Khan Shatir, the famous shopping place of Astana, Capital City of Kazakhstan today morning at 10 AM. I have clicked some photos from the area which I am sharing now with you. First of all, let me narrate the background.

I met one Indian friend via yesterday and agreed to meet today somewhere in Astana. He was Indian, and So, I was. He is staying now in South India where I was few years ago. He said that he has come here for the very first time and in his words, "dying to meet some Indians". We straightway exchanged our Indian numbers and started sending messages via Whatsapp. Since he was here for the very first time, he said that he wants to talk with someone on many questions that were on his mind. I agreed to meet as I was also looking for someone from South Asia. We generated a vibe in Whatsapp that we are going to have a great talk. So, we agreed that we should meet somewhere which is equi-distance from his place and from my place.

We agreed the time that we would meet at sharp at 10 am in main gate of Khan Shatir, the famous supermarket of Astana. Since we both did not have active internet and working mobile phone outside WiFi zone, we agreed the dress code and reminded ourselves not to be like in India, i.e. to be sharp on time.

I stay near Radisson Hotel in Astana in Kenesary Street and I have to take a bus. I had already searched little bit in Internet to find out which one to take. I went to the bus stop this morning located just in front of (on the other side of road) Hotel Park INN. I looked at the transport map placed there and took a help of a girl waiting for her own bus. In our broken English-Russian, she helped me to figure out that Bus Numbers 12, 43 and 46 will go from that place to Khan Shatir. I took bus No. 46. Everything was easy and smooth except that the bus was very very crowded at that time of 9.30 AM. I reached 10 minutes earlier than my Indian friend and once we saw each other, we instantly recognised. We were quite different from the masses and it was very easy to recognise.

We just strolled inside Khan Shatir for some time to find a good cafe/Coffee Shop. As it was only opening at that time, few coffee places declined to serve but we found a good one soon. We sat and ordered hot milk latte and started talking on different things.

The issue of culture, family, cultural adaptations, cultural shock, family expectations, Kazakhstan Job Market, Potential, Possibilities, religion etc. were some of the topics. We both shared our views openly, candidly, frankly and laughed together on many issues. We parted at lunch time as we both had lunch time engagements at different places.

Before leaving, we paid the bill. Two Coffees costed 1980 KZT (Kazakh Tenge, i.e. 5 USD for each cup and certainly little expensive for both of us).

I took again bus number 46 and returned back to Kenesary Street. I have posted below few Photos taken around Khan Shatir. (The photos are taken by iPhone 4 and on the bright sunny day, the quality is naturally enhanced.)

 (The above Photo should be some Ministry and the surrounding areas!. I have not much idea on the buildings.)
 (Above Photo is of Astana Opera. It looks magnificent from close. Will be taking some more pictures on another visit to this place.)
 (The photo above and many photos below will of iconic Shopping Mall - Khan Shatir! the jewel of Astana, capital of Republic of Kazakhstan)

 (Photo taken from the entrance of Khan Shatir)

(In the far distance, you can see another iconic - "Baiterek Tower". There is I LOVE ASTANA written on the other side of the road but not clearly captured in this photo.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Learning Russian in Astana, Kazakhstan

I am a beginner in Russian. I am doing elementary Russian Course. I completed my beginner RU-1 Level in India and now, in Astana doing RU-2 Level. In India, I studied in Russian Cultural Center with a Russian Tutor in a group but in Astana, Kazakhstan, I am doing self study at home.

I use various websites to connect with native Russian speakers in Astana, Kazakhstan and am doing my homework, practice and I am sending it to them for correction. I have started meeting one or two people in Astana Park/Astana Central Park in Kazakhstan and have started interacting with them. I help them in English and they help me in my Russian.

I am attaching few images of how I am learning Russian and what I am practicing currently.

If you think that you can help me in learning Russian in Astana, Kazakhstan or if you need help in English in Astana, Kazakhstan, do let me know. We can be help to each other in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Runner in Astana in Kazakhstan

Last week of May, 2015 and this first week of June, 2015 have been great for Astana, Capital of Kazakhstan. The Sunlight has stayed till late. It is just a little hot and the rain and the cold has stayed away. That means the summer has been truly a summer with all its characters and features.

The weather has also given new wings in people's lives. Now, there is only to be seen if a man can also fly.Otherwise, people have come out of their homes for walking, strolling, running, bicycling, skating, road skiing and for all sorts of sports and activities.

The below two pictures capture the mood of Astana, capital of Republic of Kazakhstan. A man is running on the bank of RIVER ESIL on the pedestrian zone on the river side of Hotel Radisson. It is little dark and the lights are already switched on in the nearby sky touching buildings but the runner is in no mood to give up! A great sight to behold.

Photos of a roadside in Astana, Capital of Kazakhstan

I think the advantage of being tourist in any country is that you can click anything and everything under the Sun. You can simply take out your phone or Camera and start taking pictures of roadsides, Houses, Churches, Parks, Museums, Advertisement Boards, flying birds or anything for that matter. This is exactly what I am doing in Astana, in the capital of Republic of Kazakhstan, in the heart of Eurasia/Central Asia.

Since most of the road signs are in Russian, I do not easily get them or can not remember them for a long time. I will not be able to tell you where exactly I clicked these pictures but most of them are from a place near of YANUSHKEVICH STREET in Astana. I remember the name of this street, though I may not have spelled it correctly, because we have our flat there. We were walking near to this place while going to polyclinic (поликлиника in Russian, pronounced as /Poliklinika/) in Astana, Kazakhstan and I randomly clicked these pictures.

1. By looking at the almost empty pedestrian zones, can you guess where the area is from in Astana, Kazakhstan? I know it is not an easy job!!

2. The billboard/advertisement board highlights the tourism of Georgia. Is anyone looking for going to Georgia on Summer as a tourist? Have you seen this board somewhere in the city in Astana, Capital of Kazakhstan? I do not understand much of Russian/Kazakh but I can read "Summer in Georgia" written in the advertisement board.

3. A man and a pigeon: The man in the picture offered some corns/fodder to pigeon before making his way towards his destination. The pigeon in Astana was impressed with man's kindness.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Roaming around Astana, Kazakhstan

I am roaming around  Astana these days clicking photo of anything that I can see. I have a brand new Poland made bicycle as my friend and it has been very helpful to take me around. I will write more about culture and foods of Kazakhstan later in my blog posts. For the moment, You can see new photos of green Astana which is a rare sight to see. The wonderful climate and sunshine has magnified the beauty of Astana. Have a look:

Above two images are about my bicycling performance of a day!!