Great ventures start from small beginnings, and that includes your small business.”

On the blog today, Isaac Thani, Co-Founder and Business Manager at Kwiberry, shares the biggest lessons he has learned from his experience of building a business in Russia.

Why we started the business

KWIBERRY started from the very problems we encounter as international students/foreigners/expats living in the diaspora. The process of finding goods from our home countries wasn’t smooth enough for easy access, especially in Russia. When the right time presented itself, we simply set out to solve this problem for ourselves and for other businesses.

Biggest lessons learnt in the building process

Doing business in a completely new location comes with many unique challenges. It always involves constantly learning. But here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in my process of building Kwiberry and other businesses abroad.


The most important and first step is to do some research to understand the regulations surrounding starting your kind of business in the specific country you’re in. You might also need to get proper documentation if necessary.


I wasted a lot of time trying to find information on many things- apparently common knowledge to more experienced people. When I realised this, I began to actively reach out to other foreigners and this helped me to, for example, obtain some documents much faster.

As a foreigner in business, you should definitely look for communities of people like you, but with more experience. This will save you time and money, and help avoid many common mistakes.


I have spent most of my time abroad in Russia where English is not widely spoken. I developed interest in the language as early as possible. Because I wanted to be able to communicate properly, I put in the extra effort to learn.

This eventually came in handy later on in my various attempts to do business in Russia. Develop an interest and learn the language where you are located. As logical as this advice may sound, it can be very easy to ignore.


I really used to overthink a lot of things. Overthinking which business to do, overthinking which idea to work on, overthinking some regulations. It is very important to think through and find all necessary information before venturing into business ventures; but be careful not to overthink.

This is a huge trap that can get one stuck for a long time. As soon as you find enough information to guide your first few steps, begin testing your ideas in simple ways, let people in on it and see how things go from there.

Thinking of quitting, often

I am sure many of us experience this with many projects we start – for people familiar with startups we call it the valley of despair. I start some project with strong enthusiasm and energy, but gradually things slow down and I come face to face with reality.

It’s not the easiest thing to let go of projects you’re passionate about. Working with a committed team helps me. When I am down- happens more frequently than I can imagine- my teammates motivate and help me stay committed.

Favorite thing about being an owner

I love the freedom to create. I get to “paint” a beautiful picture every single day I wake up. 

Biggest regrets

Not experimenting fast enough. I have learnt that the problems I set out to solve can be solved with different approaches, so I need to be open to trying different ideas until I find the ones that solve it optimally.

The end game

I want to solve problems for myself and others by building great products. And of course, I hope this brings in good money:)