First private funeral ventures in St Petersburg appeared spontaneously at municipal cemeteries in early 1990s. At that time, a number of problems hampered development of the business, including legal discrepancies, lack of experience in competitive business, and misbalanced price policies.
The active president of Funeral Service Companies Association in St. Petersburg and North-West Region, Valery Borisovich Larkin, has risen from an average spademan to become a director of the state-owned enterprise rendering services related to funerals and interment. With his rich experience, prescience and strategic thinking, this true professional realized in mid-1990s that general situation on the market should be changed.
Russia’s first federal law ‘On Interment and Funerals’ was adopted on January 12, 1996. The necessity to consolidate separate businesses into professional community has become utterly evident. Thus, Mr Larkin established Funeral Service Companies Association in St. Petersburg and North-West Region to unite first private ventures on the market.
Establishment of the Association allowed for the development of common policy, unified rules of service and common price levels. Importance of these activities for as big a city as St Petersburg is impossible to overstress.
Common goals and strategies, possibility to take concerted action, durable contacts with public organizations, research institutes and education establishments allowed for creating unified service standards and tomb maintenance. By the present moment, the Association has created the unified municipal service for the public and a new fundraising service that suits the interests of the public and sponsors. It became possible to revive lost traditions of burials and start restoring old tombs.
Desire to recover the importance of remembering the dead, strong intention to use accumulated experience, availability of all resources needed and wish to use them for the sake of the public are the factors that consolidate all individual businesses of the Association.