Maile Gavet

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY LAETITIA PERON A picture taken on October 20, 2011, shows the French-born CEO of Russia?s leading online retailer Ozon, Maelle Gavet, during her interview with AFP in Moscow. Launched in 1998 Ozon proposes today nearly 1,5 million items online. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)AFP AFP/Getty Images
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The French-born CEO runs not only Russia’s Amazon but its Expedia and FedEx as well. Sales at the country’s largest e-commerce group have almost doubled to more than $300 million since the former BCG consultant took over last year. The challenges she faces in Russia’s still infant e-commerce bazaar are intense: Less than 20% of Russian Internet users have made a purchase online, most distrust anything that doesn’t involve direct personal contact, and almost all still pay in cash on delivery. Meanwhile, rivals are snapping at her heels trying to poach her trained staff. Still, Gavet, who worked in an orphanage in Russia while studying the language, is staying one step ahead. Aided by a record venture capital infusion of $100 million in September 2011, she acquired popular online fashion retailer Sapato in February and is gunning for exponential growth. Unashamed fan of: Britney Spears. –Rupali Arora