How do I go about doing business in Asia and Africa? What is the best way to start getting leads?
We are looking to start training and recruitment services business in Asia and Africa. Looking for leads or consultants who can help us get leads for the same. Thanks!
Hi Smriti - we do a lot of lead generation work in Asia and Africa and I'd be happy to discuss how we might help your business.
Please do drop me a line or give me a call
My first thought is to be careful and avoid generalisations. Doing business in China is very different to making progress in Japan.
To start with I think you need to consider three potential avenues. Initially I would undertake an environmental desk top scanning exercise; allocate say 30 minutes a day to read the FT, access research, industry magazine and keep it all in a file - review the file every10 days or so and you might be surprised at how quickly your knowledge builds.
Secondly there are all manner of Govt agencies that will or are prepared to help. The DTI or whatever its latest incarnation is has a raft of experts. The CBI helped me in China and their office in Beijing is excellent. All are good at helping with the "who?" and the pace of progression.
Thirdly - market entry can be easier with an established partner with good access to local knowledge. However, this can be challenging and accordingly I would spend some time getting the criteria agreed on which to assess potential partners.
Both Asia and Africa are huge geographies and accordingly it might be worth thinking about relative market attractiveness; why would Zambia (say) be more attractive as a geography than say Vietnam? This is something that needs a more structured approach than can be accommodated in a feedback forum like this.
Will you be establishing an office within those locations? The location is a success factor in many aspects of your business not only in establishing a network but also in administrative matters.
The best way is to contact the local consulate or embassy to meet their commercial services reps and get introductions to companies in your target sector. Roll out the "welcome wagon" when they visit your city and build relationships which will open doors faster when you visit their HQ. During the 1980s, Dataquest dominated the Japanese semiconductor market research market in 4 years by using our "welcome wagon" approach at home, getting over 50 corporate clients in 6 years and 450 senior executives at our annual conference in Japan.
Hi Smiriti...I am a consultant in Iran and run a training/consultancy company here. I also seek markets in other countries or form partnerships with companies that are aim to partner up with us. LinkedIn had been a great platform for me to search for people/companies that are doing the same thing as you do. Though its difficult to do business in Iran if you are not local, you can collaboration with local companies that are ready to promote your business here (our company does so, if you want).
Wish you the best,
First rule, do not generalise Asia as one. Remember if we can accept Europe as an area of multiple languages and cultures, Asia is even more so.
Some countries there are very advance and morden and other not so.
Language and cross cultural communication must not be over look.
Its a long game.
If you're not confident with that, my advice is to work in partnership with a local or someone with local knowledge.
As for leads surprisingly some of the government agencies there are very helpful.
Contact and help support Global Vision Junior Team Canada. These bright & focused your people are the next generation of business people; they will take your questions, ideas, concerns to the countries abroad and they are connected to the Ambassadors with answers. Help them help you.
The same way that you would approach other other global markets via Google and other search engines.
I have some of my friends who have started similar business in India and Asia. I help them with leads in Corporates. We can chat more to see if we can work with each other. Usually the starting point is reference or F&F.
First you discuss on social networks e.g face book, LinkedIn, etc and at the same time construct web portal according to your business idea,...after that you have any confusion then think for joint venture with natives firms,...
My experience says first you need to do proper check which industry you want to focus first.this will help you to understand what are the do's and don't , Asia and Africa is Bigger market, Generating leads or consultants is not a tough thing at all.
If you need more information, Please feel free to contact me.
I suggest that you join LinkedIn groups filtered by location and industry.
We can work it out! Business and Product portfolio, target and Business model will give us a way to plan such engagement. Let me know how we could learn more about it.
We are in career guidance, recruitment and education support business in India , Middle East and UK. Let me know your requirements in detail .
Africa is an emerging market and retains its own flavor. However, its very critical to work with regional or local partners when targeting a market such as this. Chances of success are certainly going to be high in that case. Africa is what India was perhaps a decade back so the good thing is that its a focus point for lot of companies seeking new markets. It is equally important to have feet on the ground and hence customer intimacy helps well in these markets as referrals can be a strong point if one is able to taste success. My own experience of handling Africa has been mixed. One needs to focus than go whole hog. That's because almost all the big players are there wanting a share of the pie.
Asia for that matter is completely different. The whole region is too fragmented in terms of markets and levels of advancement. What might work in SE Asia would not be ideal for countries such as Korea, Japan, China or SAARC. Each one has to be taken differently. SE Asia needs strong local or regional partners to work with while countries which are advanced might need strong and larger players as partners. Some countries might pose their own uniqueness or challenges. Few companies might be too sensitive to price while some may provide a premium on your services. The gestation periods also varies across regions. One good thing about Asia is that it has been a battleground for new emerging technologies and services, though on a varied scale.
Hence my own opinion would be to fragment the markets and look at positioning your offerings or engagement models based on the needs. One needs to understand the business environment, the psyche of the customer or partner, analyze your own strengths and weaknesses when you target such a varied market. One has to move in a phased manner to target such markets.
Dear Smriti. Do you know which specific countries in Asia or Africa do we wish to start the training and recruitment services? Do we have a project plan and timelines as well as the financials worked out? Could we get more details on the kind of training and recruitments that we wish to provide? Let us start answering these questions so that we know what approach and strategies can be used.
I have worked in the recruitment training as well as transitioning of key professionals between countries in Asia Africa as well as the US. In addition. I have worked with businesses in technology biotechnology etc in Africa as well as other Asian markets and know quite a few people who can help. However we first need to have a detailed strategic plan in place and then work on it towards success.
Hi Smiriti...I am a consultant in South Africa and run a training/recruitment company here. I also look for markets in other countries or form partnerships with companies that want to partner with my organisation. LinkedIn had been a great platform for me to do that, search for people that are doing the same thing as you do. First ask to connect with them, then ask if you can partner with them and why. In SA its difficult to do business if you are not from here but you can offer your services in collaboration/partners with others.. If you are interested we can discuss further, I can help. Hoping for the best...Nellie
Last year, we signed an agreement with a business performance-improvement firm from Canada to expand their scope past North America. A few months into our agreement, I proposed to the client to consider Asia as a potential market for their services as the region would integrate in 2015.
As you know, Integration will break down barriers in political, societal and especially, cultural structures and will have economic repercussions on the global business environment. Change will create turbulence but at the same time, open up new markets for opportunities for businesses from the West and within ASEAN. In order to capitalize on these opportunities, businesses would have to develop new skills to foresee markets with potential for growth despite the volatility and instability of the new business environment.
So Smriti, there is a definite market for your services in Asia. We are bringing in Canada's expertise in Asia and have begun the ground work in the Philippines.
I suggest that instead of focusing on lead generation, consider the following:
1. Qualify a local representative in Asia or Africa. The representative could be a company or an individual. I would recommend getting a company because of the advantages of economies of scale plus the fact that it would be easier to perform due diligence compared to an individual.
2. Once you've qualified a representative, make a solid effort to get to know the company and confirm you have a "right-fit" relationship. It's not enough that the company is experienced and familiar with the market. You are talking about potential cultural discrepancies; the gaps of which are huge in Asia. You will need to iron out these out and build a foundation of trust and understanding before you can commence work.
3. Once the representative has been qualified as "right-fit", work together on a development time-table and business plan. It is part of our protocols to submit a business plan and business projections prior to an agreement with the client. This will be the starting point for any future engagement.
4. If your budget allows, make a trip to the country of the local representative during the final week leading to the official launch of the service. The trip will allow you to oversee developments, meet your local rep and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture.
Lead generation should be considered only as PART OF THE PROCESS of expanding services to another region in the world. But if you are desirous and in fact, committed to developing your brand, your company in Asia or Africa, you have to invest and establish roots; a solid foundation, to successfully bridge gaps and to fully maximize the venture.
If you want to DO business, you have to BUILD business.
Start by finding a trusted local consultant through LinkedIn. Beware of going into new markets without the budget to provide support and marketing in the target language and any collateral that you use.
Like anywhere in the world, you need to get someone on your team that has the local contacts that can get you the business. Both territories are areas where we have people on the ground that have local business relationships.