Thinking Beyond Exports

Small and medium-size business in the global marketplace

15/02/2013

2012 Soley, J._090bis_MEI2_IESE_077416

“The time has come to stop talking about internationalization,” said IESE professor Jorge Soley, who believes that the term should be regarded as part of the definition of a company. At the same time, he believes that “we should begin to think in a phase beyond exporting and more in establishing yourself in the receiving country. Exportation has already been achieved.”

In the Continuous Education Program session held within the small and medium-size business cycle, “A Before and After for Small and Medium-size Businesses,” the professor shared the table with Jonathan Mealey, senior treasury consultant at Monex Europe and Eimear Daly, head of analysis at Monex.

Soley said we should be conscious that “not all companies need to export,” and that “first they have to be competitive in their market, if not, it’s absurd.” He added that it’s not a good idea to embark on a process of internationalization when you’re in crisis or up to your neck in water because it requires a lot of resources and time to learn.

For their part, the two speakers from Monex complemented the professor’s talk with the presentation of the results of the Ambition Survey, a survey carried out jointly with BDO on the main global opportunities for investment.

The survey, carried out among more than 1,000 financial directors of medium-size companies, revealed that they continue to see international expansion as a way of increasing income, although they have become more prudent and more focused in their investment decision-making.

More than a third of those questioned said they believe in international investment as a way of driving growth although it’s more difficult to do business now than it was three years ago. The main reasons, in their opinion, are the bad economic situation, greater regulation and increased competition.

They mainly focus on the BRICs and established markets while southern Europe has become a much more risky option. The so-called big seven (China, the United States, Brazil, India, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom), led by China, top the list of the most attractive investment markets, given their size and their potential clients.

In their conclusions, they said the main recommendations given by the financial directors whom they questioned about international expansion was to count on good local people and knowledge about the culture and economy in the market and which you are going to work. “With a good team behind you, you can focus on getting into new markets.”