Collective approach can crack the market

COLLECTIVE marketing is proving a way for small businesses to break into overseas markets.

So far WA small businesses such as Aqua Technics, Frontline Windows, JV International, Hallman Industries, the Miracle Recreation Centre and Shade Solutions have used the approach to crack the difficult Indian market.

The companies took part in a trade mission organised by FGC International, run by former TradeLink senior manager Nigel David.

It cost each business less than $5,000 to take part in the mission.

Mr David said the secret to cracking the Indian market was to be in the loop within the loop.

“You have to know who the real buyers are,” he said.

“We had 214 people at our show, a mix of architects, builders, designers and hoteliers.

“We’re predominantly focused on building products, but we also launched Goundrey Wines into India.”

Mr David said he had taken part in WA Government delegations but the idea behind his trade missions was to get “returns in a shorter space of time”.

He said he had formed an alliance with Masterplan Landscape Architecture, one of the most sought after landscape architects in India.

“I’ve opted for a soft branding approach by using his products as entry forms for us,” Mr David said. “Finding the right partner in India is important.

International Business Development principal Jim Stitt said group marketing was a way for small businesses to get into overseas markets.

His company brought two businesses from the Maldives to take part in the most recent FGC trade mission.

“On their own small businesses have no hope of breaking into international markets,” Mr Stitt said.

“For smaller companies this makes it affordable. It cuts out cold canvassing and takes the logistical problems out of a trade mission.

“Australia has a bit of a cringe about its products, but they stack up against anything else in the world.

“The New Zealanders market them-selves better, especially collectively, than anyone else.”

JV International managing director Terry Opie said India would be a huge potential market for his company’s steel doorframes, but the challenge was to change their mindset.

In WA, 95 per cent of the doorframes are made of steel, but in India wood is the preferred material.

“The change from wood to steel frames has happened here and will happen globally,” Mr Opie said.

His company recently put one of its doorframe making machines into Indonesia for $1.5 million.

There are plans to expand the trade missions into Indonesia and Singapore.

The next Indian trade mission is planned for February.

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