“Grow Local, Go Global”

We were delighted to host the Unitec Business Leaders lunch- “Grow Local, Go Global” at the Unitec’s new state of the art trades training facility, named Mataaho, a modern worksite with many disciplines in close proximity, giving students exposure to an array of specialties such as Virtual Reality job sites, RealWeld, Virtual Weld, Virtual spray painting booth and Automotive emulation equipment.

Great learnings from the brightest exporting minds who are kicking up a storm in the local and global Markets that included:

Some key take aways:

  • David Banfield from Methven opened with Richard Branson’s quote “if you are not on the edge you are taking up too much room”
  • Spend time on the ground doing market validation in the markets you want to enter, talking to consumers, understand the culture, exploring what is available, working closely with your customers while getting started.
  • Have a clear understanding what business you are in and what you do that is niche
  • Marvin Dalton from BNZ reiterated most common mistake is being under-capitalised in working capital
  • Fail fast
  • Peter Batcheler from Southern Spars -share the risk with your team and get them involved as a problem shared is a problem halved.
  • Kim Campbell from EMA– Opportunities are everywhere but understand what customers really want in the markets you are looking to enter e.g China, Japan and India have a huge aging population so opportunities for businesses who specialise in products for the aging.
  • In the next 20 years India will be the biggest market.
  • Cam Wallace from BNZ– Start somewhere close like Australia but treat each state like a different market.
  • David Banfield -NZ has a huge advantage in exporting as we are in the position of being in the top 5 countries rated for ease of doing business with and in the top 3 for being trusted to do business with.
  • Innovation of products is key as disruption is a way of life. Selling the same products day in day out is a sure way of opening the doors for your competitors to enter.
  • Players like Alibaba, Google and Amazon have shrunk the world and are the motorway to access global markets, so we should embrace them.
  • NZ manufacturing is still strong as we can be innovative, customizable, smaller runs and fast turnaround.
  • Artificial Intelligence is in our future and our mental attitude will either stop us in our tracks or harness the challenges to give it a go to take the business further

Final note was Don’t take your eye off your existing markets– if you snooze potential too loose.