Go global with business partners

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 June, 2010, 12:00am

In today's competitive world, companies have to expand beyond their national frontiers to survive.

They have to seek new markets and launch products that suit consumer tastes and work on strategic partnerships to be more effective.

Getting a partner to gain a foothold in an overseas market is important as it helps home-grown companies expand.

According to Francis Mak, director of corporate finance at Grant Thornton, joining hands with the right partner can be an effective solution to help businesses remove potential obstacles in going global.

A number of professional organisations, with expertise in getting strategic partners, are now in the market to help local firms find strategic partnerships with overseas companies.

Such professional advisers can identify and introduce to clients suitable partners who can bring in investment and support.

Mak gives an example of how his firm helped Hong Kong-based electric car maker EuAuto Group find a partner in a United States-based auto firm. The two firms recently merged. GreenTech Automotive, the US partner, has promised to launch EuAuto's electric car 'MyCar' in the US market.

'It is one of the first cases in the [car] industry to go global by merging with a well-known name of environmentally-friendly automotives from the US,' Mak says.

He says that as an adviser on strategic partnership, the firm is happy that the client has fully appreciated the potential underlying value and accepted their advice when the two firms were first introduced.

'Without their trust in our team, this deal would have never materialised and gone through as smoothly as it has,' Mak says.

Companies going global have to learn to move out of their comfort zones, their home markets and embrace global markets.

He says partnership opportunities have to be seized by firms when they arise. 'If you are self-sufficient, you are not keen to have strategic partners.'

A number of Hong Kong companies with factories in southern China are keen to expand beyond the mainland market and are seeking overseas collaborations or partnerships.

'Strategic partners have the resources and capability to enable businesses to serve larger customers that may have operations not just in Hong Kong but overseas as well. All these initiatives translate directly to competitiveness,' Mak says.