Going Global: Great Global Companies Are Also Local Companies

In today’s economy, “going global” isn’t just an option; for many, it’s a prerequisite for success. Recently, Rajeev Singh was invited by the Washington Technology Industry Association to talk with entrepreneurs and other business leaders about Concur’s experience of going global. On the agenda: what lessons were learned from entering new markets and deploying internationally. In this last of three parts, Singh shares the value of choosing the right partnerships.

We’ve learned that no matter how good you are at whatever you do, your solution and approach and expertise that you developed serving one market will only get you so far in the next one, be it Europe or Asia or India or wherever you’re thinking of expanding.

So what are some ways to become truly local? Obviously, hiring locally, especially folks who understand the business problems you’re trying to solve, is a good first step. There also lots of ways you can partner with experts who are already in the market, especially helpful are those that have specific strengths that you might want to incorporate into your business.

At Concur, we’ve been fortunate enough to be in the position of seeking out companies with similar businesses, and most importantly, complementary corporate cultures, and partnering with them to serve the market’s needs. Some of those partnerships are technology or go-to-market deals in which both partners get access to clients and solutions they wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach and serve. In a few instances, Concur found a local market leader and added their business, their leadership team, their technology, their client portfolio and their market expertise to Concur’s business.

For us, this is much more than simply buying your way into a market. It first requires gaining an understanding of what that market requires, then going about delivering that to our clients. More often than not, those learnings inform our current roadmaps and strategies, and we work to enhance our offerings accordingly. In some cases, others are able to do that more effectively than we would ever be able to do on our own. That’s when it makes sense to choose those partners and work with them in any way you can.

Going global may be the next logical step for your business. It may be the key to unlocking the growth you’re looking for. Whatever your aspirations, know that taking your company global is pretty much just like starting a new company, only you don’t know the language, have little understanding of the market, you’re eight time-zones away, and your current products may or may not work there.

Entering new and unfamiliar markets is absolutely a challenge, and don’t believe anyone who tells you they have all the answers. But gone are the days when you can simply do business in your home country and not worry about anything outside our borders. It’s a global economy, and your customers have global needs. Find a way to share your passion—your business—with them and watch as your big ideas become a reality.

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