Wael Khattar the Managing Partner at Anachron Technologies located in Lebonan explains how middle eastern companies expand internationally from the very early stages of their business. Wael also tells us why some startups plan to start their business selling in foreign markets rather than in their original country first.
Below is the text format of the video
1. Giving that your business is in the early stage, why are you expanding from Lebonan to other countries?
The main reason for us is because our product can be sold anywhere in the world. And therefore we want to reach as many people as possible in different places. Especially Europe is a very interesting continet for us.
Our business is still in the very early stage and our platform will be launched in December 2019. We aim to start selling to foreign markets from the beginning of our product release. This is mainly because we offer a B2B service. And therefore we do not need to be located in a specific location for that.
2. What are the reasons for start selling in another country and not your local market?
I agree that it is easier to start the business from your local market. However, Lebonan is not a great market for our product. That is why we are looking at more attractive places where our product stands out more.
It is unfortunate but true that many startups tend to fail. Sometimes the only reason is that they are attracting the wrong market. Often you can find solutions for your business outside of your country. It is important to know that local markets may not always be a perfect one. That is why we aim to expand regionally and then internationally as fast as we can.
3. What are the challenges of entering a new market before starting in your own first?
Mainly, the sales process is much harder when it is a foreign market. However, we passed this obstacle by leveraging local connections and local partners. We built connections with local ecosystems, local financial contacts and even software providers that are already selling to similar clients (sales channel).
4. Why expand to Europe?
At the beginning we were starting from Lebonan. However, while it is an amazing country, it does not have a well percieved image around the world. That is why we believe expanding into a more developed country may increase our credibility amongst our clients.
Additionally, our target market is people with savings. And it is well found here rather than in Lebonan. We understand that finding the initial customers may be the biggest obstacle for us. But once we have that, we can prove the quality of our system. Therefore grow faster here than in our own market.
To sum up, we want to expand to Europe for two main reasons, authority and customers.
4. Any additional tips?
I believe that the most important thing is to test out the product in the local and foreign markets first instead of assuming it will or will not work. For instance, while we knew that Lebonan is not the perfect market for us from the start, we still test it out. Therefore, I think that for every decision that you want to make, it is best if you validate it first.