Export Maker Ltd was contracted by and cooperated with the International Trade Centre to execute a business matchmaking project and a market brief in Finland during 2020.
Working with the International Trade Centre
International Trade Centre (ITC) is a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and exists to help trade in developing countries and to make local firms in developing markets competitive globally. In this case, European Union financed the project to support Sri Lankan IT companies reaching new business opportunities in Europe, whom ITC worked with to complete the project.
– We helped the companies form new export plans, supported the strategic engagement in terms of business, branding and the focus on the EU market, Senior Programme Officer Miyoba Lubemba explains.
At the start of the program, ITC worked with more than 100 companies, but the target group was eventually focused on 21 most potential companies. Finland was found to be one of the most potential target markets for these Sri Lankan companies, and Export Maker Ltd was chosen to be the contractor for the project.
A thorough market brief with tailored and specified information
First part of the project with Export Maker Ltd was a thorough market brief of the Finnish IT market segment.
– We want to make sure we understand the market specifics and potential for the Sri Lankan companies. These include the cultural elements, dynamics and substance of the market, as well as the megatrends and trends influencing the situation, Lubemba continues.
Export Maker Ltd Project Manager Joona Koivisto conducted a 78-page market brief report on the Finnish IT-sector and its possibilities for Sri Lankan companies, highlighting the practical market knowledge needed for a market entry. Specified information about the Finnish market was tailored for the Sri Lankan companies, and eventually that information was used for successful first steps in the market.
– It is good to know generalities of a market, but crucially important to understand how they affect one industry or a company. The Export Maker team managed to specify and tailor information for this specific case, and did a good job with this, Lubemba states.
Valuable local expertise and presence – forming a picture of the current situation.
– Having a local expert in the market area was truly helpful in constructing a picture of the current situation in the Finnish IT-segment, Lubemba explains.
The project included a virtual training seminar, where the market brief was further discussed with the participating Sri Lankan companies, and training for the upcoming business meetings was held.
– Export Maker Ltd delivered a profound seminar and an explanation on the key findings of the market brief and made sure that the participants understood the market situation completely, Lubemba summarizes.
Hosting 65 B2B-meetings virtually and exceeding expectations
Main part of the project was the virtual B2B-meetings, in which Finnish companies met with Sri Lankan companies to discuss potential business opportunities. The goals for the meetings were exceeded, as a total of 65 meetings were carried out, also resulting in further projects with some participating companies.
– A project of this magnitude had not been conducted in a remote and virtual environment, so it is very important to highlight the success of Export Maker in carrying the project out in a completely different environment. This demonstrated the flexibility and openness of Export Maker, Lubemba mentions.
Concrete results from cooperation
The Sri Lankan companies have been able to form sustainable and lasting relationships with the Finnish companies and have managed to achieve concrete sales and projects.
– We are really happy to have found such as team as Export Maker, and to have you schedule the meetings as you did, Senior Programme Officer Miyoba Lubemba says.
– Cooperation with Export Maker was fluent and easy, and the results were achieved and even exceeded at parts. Project Manager was really efficient and always on time, and provided a valuable insight from the Finnish market, Lubemba highlights.
The project was done in co-operation with Thomas Ramsten and TBR Consulting.