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Doris Albisser, CEO CLS Communication, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #103 - Doris Albisser: Roadmap To The Asian Startup Market

Doris Albisser

October 15, 2020

8:03 – When to expand to Asia
17:54 – Knowing how to change your mentality
19:21 – Will English take you far?
28:26 – What can Europe learn from Asia?
30:25 – What can Asia learn from Europe?

The Episode in 60 seconds

Why expand your business to Asia

  • Asian markets are growing rapidly, with a strong increase in purchasing power.
  • Asia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has long caught up with the US and is almost unparalleled in its agility and speed.

Preparing to expand your business to Asia

  • Make sure you get a very good understanding of the cultural differences, especially with regards to contract negotiations.
  • Ensure that your war chest is large enough. Like everything, the expansion will take you twice as long and cost you twice as much as anticipated.
  • Swiss Global Enterprise offers a market checkup to determine if you are ready to enter a particular market.

Market entry

  • Out of all the Asian markets, Singapore is probably the most similar to Europe, so it’s usually a good place to start building your base.
  • Get in touch with the Swiss Embassies and Chamber of Commerce on the ground. They can introduce you to their network and put you in touch with experts in the region.
  • It’s advisable to have a legal entity in the market you are trying to enter, especially if you are a service business.
  • English will only get you so far in Asia. Outside of Hongkong and Singapore it may get tricky, so invest into an interpreter or find an employee which is well versed in both English and the local language.

Corporate Governance and Regulations

  • It’s important to have a good mix of people from your team in Europe and locals from the region. This will help you relay your company values and corporate governance while also adapting to the local ways of doing things.
  • Especially in Mainland China, regulations are rapidly changing and violating them can have serious consequences. Get expert advice on how to navigate the regulations of your industry.

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