I spent the past few weeks travelling through Asia Pacific speaking to CEO’s, distributors and resellers about targeting Asia Pacific as a place to do business. Australia and New Zealand are relatively low risk in terms of the economy, political stability, language, and regulation. As one moves towards the Asian Continent, different challenges present themselves. Which country(s) should be targeted first?
In my opinion, the area should be divided into three primary zones: Singapore, India, and Hong Kong China. Singapore presents an excellent opportunity to establish a base of operations due to the proximity to all three zones, the ease of doing business, and the lack of language barriers. From there, the strategy gets a little murky and is almost a 50-50 crap shoot. Seeing that both India and China have intellectual property issues, India may have a slight advantage due to the lack of language barriers.
If a company targets India, than there are issues with purchase price parity. Many companies often go through two or three distributors before partnering with one that has similiar values and work ethics. The cities to target are Mumbai and Bangalore.
China is a challenge in itself due to complexity and language barriers. Many companies use up their assets establishing a foothold in the area. The three entry points to China are Hong Kong in the south, Shanghai in the middle and Tianjin in the north. Most organizations reside in one of these three areas.
Intellectual property issues remain an equal threat when targeting India or China. The basic strategy for all companies trying to establish a foothold into India or Asia is to target multinationals as employees speak English. The multinational organizations also have regulatory compliance obligations, and therefore, purchase legal copies of software.