The Asian-Pacific (APAC) region’s capacity for growth is one of the main reasons companies worldwide seek to break into the APAC market. Another reason- diversity. The region includes 13 countries and is home to over 2000 languages. This diversity draws global businesses but can also make it a challenging market to break into. The region was hit hard in 2020, but it is projected to have a strong economic recovery, many experts predicting that the best of APAC is yet to come (ihsmarkit.com). We asked our Head of Sales in APAC, Duy Ngo a few questions on what businesses can expect when breaking into the APAC market.
When should businesses consider expanding into the APAC market?
I would suggest expanding into APAC once you’ve got a stronghold on your core market wherever it may be. You’ll need to take what you’ve learned from your core market and modify it to be successful in APAC. It will take about a year of investment in terms of hiring people, accounting for cultural and linguistic nuances, etc., especially considering the diversity of the APAC region itself. Once the year is done, and with the right team, you can consider scaling up.
Why is APAC such a valuable/important market?
APAC is one of the fastest growing regions for businesses. It’s also home to global economic heavyweights like Japan, China, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea.
In your experience, what are some of the biggest challenges that businesses face when expanding into APAC?
- Diversity – Underestimating the diversity of this market. The assumption that whatever you’ve done in your core market can be easily translated into every market in APAC is very unrealistic
- Pricing – The GDP is lower in APAC, so you can’t necessarily take something that’s successful in the west and assume it will work elsewhere. Having a fully developed and flexible pricing model is a good start.
- Hiring – Talent tends to be less expensive, however it may be more difficult to find the right people who are a right fit.
Finally, are there any tips you have for anyone wishing to break into the APAC market?
- Build a team that reflects the diversity of the APAC market. This will help you get a solid grasp on subtle nuances, social trends, specific needs and workplace culture.
- Hire a strong leader that understands and can navigate the market. This is not a one size fits all market, each region has their own needs.
- Focus on product market fit. If your product resonates with the APAC market, with the right marketing it will succeed.
Having access to a multilingual conference platform like KUDO is ideal. Communication is important, and with platforms like KUDO you can communicate with prospects freely in your own languages with the help of professional interpreters. Inclusivity is a growing trend in APAC, eliminating language barriers in the workplace is directly in line with that trend.