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Case study: Advice for international business success

New Zealand businesses trading overseas are facing fierce competition and steep learning curves. To succeed, they must learn fast and share their international market knowledge throughout the company, according to Ara Management tutor Dr Juan Pellegrino.

In many countries, small and medium enterprises (SME's) represent 95% of all businesses and are considered critical to national economies, says Dr Pellegrino.

"Globalisation and deregulation of the New Zealand economy has meant businesses often have to internationalise to survive."

During Ara's Research Month Dr Pellegrino will present his PhD research describing how New Zealand's SME's can succeed overseas. His findings have significant implications for businesses nationally and provide essential knowledge to help New Zealand enterprises thrive.

New Zealand SME's tend toward one of two approaches – early internationalisation of their products, or testing the waters of the local market before gradually expanding globally, says Dr Pellegrino.

"Targeting niche markets with unique and innovative products and forming close relationships with overseas distributors are key factors essential to a company realising their international business goals."

Dr Pellegrino presented his findings at the International Entrepreneurship
Conference in Sweden. He is continuing his research, with Dr Teresa Schwellnus Academic Manager of Ara's Department of Business, studying the international expansion of a Christchurch small to medium enterprise, which has been funded by Innovation NZ.