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New export guide shares interim experts' insights

These are just three of the pieces of advice shared in & lsquo;The Art of International Business’, a new Guide which has been created by Norrie Johnston Recruitment (NJR).

The Guide features tips and insights from 18 of the UK’s most successful permanent and interim managers. The experts, whose experience spans a mix of functions and sectors, have helped companies set up overseas subsidiaries around the world. One contributor, Phil Wilkes, project managed the construction of food and drink factories in a number of overseas locations including Russia, Iceland, UAE and Latin America. Another, David Ogilvie, launched UK high street financial service brands into international markets, while Jeremy Cartwright established supply chain & factory operations in SE Asia & Africa.

In the Art of International Business such experts draw on their experience to share advice on a range of topics including: how to know if the opportunity to set up a successful international business is there developing a strategy how to check out a territory coping with cultural differences sources of advice people issues and local laws and systems.

The tips include brand considerations, for instance Matthew Wright, a director level IT consultant and CTO, warns that companies need to be realistic about the power of their brand: “It’s very easy to think that the new employees in the country you are setting up in are familiar with the parent company, and that the parent company 'brand' has influence and kudos over there, but it doesn't.  This has to be built, along with knowledge of the operations.”

When it comes to culture and approach, Paul Ross, an interim end-to-end supply chain professional, recommends being open minded: “Don’t dismiss local ways - we all have things to learn. But under no circumstance dilute your values.”

In the Guide, Peter Sibbald, an interim procurement & logistics specialist, touches upon legal considerations explaining: “In China, business people have a very different view of a contract than they do in Anglo-Saxon countries.

“A fact of life in some countries is that the law will be enforced more rigorously against foreign-owned companies, than domestic ones. Such things needn’t be a 'show-stopper', but you need to do your research & planning in advance.”

Norrie Johnston, founder of NJR believes such candid advice will prove useful to ambitious companies thinking about overseas expansion: “While there are obviously many reference sources out there, it’s very rare to get practical insights from people who have actually been there and done it. The experts featured in the Guide have experienced first-hand the challenge of going to a completely new territory and setting up or supporting an international operation.”

The Art of International Business is downloadable free from


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