NeW Space was the perfect host for our Going Global event, partnering with UoN Global and China Week 2017. Members and student gathered in the grand foyer and for those that were able to join us for the post-event tour the views from the top were vast.
Our first speaker Grame Barty came with an impressive list of career experience and some entertaining personal stories about his travels overseas to go with it.
Grame started off by taking us through the big question: Why Export?, with some of the major factors being:
- The emergence of Asia, India and Africa as discretionary consumers
- Global population growth
- Technological advancements leading to new industries such as fintech, medtech, agritech and edtech
This summed up: you CANNOT afford to NOT export.
Grame highlighted some of the big decisions a new exporter needs to make, such as which market to focus on first (it takes 3 to 5 years to get established in your first market so choosing the right one is essential). He gave tips on how to export, including how to define your offering and the space you are working in, establishing technology partnerships and participating in international business missions. And to round things out he gave us what we’d all been waiting to hear…where the biggest opportunities exist for the future. Hot tip: automation, remote servicing and smart tech are the big ones!
Importantly Grame brought all of these lessons back to Australia’s place in all this and what we as young professionals need to be looking out for and becoming aware of in order to take advantage of the big opportunities available to us in the global marketplace.
Our second speaker for the evening, Josh Peak, took the audience through an impressive 111-slide presentation. Don’t be fooled, this was anything but a snooze-fest! Josh led the presentation with 2 key messages;
- all decisions will break at some scale, and
- the only way to win is to learn faster than your competitors.
While these seem logical, through his experience at Invoice2Go we were able to understand how and why these 2 lessons are the most important in global teams.
During his 6-year tenure, Josh experienced and overcame challenges such as changing the communication approach as the team grew from 2 people to 100 across 3 countries (and time zones). Currently he spends 50% of his time communicating and 50% of his time ‘doing’. This communication overhead is the tradeoff from a business expanding and having more staff. When up to 50% of your time is spent communicating, it becomes more important to spend that time wisely and understand that some people need more information than others.
One of his most powerful learnings was how important measuring customer information is to better understand your market. He explained the different behaviours of apple vs android users, and that the willingness to spend money on this product varied in each country. They used this information to target different markets in unique ways.
Josh’s final take away message was to read “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.
No longer are we competing with only local companies, we are competing with companies and enthusiastic graduates all over the world. Similarly, we can also benefit from drawing skills and experience from all over the world.
Going global is a two way street, and attendees certainly went home with a new found appreciation of the impact they can have on the global market and vice versa.