Achieving success outside the country’s borders can be a tough task for businesses. It is also something the current government – trying hard to boost the Hungarian economy – probably does not pay enough attention to. Yet in love and crisis everything is allowed. If the home environment has become infertile, it is time for companies to look for new and greener grounds. This is the strategy that has proved most viable in the past three years and the one most multinational firms have applied. What they lost in their home countries – as most economies in and outside the EU have been hit hard by the crisis – has been more than made up for on foreign markets.
Emerging countries with their people eager to consume goods coming from the developed world can be an ideal target group.
So if demand for your salami is falling here, head to China. After all, paprika is not that unfamiliar to a stomach trained on spicy stuff. Or it may be a good idea to make Mongolians switch from vodka to Tokaji aszú. Or try and sell your designer outfits to the Japanese for whom Hungarian Matyó could be as exotic as a kimono is for us. These are, by the way, all tried and tested routes used by Hungarian businesses.
If the distance intimidates you, don’t worry: there are plenty of examples in the neighborhood to look at. Real estate developer TriGranit has several ongoing projects, among others, in Poland, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine. MOL has just acquired a large part of its Croatian counterpart INA. OTP has been continuously expanding in the Balkans, generally successfully.
One may argue that the above mentioned companies are all strong and large with huge capital reserves. Easy for them. But standing on international ground is not only for the large players. It is, in fact, a strategy that smaller firms could also make good use of in order to stay afloat, or, even better, prosper.
And if the macroeconomic environment and the fiscal situation all remain as uncertain as they are today, then it is also the only way to survive for many firms.