Hello! I am Alfredo from Kuraken.
During this quarantine, among other things, I have been reading blogs and articles about how to make a construction company grow and how to succeed in an overseas expansion. It has been an interesting exercise to get a brief idea from others’ experiences. It has been, as well, an opportunity to revise my own ideas and beliefs. I would like to post here some of the points that I found relevant to the process Kuraken is trying to undertake, focusing on the obstacles that the company will face and how can some risks be mitigated.
First, as I wrote in my last post, dealing with and overcoming cultural andlanguage barriers is the cornerstone of any successful company abroad. This is specially important in the construction industry because in it is embedded the particular essence of the working culture of any region and country. Clearly, to enter a new market without these essential cultural traits and knowledge may be a disadvantage in many situations (even for new local companies!). Nonetheless, there might be particular situations in which “bringing a new culture” can be turned into a relative strength. In what kind of situations this “new-comer” status could become an advantage? (1) One is when the costumer is familiar with the working culture of the company, or even better, when the client has worked directly with the company or has a reference of the company. In our case, this means approaching to Japanese costumers abroad and to companies that have been our costumers before, or that can get a reference of Kuraken from a third person. (2) Another one is to come into a specialized field where the company has experience, can deliver quality, and where there is relatively small competence. About this point, in the company we have had talks about exploring the potential markets on high tech industries, like data centers, manufacturing industries and so on. I think this could be a good entrance to certain foreign markets and should be further explored.
A second obstacle to tackle is the human factor (inside the company). It is important for the company to start preparing human resources to work on different (foreign) environments. Communication and management skills are essential in any construction project, and we need to prepare to manage and to communicate in a completely different environment. Another important aspect is to have the support and understanding of all members. If someone doesn’t understand the possible benefits that an overseas venture could bring to the company, it is likely for that person to feel uncomfortable with the harshes and the risks the whole company has to deal with. Therefore, appropriate communication and understanding among the company members about the possible benefits and difficulties is a good way to begin to prepare our human resources.
There are many other obstacles and risks to think about, but it is also good to go step by step, so I leave this here. I will continue thinking about these matters, so any feedback will be appreciated.