Kharcha paani

Published on September 30th, 2020

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How to improve exports during COVID-19

Like every major disruption, COVID-19 is pushing the boundaries of reliance. We explain how to get your exports on track.
by Leo Shastri

The coronavirus pandemic is an unforeseen and unprecedented situation that has turned everything upside down. And like every major disruption, it is majorly pushing the boundaries of reliance.

Exporting is a vital source of economic growth for a country and small and medium enterprises account for a substantial amount of Indian exports. As the economy is slowly and steadily opening up, export companies need to start evaluating the whole scenario so that their products and services overseas grow faster and do better. Exporting in the COVID-19 era is not as difficult as you might think and there are many methods to improve and increase a business level of export sales.

It’s only the unknown that’s challenging, but you just have to go for it and do it. In any economy, new geographic markets offer businesses opportunities to create new revenue streams – and studies reveal businesses that export are more productive and employ more people. Expanding into international markets can seem daunting at this point of time so here’s a “how-to” which contains various tips and advice for reducing the risk and increasing the export opportunities.

How to improve export sales

1) Make exporting a part of your overall business strategy

Research is the key and our export strategy should be based on an assessment of your own position and research into promising opportunities. Forget the losses and start afresh. This time you need to think long term about how to reach new customers and finance your exports, as well as making sure you understand legal and tax issues.

2) Carefully assess each of the markets you are considering entering into

Expanding into new markets involves a great deal of market research in addition to targeting customers. When going into international markets, businesses need to be aware of different cultures. Clearly defining your market may seem like a simple step, but before you identify who you want to sell your product to you must understand their needs. You have to consider:

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Common interests or needs of your target customers.
  • Market growth rates
  • Forecasted demand
  • Competitors
  • Potential barriers to entry

3) Visiting the country is a must when desk research is over

Be prepared to travel to know the scenario of the country in the post-COVID-19 era. Working with affiliates, partners, distributors, licensees or agents can help you get established in a new market. A great way to develop export sales overseas is to find partners by being there, in the marketplace and at a trade fair.

  • Talk to people buying similar products
  • Go and buy a similar product yourself
  • Go to trade fairs and seminars and talk to potential customers.
  • Learn local customs.
  • Overcoming issues such as cultural differences, language and health and safety regulations, levels of formality & business etiquette can help deliver vast improvement to your export sales.

4) Communicate with relevant shareholders

Clear, transparent and timely communications are necessary when creating a platform to reshape the business and to secure ongoing support from customers, employees, suppliers, creditors, investors and regulatory authorities.

5) Maximize the use of government support policies

There have been a plethora of policies that have been announced by the Governments in their respective countries. In China, central and local governments have released several financial, social insurance and tax-related policies to support companies. This includes the China Securities Regulatory Commission’s (CSRC) interim policy on listed companies refinancing. Recently the US, UK and many other developed nations have announced amendments to tax and financing policies.

The writer is Director – Operations & Strategy, Usha Exim Private Limited.

(Featured image courtesy fureurope.eu)

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