By: Davies Hood, President of Induron Protective Coatings
Last week, I had the privilege of attending and Induron had the honor of sponsoring the “Discover Global Markets” Forum Series when the US-EU SME Workshop stopped in Birmingham, Alabama. The US Commercial Service, Discover Alabama and the Alabama Department of Commerce jointly held this event, which is designed specifically to help small and medium-sized businesses with their exporting programs.
As a veteran of a couple of Trade Missions–one to China in 2013 and one to Mexico and Chile in 2016–I know a little about the services that the combined Departments of Commerce (AL & U.S.) provide and am a big fan.Because of some personal issues (a bad mountain biking accident last weekend at Coldwater Mountain), I was unfortunately not able to participate in the dinner at Jones Valley or Wednesday’s events at Regions Bank. However, I did have the unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with Commercial Specialists with the US Department of Commerce from both Poland and Norway.
Induron is actively looking into expanding our market presence to Europe, and I thought that this was a great opportunity right here in our backyard! These meetings were quick but designed so that the “specialists” can learn a little about the respective businesses in order to help each find a local partner in their home country. This model fits our current goals, especially for our Power Transmission and Distribution products. We are currently exporting to three different countries because of the relationships that we have on the ground in those respective nations (Colombia, Brazil & Australia). I am hoping that yesterday’s event might help us get a similar partner in Europe! As a sponsor, we also had a chance to show the world a little bit about Birmingham, Induron’s host city. As a lifetime resident, I’m quite proud of this place!
We’ve found that international business relationships are just like all business relationships. They succeed when they are built on trust. While it’s valuable to make use of available resources, like these events, there is no substitute for forming a strong relationship with a partner on the ground in the countries where you are developing business. Stay tuned as Induron discovers more global partners and markets!