Things to Keep in Mind While Building the Relation with European Market
Sandeep Lathhwal, Editor BMR spoke with Vandy G, as part of one of the channel’s flagship shows ‘Expert Talk’. With this show BMR will strive to sort out various issues facing the industry in the ground level by talking to subject experts.
In this episode of Expert Talk we spoke with Ms. Vandy G, an entrepreneur and Founder of M.S. Global which is a B2B connect for Indian Ceramic Exporters for Europe and working in this sector for the last 8 years. An expert in the Ceramic Export business, Ms. Vandy G shared her experience with Mr. Sandeep Lathhwal on Building Material Reporter exclusive. She shared her views on common mistakes made by Morbi Ceramic exporters, and tips on how to deal with international buyers and follow correct procedures.
Describing B2B start up MS Global Ms. Vandy said that they are acting as a B2B connect for companies, looking to alter the long term sustainability art of the business and helping them sell their products as well as grow as a company, to be receptive to changing tastes and demands. She pointed out that although many companies have export teams; few had actually travelled to Europe. There is a vital ground connection missing.
Ms Vandy G said that while people love to buy, they hate to be ‘sold’ a product. She believes huge opportunity awaits Indian companies looking to tap the market in Europe and this is the right time too. What is needed is a fresh approach, getting the priorities right.
Elucidating the role of MS Global as a business to business connector, Ms Vandy said that MS Global helps companies network with prospects. They do it both on the virtual domain and face to face meetings. They help companies understand the market, engage with prospective buyers, that helps the companies gauge the mindset as well as the written and unwritten rules of the market they are looking to tap in. MS Global hand holds companies to establish their identity and understanding of a hitherto untapped territory. In the process it also helps the prospective sellers to identify market specific challenges, for the present and the future. It gives them a three dimensional understanding of the marketing dynamics of the territory.
Elaborating on the role of MS Global Ms Vandy G said that the connector ensures a business to business, people to people connect in Europe. This ensures that both prospects try and understand the other point of view and develop a level of trust, so important to establishing business footprints. Once the manufacturer understands the demand, they will be able to tailor their approach for the prospective market. MS Vandy said that although these are very basic concerns, relative ignorance of the wide ranging recent changes have left Indian exporters high and dry. MS Global fills in those gaps and ensures that the manufacturer is well equipped for his new territory. Ms Vandy said that there is a huge potential for Indian companies and by altering their approach they will be able to tap into a market that has big European players.
Speaking on the challenges a manufacturer faces in Europe, Ms Vandy said that the lack of local market knowledge greatly hampers the prospective exporter, they do not know the demand supply scenario, the right people to connect with and the pre meeting briefings that is essential to chart out a winning approach. Once briefed, the exporter knows what is expected, they understand the challenges better. MS Global also works as reputation managers for exporters, as an unfulfilled delivery promise ends up giving a bad name to all exporters from India.
Speaking on the challenges facing the market and industry, Ms Vandy spoke how the Covid pandemic has affected business, everywhere. She spoke about the long term sustainability as another challenge facing the exporters from India. There are certain environmental and pollution control norms that European companies follow, while the Indian companies are not always keen on these for various reasons. These norms continue to get tighter and stricter in Europe and that makes long term sustainability the single biggest challenge facing exporters from India. She pointed out that outreach, modifications in manufacturing process, delay in trade remains the other big challenges for the exporter.
Ms Vandy G said that MS Global is working with interested companies to set up a warehouse in Poland that would help eliminate trade delays. There is a studio space where exporters can exhibit their products and designs. The strategy is to attract small buyers as well as large scale buyers too. Having a warehouse saves time and paperwork and ensures quick delivery and adds to the reputation and reliability of the exporter.
To a question from Sandeep Lathhwal about suggestions to improve the footprints of Indian companies in Europe Ms Vandy spoke about the need to have marketing people from Indian exporters to come down to Europe to study the market, the rules and regulations, sentiments and what is actually expected of them. The export teams need to know their customer first. They need to make it a very personal connection. A warehouse would greatly add to the footprint.
Speaking on common strategic mistakes, Ms Vandy spoke about the need to have a very well-trained export team, who can do extensive background research and know about local privacy laws and regulations. Ms Vandy spoke about how unsolicited Whatsapp messages, even marketing messages could invite legal action in Europe. The export team needs to be sensitized about these intricacies.
Speaking on the future of Indian exporters in Europe, she felt that the Indian ceramic industry has a big cost advantage and adhering to the European way of doing business would mean big business for them. She felt that post-Covid lots of buyers will shift to Indian exporters and the exporters just need to tap into the European market with an updated, tailored approach.
Ms Vandy said that although digital designs are popular, every European country has its own culture and heritage and often the design choices are guided by these. Choices can and will vary, but India being a multi-cultural country stands better equipped to design for a multi cultural Europe.
Ms Vandy’s tip for Indian exporters is to establish a business-to-business connect, be sensitive to local sensibilities and any effort taken on these small basic fronts would secure a firm foothold in Europe for the Indian ceramic industry.