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International Market Entry Issues for HSBC

International Market Entry Issues for HSBC

I really enjoyed meeting the HSBC London City Corporate team yesterday at their monthly team meeting.

As you would expect from one of the few truly global banks, the City team of relationship managers and analysts liaise with a lot of clients who are working extensively in overseas markets and both the clients and the RM’s themselves are therfore faced with lots of international challenges.  I spent some time with the team looking at some of the issues they should be discussing with clients in their roles as trusted advisors.

We covered a whole range of issues such as:

  • Key New Market Entry Considerations:
    • The need for clients to be strategic in their thinking on international rather than just reacting to events
    • The dangers of doing poor or inadequate research on a market and why purely desk-based research simply isn’t sufficient
    • The challenges of chosing good agents, distributors and employees in a market you have little knowledge or experience in
    • Timeframe issues and the impact slower than anticipated results can have on cashflow
    • The drain on management bandwidth that often comes with international expansion and how this can lead to people taking their eyes of key ‘business as usual’ problems
  • Cultural Challenges:
    • How do you know what ‘good’ looks like in a new market
    • Overcoming your own cultural bias
    • The timing issues that can result from working in countries where relationships are placed before business
    • The need for greater levels of global knowledge through good quality cultural awareness training.

I think the session must have been well-received because they have asked if I am happy to run another session later in the year for selected key clients of the bank.  I always feel that the best customer endorsement I can receive for the work we do is when a client entrusts us to speak to their clients – I see it as validation that my input has been viewed of value