Author: Nicole Sahin, CEO, Globalisation Partners
16 Sep 2019
The globalisation of international markets has launched an era of significant opportunity. But while new markets offer exciting prospects, they also introduce a range of business challenges.
Following the rapid-fire growth of globalisation, a whole industry has emerged to help companies navigate the complex legal, tax and human resources (HR) issues that are associated with expanding into a new country. These processes require mastering a broad network of local laws from around the globe.
To ease the transition, Nicole Sahin, CEO of Globalisation Partners, embarked on a mission to create a scalable and easily navigable legal platform that companies could use as a resource when expanding into international markets. The Global Expansion Platform aims to help companies hire local employees without setting up a new legally compliant infrastructure each time. Put simply, Globalisation Partners promises to put a business’ global team on its local payroll.
European CEO spoke to Sahin to learn more about Globalisation Partners and its efforts to empower the world’s best and brightest to work together seamlessly, regardless of jurisdiction.
How does global expansion fuel new opportunities for businesses?
For many companies, international expansion has become less of an option and more of an imperative. Moving into new markets can open revenue streams for firms that are encountering market-share limitations in their home country. Global expansion can also give new life to products that have reached the end of their life cycle in their home market but pose opportunities for competitive growth elsewhere.
Globalisation Partners helps businesses hire anyone from anywhere in the world without having to navigate international legal, tax and HR issues
In addition to seeking out new markets, companies are increasingly looking abroad for fresh talent. Technology has made it possible for a business to field a workforce that is every bit as distributed as its supply chain. Companies want to employ the best workforce they can, no matter where the employees are found – and, in some cases, regardless of where those employees want to work.
How has the model for global expansion changed in recent years?
International expansion strategies are formal, multilevel plans that businesses use to enter new markets, establish a growing presence and quickly become profitable. Typically, businesses take it upon themselves to set up shop in a foreign market once they see an opportunity to open a sales channel in that country. It is often critical to act quickly on these opportunities – by beating competitors into a new territory, businesses may be able to capture and benefit from first-mover advantage.
But the process of establishing a subsidiary in a new country is complicated and time-consuming, especially if it is a firm’s first venture into the territory. Globalisation Partners is changing the rules of this once-complicated process: through its global expansion platform, Globalisation Partners helps businesses hire anyone from anywhere in the world without having to navigate international legal, tax and HR issues. We have entered a new era of simplified global expansion, in which platforms like Globalisation Partners can facilitate human relationships and flatten barriers to global business operations.
What particular challenges do managers of global teams face?
Communication issues are a big challenge for global businesses. While that is perhaps no surprise, if small issues are not kept in check, they can snowball into serious problems. With teams working across different time zones, these problems can be exacerbated. What’s more, time differences can leave limited space for spontaneous collaboration.
Groups that work across numerous markets tend to have a much more diverse make-up than those limited to just one country. While this often sparks inspiration and brings new ideas into the mix, that same diversity can occasionally lead to mixed messages, resulting in conflict, disagreement, misunderstanding and hurt feelings.
How can managers ensure they are keeping their global workforce engaged? Why is this so important?
Employee engagement is challenging enough when it is focused on one location. Introduce the complexities of finding and engaging employees in far-flung locales, and it can seem downright scary.
The companies most likely to retain their top talent are the ones that focus on understanding their global team on a local level
The most successful managers know that to keep their workforce engaged, they must get to know their employees as individuals. They should make themselves available across multiple time zones and through text-based communications such as email, instant messaging and SMS. Face-to-face meetings should also be arranged whenever possible using online video tools.
Highly engaged employees are enthusiastic about their jobs and strongly value their company’s mission and goals. When engagement levels start to drop, there is a higher risk of employees leaving. The companies most likely to retain their top talent are the ones that focus on understanding their global team on a local level.
How does Globalisation Partners’ ‘triple bottom line’ strategy apply to global organisations?
The triple bottom line is a strategy of prioritising happy clients, happy employees and happy shareholders. While a triple bottom line may sound like an obvious formula for growth, it might also feel unrealistic – it contradicts today’s mantra of ‘growth at all costs’.
But the reality is companies that focus solely on growth end up underpaying their staff and treating customers so poorly that progress becomes unsustainable. Globalisation Partners aims to prove the triple bottom line is an exceptionally good – and achievable – strategy for growth.
How has Globalisation Partners’ recent expansion given the company a competitive advantage?
We recently launched our Latin American office in Mexico City and our Middle East regional headquarters in Dubai. These new locations are evidence of our strategic investment in sites that will help our clients expand into new countries quickly without the red tape and expense of setting up subsidiaries.
We also have dual US headquarters in Boston and San Diego, as well as regional hub offices in Germany, India, Brazil, Singapore and the UK. This model has resulted in amazing growth and a competitive advantage in the form of our on-the-ground, in-country business model that leverages deep industry expertise.
Our goal at Globalisation Partners has always been to make international workforce expansions seamless. I’m proud to say that our platform is helping companies achieve their goals faster than they ever could have imagined.
How do you expect the market for global expansion to change in the future?
As a pioneer in the industry, Globalisation Partners is at the forefront of thought leadership and technology development. We are committed to helping companies hire, train and retain the best employees.
To meet the needs of the market, we are focusing on the automation of our global expansion platform. In fact, we will be unveiling our proprietary cloud-based software platform later this year. This will transform us from a tech-enabled services organisation into a fully fledged technology company.
In the future, we want to maximise the opportunity for companies to realise the benefits of having global teams. With this in mind, Globalisation Partners is set to double in size over the next two years and is already expanding its operations around the world. In five years, Globalisation Partners will be 1,600 employees strong with a fully automated technology platform and a mobile app that will put the power of global expansion at clients’ fingertips.