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What would you expect from UKTI?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Export, South Korea

It's always good to know what you're doing is making a difference. We were thrilled recently to receive this piece of feedback from Kate Wright and Adrian Cronin. They are directors of a UK company, Isle of English, with whom we've been working closely. I'm sharing it with you in full not just because it says nice things about us (though that's good!) but because it gives a first hand account, from a UK SME, of the kind of things UK companies can expect UKTI staff, right round the globe and in the UK regions, to do for them. The specific product described is UKTI's Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

"The OMIS report was invaluable to us because it gave us insights into the market in South Korea which would otherwise have taken several years and many thousands of pounds to get. The content of the OMIS has been mapped in a way that allows companies to set achievable targets and to promote their international presence in the market. At each stage of the process, we were given clear instructions and advice on how to move forward with OMIS. It has given us great confidence because it gave us more detail about the market we planned to enter, confirmed much of what we had in our business plan and made us aware of many other important issues which we had no way of knowing about. In this respect, it has represented excellent value for a relatively small amount of money.

The contacts which we now have as a result of working with the UKTI have given us a solid foothold in our chosen market. The contacts were excellent in terms of quality, number and scope. Particularly impressive was being able to meet with two of the largest and most established organisations in educational recruitment in Korea. Since having met them face to face, we have exchanged many emails and there are now plans for three of the contacts to visit us in the UK with a view to using us in the near future. In terms of our long and short term planning, we find this extremely promising.

The support we received both in the UK and in Korea was superb. We had help taking advantage of the many funding opportunities and we always found that our UK rep was available to answer any questions that we had. The regular meetings that we had with our UKTI Representative (Joanne Marriot) allowed for her to gauge an understanding of our business ethos as well as propose possible opportunities for us.

On the Korean side of things, we also couldn’t have asked for anything more. The British embassy representative, Hyekyung Suh, was involved in setting up meetings with a range of different companies. We were pleased with the range of contacts she found us and also the meetings that were arranged. From the beginning of the trip to the end, our rep was helpful and enthusiastic about our business.(We can’t help but feel that this rubbed off on the contacts that she  made for us!) She, again, was clearly very knowledgeable about Korean business in general, our particular domain and of course Korean business culture/etiquette of which she was able to offer us many helpful tips.

In terms of the market visit, we are very happy with the outcomes. We have several high quality contacts, all of whom were impressed by our coming to visit the market. If nothing else, it has shown our seriousness about what we do and they recognise this. That we were also able to meet them face to face, we feel has established trust which is very important if we are to continue to do business in Korea. We are also hopeful that word of our commitment to developing our summer camp will spread to others in the field and this will help cement our place in the market. In conclusion, we consider the market visit to have been an excellent decision.  

In terms of future plans for the Korean market, we are considering a second market visit next year. We feel the Korean market remains our best opportunity for growing our business. We would definitely recommend this process to anyone considering international expansion, especially into the Korean market as we know you would be in good hands! "

Do get in touch with us if you want to know more about what we can do to help your business grow in Korea!

Soomee Moon
UKTI South Korea

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