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March 10th • 2 min read
#Global Talent #Change #Business #People

The Power of Local Knowledge

Note: This article is part of “Your Guide to Entering a New Market”, a series by Easy Skill based on first-hand experience in setting up a successful business in a foreign country: Papua New Guinea (PNG). Here are the first and second articles.
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They say knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss. When it comes to ensuring success when entering a new market, city or even country, what you know is critical. As a business, it really helps to understand your clients and how they serve their clients. Getting to know the industries they work in is important and when going abroad, it helps if you have a foreign language or two up your sleeve. When you need to connect with the locals, speaking the local language is a major bonus.

 

Being prepared ensures success. 

Living in a blind spot isn’t ideal. But you don’t know what you don’t know. So it pays to spend some time figuring out exactly what you want to learn when approaching anything new. When it comes to entering a new market, understanding local dynamics requires research. With so much to take in, it’s wise to carefully consider the landscape and draft a research plan to tackle the essentials. Being prepared helps to identify the most valuable insights, figure out the local challenges, and adapt your solutions to suit the needs of the market.

 

Identifying the people challenge. 

When we first entered Papua New Guinea (PNG), we recognized the challenge companies faced when it came to building their workforces. Although there are many qualified local professionals within the country, figuring out who and where is daunting. The first step to resolving this issue was to build a skills community that identified the qualifications, experience, and working preferences of local talent.

 

Not lost in translation. 

With unreliable internet and hardware provisions, accessing people living in remote communities required some creativity. Sometimes going back to basics and embracing low tech solutions can help us achieve the results we seek. To help identify local talent, we implemented a paper-based questionnaire in the national newspaper where PNG locals could share their info with a simple pen. Responses were submitted to city post offices to maximize participation.

 

Building a talent community. 

Using the right research techniques enabled country-wide participation. From here, we successfully built an engaged community of thousands of skilled technical professionals. From this project, we now know their geographic region, qualifications, and the type of industry experience accomplished to date. Understanding the country’s existing local talent pool helps to prioritize local talent first and understand where any skills gaps may exist.

 

A universal technical team issue. 

When it comes to heavy industries like oil and gas, mining, energies, and construction, building the right technical teams to deliver large, complex project is a common global struggle. There’s a serious shortage of talent in technical fields that maps onto all phases of a project from concept through to completion and maintenance. As a company dedicated to helping others build their technical dream teams, we recognize the importance of prioritizing local talent first.

 

Cultural diversity brings innovation. 

There’s always so much to learn. Embracing the local market means embracing the locals and their ways of life. This is an important first step before we can unleash collaboration to blend the best of local and international worlds to ensure seamless project execution. Sharing global knowledge, fresh ideas, and different perspectives is essential to establish a strong and sustainable business model in a new market. Together we can shape a better future.

Zoé Braun

Content marketing specialist

Brand storyteller in more than just one language. She writes moving human stories and translates technical topics so they're easy to understand. Pretty nifty. She considers business is about building trust and long-lasting relationships. She gets jumpy if she doesn't get at least 3 weekly hours of sport, running, yoga, kitesurfing, - you name it!

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