Is chasing the elusive international client worth the challenges that your organization will encounter if you're successful?

Any prominent and thriving company is fully aware of the challenges that await them as they strive to seize opportunities within the global market. The most obvious and most talked about is the challenge of conducting business with people of a different culture. However, these cultural differences extend beyond knowing whether to greet a potential client with a handshake or a nod, choosing the right time during the day to conduct a business meeting or knowing what subjects are off-limit to discuss. While these aspects are crucial to building relationships and obtaining contracts, many companies forget the challenges that await them once the contract is actually signed.

Global organizations who flourish in different countries spend the necessary time and resources to ensure their after-sale services reflect and are tailored to the cultural nuances of the country they operate in. These organizations make it part of their practice to identify the particularities of their customers, the variations that exist in the formal and informal business practices, and the business regulations that govern commercial transactions. With all of these difficult challenges to overcome in addition to the associated financial risks, why do we continue to covet the international market?
While the financial returns of being first to occupy a market segment are lucrative, the most successful companies do it because it’s rewarding. On a professional level, it challenges your company to break the mold, use innovative ways to tackle an issue, develop ingenious tools to resolve a matter and push your employees out of their comfort zone. On a personal level, it provides a manner in which to leave our insular environment and learn from people all over the world. And while it may enrich the company you work for, the biggest reward is what you are able to learn from others; which can later be used to better the community in which you live in.

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Franco Maimone
Director, Consulting Services and Business Development