Personal efforts and a professional approach are key!

“The key to quickly expanding a business across borders is through creativity and building robust networks”, says Harald Czellary, Founder and Shareholder at Memo International Ltd.

A keyless security system being assembled.

A country’s economy requires flexibility and adaptability to foster growth and meet the evolving needs of society.  Since Malta’s economic evolution from its independence to date, manufacturing, particularly high-end manufacturing, remains an important GDP contributor.  

One such example is Memo International Ltd., a company specializing in keyless showcase security systems for high-end retail stores.  Based at the Mosta Technopark, the company has a client base that consists of some of the most exclusive watch and jewellery brands in the world.

In recent years, the company’s growth has expanded beyond Malta’s shores. Harald Czellary, CEO of Memo International Ltd., shares his personal experience on how companies can successfully manage their export and internationalisation strategy.

“For a company to achieve success in international business, it is imperative to concentrate on a specific customer segment, attentively listen to the requirements of potential customers, and gain a deep understanding of how businesses operate within that specific market,” Czellary explains. “Moreover, acting quickly is another important key factor. A company must be agile in adapting to additional export markets and thoroughly assess the unique demands of each specific region being targeted’’.

“For instance, at Memo, we were developing a universal electronic locking solution for furniture. Initially, we had pitched the product as one that could be used for various applications and sectors, from jewellery to toolboxes.  However, following numerous attempts we realised that we had a competitive edge within the high-end retail market segment.  This prompted us to modify the product to perfectly align with and fulfil the requirements of our niche clientele. It was only when we adopted this focused approach that we successfully established a foothold in that market segment.’

MEMO main office.

Memo’s initial internationalisation endeavours focused on countries such as Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, mainly because of the Company’s executives’ fluency with the language, quicker response time and affordable travel costs.

Whilst their largest client base is in Switzerland, this did not hinder them from expanding into China, Mexico, and the USA.  Their flexibility in offering customised solutions paid back in good returns and this meant they could dedicate a higher portion of their budget toward international travel to meet clients face-to-face and show them how Memo’s products work.

“This strategy of personalised service and high engagement convinced our clients to shift towards Memo products. Nowadays we deliver to more than 90 countries and have installations in capital cities and mid-sized cities all over the world – from Scandinavia and South Africa to Australia, Japan, and Hawaii.”

The challenges for a Maltese company to internationalise are significant, yet they have become easier in a globalised market.

“When we started our operations 10 years ago, delivering world-wide from Malta was a challenge,” says Czellary. “Nowadays, an express forwarder delivers a package to Hong Kong within 24 hours and to virtually any remote destination in the world within 48 hours, so things have become significantly more manageable. Moreover, Malta has unique advantages, such as a wide use of the English language, a skilled workforce and fast travel connections.  A business must take advantage of these strengths”.

Czellary has precious advice for companies thinking of taking their business across borders. Personal commitment, a professional approach, and meticulous analysis are more important than making substantial financial investments and taking loans.

“The key to quickly expanding a business across borders is through creativity and building robust networks” he says.

In addition, it is crucial not to overlook the importance of understanding diverse cultures, which can present challenges during international expansion. Despite conducting extensive research and thorough cultural preparations before venturing into different markets, “in the end we ultimately learned a lot through firsthand experience” emphasised Czellary.

TradeMalta also plays a significant role in a business’s journey to internationalisation.

“TradeMalta played a pivotal role in facilitating our internationalisation journey,” says Czellary. “Their comprehensive market research provided us with invaluable insights, which guided our expansion strategy successfully.

“In addition, through their funding scheme Global Growth we were able to hire a business development partner who helped us develop new markets and generate leads.

Overall, TradeMalta’s support transformed our international expansion into a successful venture.”

Czellary says that Memo is aiming for further growth.

“We are planning to expand our market horizontally. We will soon be launching new products.  These offerings will enable us to access new market segments, thereby expanding Memo’s market presence.”

Tags: security systems | TradeMalta |