Erghis Technologies AB about selling to customers within the EUThe page was last modified:
Imagine being able to control your computer without actually touching it. This is precisely what the Malmo-based company Erghis Technologies AB has developed a technique for. The business journey has not always been in a straight line, however the objective has always been the same: reaching out into the world. The company has gone from initially selling apps, to now developing the possibility to make the healthcare even more sterile via its technology. The company was founded by classmates Örs-Barna Blénessy and Holger Andersson.
Verksamt.se’s reporter Anders Nyberg meets with Örs order to find out more about how they worked with their international efforts.
You primarily work with the healthcare and automotive industries, and are currently selling in two countries?
Yes. Germany and Great Britain. But actually, we see the whole of the EU as the market we want to reach.
What do you think you one should keep in mind when selling to customers in other EU countries?
Firstly, I do think you should not be so scared, because we are so very similar as within the EU in terms of laws and taxes, so it’s very much “business as usual.” Plus, there are no customs barriers or duties either. However, one hasyou have to remember that some cultural differences do exist out there.
What do you mean by “cultural differences”?
Imagine you finish up with a meeting and are absolutely certain that you have gotten the world’s best agreement. And then in the end, you find that you have totally misunderstood each other.
So how do you learn how to deal with the cultural differences?
We are lucky that we live in an extremely export-oriented country like Sweden. We have a whole lot of successful entrepreneurs who have already made the journey, and already know how things work in these countries. So - don’t live in a vacuum. Make contacts, ask the people around you, and learn from them.
Dare to ask?
Yes. Information is important. So daring to ask is the most important thing.
You changed the date for this meeting, from Tuesday to Thursday. Why was that?
Actually because we were in Berlin at a job meeting.
You look very satisfied?
Yes, it went really well, and the people we met wanted to move fast. So that’s something we feel positive about. That’s what is so great about the EU; everything is so easy. In addition to the laws and regulations I mentioned, it’s possible to get there quickly and easily throughout the EU. The same day you get a meeting request, you can be down in Rome or, as in our case, Berlin. But be prepared to take time. For our two-hour meeting in Berlin we had to spend about 15 hours travelling.
But how does it actually work when you get an order from, for example, Germany?
It varies of coursso clearly, but we were, for example, contacted by BMW’s agent companies that had found us. We introduced ourselves to each other, we introduced our technology and what we could assist them with. Then we got the answer that they wanted to work with us, and then we had to move down to Munich for half a year to work with them. We received a project and were paid.
You make it sound easy.
It’s easy, it’s great to work within the EU. We have the advantage of having some of the world’s most competitive customers close to us in Germany, the UK and France. They are in the top 10 of the world’s largest economies and we have all of them gathered in the same system: The EU. It is fantastic.
What tips do you have for other entrepreneurs and businesses looking to enter new markets?
First and foremost, you must answer the question that you have to do in any other case: “who is my customer?” Once you know that, you can also start to think about where this customer is located. It’s not always the case that they are in Sweden. Sometimes youone come s up with a business concept that definitely does not fit in Sweden, in which case, youone may then have to start internationally.
Especially here in the Skåne region, what assistance is available?
There is an incredibly large amount of assistance available. We have MINC where we are today. Using a half-hour of your time with a discussion with someone here, that can accomplish a lot. Then there is the regional business promotion agency, Invest in Skåne which assists companies to present themselves at trade fairs, and to find customers. Additionally, they can actively work with you as an entrepreneur to find the right people and contacts abroad. Plus, every city has its incubators and accelerators. So, if you don’t know where to look, you can just Google “incubator” and your city.
Dare to ask, once again?
Yes, do not live in a vacuum. In order to succeed as a business, you must one must have connections far beyond one’syour circle and beyond yourone’s own customers. Get to know others, make good use of their experience. Perhaps someone knows someone, and then, you have a new customer. Talk with your local incubator and your network.
Thank you for your time Örs, it was truly interesting to learn about your journey!
I thank you for the opportunity to share our experience!
Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth