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Exporters: Talk & Network: Ukrainian Entrepreneurs and Directors Share Success and Failure Stories on the Export Path

Owners, CEOs, and top managers of global Ukrainian enterprises, including Ihor Blystiv, Global Marketing and Innovation Officer at Kormotech, shared successful strategies for entering the export market and discussed the cultural aspects to consider when planning collaborations with different countries. 

The Exporters: Talk & Network event organized by the European Business Association last week made this possible.

The Exporters: Talk & Network event, a gathering of several dozen owners of large and medium-sized businesses, provided valuable insights into foreign markets and a comprehensive analysis of the major pitfalls in collaborating with new regions.

Last year, Kormotech ended with a turnover of $152 million, increasing its share of foreign sales to 31%. It means the ratio of foreign sales to sales in Ukraine is now 31% to 69% in tons, respectively.

Kormotech's brands showed the most dynamic growth compared to last year's sales volumes in Romania (+35%), Poland (+11%), and Moldova (+11%). Over the past year, the company signed contracts with partners in South Korea and Malaysia, started sales in Finland, and actively expanded in the markets of Spain and Italy, increasing its presence to 42 countries worldwide. At the same time, Kormotech maintained its leadership position in the Ukrainian market.

How did we expand its exports to 42 countries? Ihor believes the key factors were systematic participation in thematic events and exhibitions, improving product quality, and active networking, which ensured the company's recognition and positive reputation.

The war has also introduced new challenges, such as complicated logistics due to border closures and a shortage of qualified personnel due to mobilization and migration.

Despite the war's adversities, Kormotech demonstrated resilience and innovation. To address potential delivery issues, they established a distribution center in Poland, stocked a month's supply of products, and partially outsourced production to European factories. These strategic decisions, coupled with partner loyalty, kept the company afloat and fostered growth.

Furthermore, when entering other markets, it's essential to understand the market culture to choose the right approach. For example, the Lithuanian market works well with instructions, while in the Polish market, the discount level is significant. In the Romanian market, promises and their fulfillment are highly valued.

Entering new export markets is a complex and lengthy process. Despite the challenges of the war, we have ambitious plans and are ready to conquer new countries!