Sep 5, 2023

In our decades of guiding international companies to enter the Indian market, we have enjoyed many successes, and witnessed a few failures. What is striking is that successful exporters tend to have the same characteristics that make them successful, regardless of the size of company or industry sector. From our experience, here are the seven traits that constitute the P.R.O.F.I.L.E. of companies that succeed in international business:  

PREPARED: Too many would-be exporters chase international inquiries coming in on their websites, which is a reactive, uninformed exercise. A better approach is to be proactively informed. Engaging the plethora of government-sponsored export development programs can equip a company with a well-researched prioritization of international markets, along with country-specific market entry plans. Successful exporters take the time to prepare an export plan.

RESOURCED: It has been said that beginning an export program is akin to starting a new business. Marketing resources are needed that often are more than required for one’s domestic market. More complex logistical support, resolute personnel, compliance manuals, and international payment processes are also required. Successful exporters have identified and committed the necessary resources to start the “new business” of exporting.

OPPORTUNISTIC: It is common for companies to initially offer a product or service to the international market only to find that product or service has another application due to the cultural and/or market dynamics of a given country. Think night vision goggles being more useful for detecting poachers than for military purposes. Successful exporters are flexible in adapting products and services to new uses and new types of customers.

FORWARD LOOKING: About the only thing that can be said of international business with any degree of certainty is that it is a long-term commitment. Geopolitical conflicts pop up overnight, countries’ economies fluctuate at contrasting times, digital communication creates instantaneous opportunities that only early-movers can access. There are simply more variables that influence the emergence, and decline, of international markets. Successful exporters keep an eye on evolving international business conditions while keeping commitments to their existing export customers.

INQUISITIVE: Once established within one’s domestic market, companies often become complacent. Overnight delivery becomes more important than product improvements; capturing client testimonials becomes more pressing than creating new classes of customers. Successful exporters are incessantly inquisitive about emerging markets, emerging client groups and emerging global trends.

LIKABLE: The U.S. business culture is transactional in nature, with deals concluded in a timely manner and based on value perceived. In many other countries, the business culture is based on establishing relationships first before discussing business. Many a gruff, too direct, too impatient U.S. businessperson has found failure in international due directly to these personality traits. Successful exporters appreciate, accept, and accommodate the need to become friends first before discussing deals.

EXCEPTIONAL: All too often, companies erroneously believe that their product has potential in a foreign country because it is “unique” or “without competitors.”  The reality is few products are unique and every company has a competitor. Successful exporters offer exceptional products and services to offer to international buyers.


Selling into international markets requires careful planning, market research, understanding of trade regulations, and adaptation to cultural differences. SRK International Business Consultants offer comprehensive market entry assistance to companies wishing to enter the Indian market.  To date, we have assisted over 2500 U.S. companies with market entry services. For further information, please contact Supriya Kanetkar: srk@srkibconsultants.in.


SRK Affiliate
201, Infantry court
130, Infantry Road
Bengaluru – 560 001, India
Phone: +91-80-22868732
Fax: +91-80-22868719

SRK and Associates
203, Infantry Court
130, Infantry Road
Bengaluru – 560 001, India
Phone: +91-80-41149071
Fax: +91-80-41149072

US office Address:
3401 Market Street, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: +1-215-392-4886.

E mail: srk@srkibconsultants.in