November 8, 2011

Can business be done only in one country?

Some years ago I was contacted by an investment banker. His client wanted to buy one of Peikko´s unit in central Europe. This was not the first contact of its kind, and that is why took a deep breath, relaxed in my chair and had a laid-back conversation.
With a smile I patiently listened to the inquiry, and started to ask questions. Why would the potential buyer be interested in buying just one unit, one factory and sales team of Peikko? What financial and commercial sense would it make for them? How would they perceive customers to react if this is done? Is it really so that in the buyers´ company there is absolutely no interaction beyond the boundaries of this given country?
From what I gathered, the potential buyer company was only interested in buying out their competitor in its local market – and really honestly thought we would be willing to sell and continue with a “white spot” in Peikko´s service map. This deal would have been a great benefit for the customers J  
I have been preaching about the effects of internationalization for a long time, but am I doing that only because of some selfish reasons? Or is our construction market becoming really more international?
After seeing a team of 50 persons of Peikko last week in our annual meeting and hearing all kind of customer stories on projects with involvement on multinational companies, I became again convinced that construction industry is dynamic, and international. This is fact, not science fiction.
My conclusion - the investment banker that called me was fundamentally wrong. I am happy if his client is happy to keep their business in one given country, unfortunately our customers and Peikko have selected another approach.  Future will show which approach is better.

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