It was more than two years ago as my partner Metin and I landed at Sofia airport for the first time in our lives. The mission was to expand our business to Bulgaria. Although we were quite experienced travellers and had been informed that we should only take a certain brand of taxi to our hotel, we ended up paying about twenty times more than what we were supposed to pay normally to the driver. (The taxi we took seemed to have that brand, except with two additional dots :)).
I can talk about this openly now knowing my Bulgarian friends will not be upset about it since they know that today Sofia is one of the cities I enjoy visiting frequently.
In spite of this first experience about our new market we started our work to build up our organization in Bulgaria. We now have several partners there, who enriched our knowledge with the local ways of thinking and doing business and made a fast entry possible for us.
Today for many companies entering a new market in a short time can only be achieved through various types of partnerships with local companies. Time is our most scarce resource. For some of the companies, especially who are looking for a strategic partnership, the fastest way is to acquire shares in a local company.
As you are reading these lines I will be giving a seminar on this subject at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. As I also wrote about Bucharest a couple of weeks ago, we will have our ‘conventional’ dinner together with our partners in the evening, at Tabiet. Though their tiramisu is great too, I will be going for chocolate soufle.