The March Dubai Tech Nights event took place on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Thuryah Hall in Dubai Internet City. The topic was how to enter new global markets. A pair of entrepreneurs talked to the group about scaling their tech venture for growth and we also heard from a new market strategist.

Scott Gillespie, of Jigsaw Group gave a presentation called Global Lessons Going into New Markets. He stressed the importance of learning markets before entering and gave his unique perspective on entrepreneurs. Gillespie noted that most entrepreneurs pride themselves on inventing or pioneering something new. He went on to explain how difficult it is to be new and upset the existing marketplace with a new product or service. Instead of taking on the daunting task of reinventing the wheel, Gillespie suggests that entrepreneurs “take waves and ride them”. He also suggested that entrepreneurs change the way they spend their time. Most entrepreneurs spend a disproportionate amount of time working on the product or service. Gillespie pointed out that products often times aren’t the problem. A company, can offer a great product but if there are no customers, they will not make any money and will subsequently fail. Gillespie urged entrepreneurs to redistribute their time and focus more on customers to build profitable businesses. They are also regularly checking business news and market changes, they read blogs and news at www.fxtoday.co.uk 

The Speakers

Gillespie was followed by two entrepreneurs that he personally works with; the co-founders of Duplays, Ravi Bhusari and Brian Sigafoos. Duplays is a web platform that connects you to sport activities in your city. It started in Dubai as a means for the founders to initiate sporting activities that they were interested in. When they noticed that there was an entire population of people, mainly expats, interested in the same type of outlet, they established a business. Ravi and Brian spoke to the group about how they started and how they’ve since expanded their platform into new markets.

Take-Aways

  • The top three countries that the UAE exports to are Japan, China and India. Keep that in mind when choosing new markets.
  • There are 4 ways to boost revenue; new products, new markets, existing products and existing markets.
  • Before launching, make sure that you are both “product ready” and “venture ready”. The two are different.
  • When determining if your product is ready, view it through the customer’s eyes and not your own.
  • When analyzing a new market, survey the customer base. Talk to at least 50 prospects.
    Direct sales is the most expensive sales method in a new market. Find and use a good distributor.
  • As a business owner, don’t just focus on the things you do well. Keep your business model and scale in mind.