Finding ‘the’ right partner is a science which is based upon a fact-based evaluation & selection. The one who fits into a company’s value system, one who is willing & capable to sell & has a clear business plan.
Most of the Indian partners look at any foreign collaboration with an intention to expand their own product portfolio. They lack the commitment & perseverance required to push the partner’s product, if they are able to sell any other at a better price margin. Once the cooperation starts, in a few months, most of them are unable to stay aligned with the Principal’s value system and the Principal is stalled with the distribution. This is frustrating for the export manager and process of finding a new partner, is too tedious & time consuming, to be carried out again. Opportunity cost is first mover’s advantage and the brand image – which gets diluted, which otherwise remains intact, if the brand does well in the first go, if the partner is right.
Further, we see cases of piracy & IPR infringements, where either the product is copied or a replacement product is introduced which is inferior in quality, while the Principal’s product becomes a mere display. Such cases have occurred when the partner is not professional & does not have a reputation to protect. A genuine partner is hard to find which demands a thorough assessment of – his/ her willingness to cooperate, experience in serving other MNC’s, the business plan vis-à-vis the new Principal i.e. what are the goals in mind & how to achieve such sales targets, the relation with current customers, their legality and the physical verification of their claims. Due to lack of transparency, it’s nearly impossible, for a foreign entrant, to evaluate & process such sensitive information, sitting across the border. We, at MCG, ensure that the foreign entrant no longer remain foreign to the local potential partners.