” Waiting for the world to come to us is not an option…we have to go out to the world”.
Joseph. P Repovs, the CEO and Bob Repovs, President and COO of Samco Machinery presented their India story at the breakfast meeting organized by the Toronto chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs [TiE], last week. The Scarborough, Ontario based roll-forming machinery manufacturer’s foray into the Indian market started with the father Joe’s visit to India to start sourcing from India for their Canadian market needs in 2005.
What drove Joe to make this trip? His belief that ” Waiting for the world to come to us is not an option…we have to go out to the world”. If his belief and enthusiasm is bottled and passed around, I am sure many an entrepreneur aspiring to grow his business would take more than a swig at it. And his positive spirit met with a significant early success- supply of machinery for one of India’s largest business houses- Tata, for their celebrated launch of Nano, the car of the masses.
Samco had some clear goals- $ 3 million in sales and cost savings of at least 30%, both of which have been achieved, even surpassed. But not before some trying times, the most significant of which was that their Indian partner was not geared to move at the pace that Samco and the business demanded. Today Samco India is a fully owned subsidiary of the Canadian parent company.
Key lessons? Pre-planning is key. Expect results in the long run, not short term gain. Need to be there, benefit from that learning curve. Be thorough in your due-diligence on your potential partner. Be prepared to document and train employees on your way of conducting business. Be flexible, understanding and appreciative of cultural differences.
Samco is now well positioned to take advantage of the India’s burgeoning auto market and the phenomenal growth projected in a variety of industries and sectors, where roll-forming machinery will be in demand. Samco’s success has had its own dose of trials as well and according to Bob, the learning continues. Going by the what they have achieved till now in India and Bob’s enthusiasm for the future, the day when Samco India’s operation will match its base operation in Canada is not far away. Thereby proving Rmagine’s theory that many a Canadian and US company will discover that India can well be their second “home market”.
Rmagine will meet, study and present more such successes to inspire others and help in in-market learnings.