Cooperation with Export Maker started already a few years ago when the company wanted to expand their business to the Russian market. Prior to cooperation the company had tried to get their business going but results didn’t meet expectations.
“We chose Export Maker as our partner because they have local experts of target markets. This creates a clear benefit so that we can have a real discussion with the local operators. This is especially important in our market sector” says PayiQ’s CEO Pirkka Lankinen.
Clear strategy and methods guided to the right path
The aim of the cooperation was to start sales operations in Russian markets. The company had help from Elena Lipchenko, local expert of Russian markets, who acted as an area manager in charge of target market area’s sales and marketing. As the project advanced project manager Anastasia Konova came aboard and took charge of customer relationships.
”At the start of the project we carried out a market research which gave us valuable information on for example mobile ticket sales and the competition. We also listed potential partners as entering the markets with a local partner would make things easier and faster. We managed to find a very reliable and well-known partner with whom we have gained synergy benefits and offered a joint project to the market” Lipchenko explains.
“We changed the strategy on entering Russian markets at the start of our collaboration. The first attempt didn’t achieve enough brand awareness with the end-users. Because of this, this time we decided to go with White label apps that would be branded according to the local public transport operators. We participated in various conferences and other events so that we could raise brand awareness in the business circles. In addition, we updated out Russian language website, wrote a few blogs, and activated company’s social media presence”, Lipchenko adds.
Next steps are already planned
Thanks to the collaboration PayiQ operates in six Russian cities at the moment. PayiQ has developed a branded White label app for each city. The apps are a practical and easy solution to topping up travel cards.
“In the future our goal is to add more functionalities into our apps, like virtual travel cards, history of trips, real-time bus location and estimated arrival time tracking. We also want to expand our business to new regions in Russia and to broaden our customer base”, Lipchenko sums.
”This project showed how important it is to follow certain steps when a company wants to expand to international markets. These are for example carrying out market research and partner search and building brand awareness. In addition, it’s important that the company adjusts and acts according to the rules and special features of the target market. What works in Russia might not work in Finland”, Lipchenko emphasizes.
Local expert of target market has great significance when entering new markets
Following the successful co-operation, in January 2022 Lipchenko became PayiQ’s full-time Russian regional director. As business grows in Russian markets the company needed someone to work and organize Russian business full-time. Moreover, Konova became part of the PayiQ team.
”During the whole project we’ve considered Elena and Anastasia as equal members of our team. In this type of project there has to be mutual trust and understanding. With Export Maker this has been the case since the beginning”, tells Lankinen.
In addition to local experts’ knowledge of target markets, Lankinen recognizes the significance of locally done market research.
“Locally executed market research is at a different level compared to research done by browsing different sources without the needed expertise. I also think that it’s important that with Export Maker we have been able to build our market presence gradually. These together from a perfect combination to enter new markets. I warmly recommend Export Maker to others as well.”