NEWS 31 October 2016

Internationalisation for SMEs, what’s it for? the case history of lighting

An example of how to meet the challenge and open up to foreign markets, both old and new.

How important is planning for a move into overseas markets? Internationalisation is a slow process. Constancy, determination and organisation are essential, as is choosing the right local partner and interlocutors.

For small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to launch into overseas markets, Panzeri’s case history may be useful.

How to get started: solid foundations at home.

The Brianza-based lighting firm began seriously looking abroad in 2013; however, its starting point was a well-established Italian commercial base, a vital asset both for product development and for contracting. This is what Federico Panzeri, the Biassono firm’s export manager, said in a recent interview with the business information portal Exportiamo.it:

Our focus on international markets began three years ago with the knowledge that we had created a successful model on the domestic market which could be replicated and exported to many other countries to generate incremental business opportunities and to reinvest the resources generated today, resulting in overseas growth in the medium to long term”.

Speaking about more traditional – and already entered – markets, Panzeri’s focus is on Russia, which is showing signs of a recovery in the short to medium term (2018) and North America, where there is huge potential. Meanwhile the search for new distributors is ongoing in old Europe and the Middle East. To this end, Panzeri will be attending the Light Middle East trade fair in the United Arab Emirates for the first time this year (Dubai, 31st October – 2nd November): the most important sector event in this part of the world, and also a significant destination for the Asian market.

Internationalisation now has no limits.

But when we talk about new markets, how many countries, and which ones, is it possible to reach? Europe is no longer the first market to address:

In 2016 we have gained new clients in markets such as Algeria, Belize, Indonesia, the Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia and South Africa on the one hand, and on the other, we have taken the decision to invest in a major market like Germany by opening a branch in Munich”, Federico continues. Overall, Panzeri products are sold in more than fifty countries.

The added value which has allowed Panzeri to be competitive abroad is the customisation of its lamps, the constant upgrading of its products, their design and the high quality light sources used.

The challenge of re-engineering LED lighting has focused our determination in the past four years, and we believe it’s a challenge we’ve overcome, partly because we were among the first firms to tackle the issue“, Federico Panzeri told Sussidiario.net.

One eye always on the competition.

Who are Panzeri’s main competitors on the international scene? German and Austrian firms above all, but there is no shortage of Italian competitors either. Meanwhile, the internationalisation process is sustained by taking on new employees for production, but in particular, professionals who have the expertise to interpret this specific phase in the company’s history.