Conquering the British market in three steps
It is unquestionable that the sector of products based on solutions using artificial intelligence has been developing at an unbelievably fast pace. There is a reason why implementation of AI systems in 2016-2020 in the US will bring approximately USD 60 billion in savings, according to a report entitled “Artificial Intelligence in Business”. QuarticON is one of Polish companies that create and develop projects using this technology.
QuarticON is a company operating in the e-commerce industry that has created a solution recommending additional products to consumers, based on purchases made by them. Today, it is hard to call this company a start-up. Its business has been developing for over eight years, and the team that contributes to its success is currently composed of approximately 60 people. Despite the company being active on seven markets, it is still available to new possibilities and hopes for further expansion, as well as broadening of its customer network in other countries. For this purpose, the company has applied to the Polish Investment and Trade Agency wishing to verify its business assumptions as well as to take the right direction for expansion, within the Programme entitled “Location-Related Advice”.
Goals to be achieved
The intention of the company from the start was also to acquire business contacts which would make it easier to enter the German or American market with its offer. After consulting the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, representatives of QuarticON decided to change the direction they had planned previously and focused on Great Britain instead.
According to Aleksander Libera, Advisor to the Board for Polish Foreign Investments and Head of Polish Foreign Investments Section: “During the first meeting with companies that apply to us, we try to assess their involvement into a project, as the priority. We present the opportunities, and most of all the threats to them. You can say that we complete a SWOT analysis for those companies.”
The agenda of the trip, created by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency after completing an analysis of the company’s needs, was to be a response to the problems and doubts indicated by representatives of QuarticON.
“After the first meeting, we have decided that we want to take advantage of the possibility of completing a trip in the upcoming three weeks. The Agency has immediately presented possibilities that such a visit may create: from meeting people in charge of taxes, opening a business to talks with other companies that operate in the same sector. This is when we have prepared a complementary agenda of the trip to London. Such a comprehensive service was proposed to us from the moment of entering the country”, says Dariusz Knyziak, COO QuarticON.
After this first meeting with the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, everything progressed very dynamically. The talks with representatives of the institution enabled to clearly define the goals of the trip. The stay adopted the format of two-day workshops with companies that help in starting a business on the local market.
QuarticON was given plenty of information regarding accounting, tax matters, staffing or issues relating to obtaining financing and the possibility of meeting other, more-experienced players on this market. Furthermore, the company and individual supervisors assigned by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, visited the co-working offices where teams worked on projects with a similar profile. Talks were also held with representatives of companies in charge of staffing and full administrative services. The possibility of visiting a popular conference (London Tech Week) was an additional element of the trip. Nevertheless, a meeting with London & Partners was considered to be the most interesting part of the visit, where the representatives of QuarticON found out about matters that should be focused on when starting a business in Great Britain, where to find the necessary information and what discounts can a company hope for, which is specifically important with regard to a new business. Knyziak adds: “If we wanted to organise a similar trip on our own, it would probably take several months instead of two days.”
Barriers and doubts
Any possible limitations related to QuarticON’s expansion onto the British market could be noticed in the difficulties related to sales of its services abroad in the current model, opening a branch and whether the company could find a partner that will be able to understand the pace of business, or rather whether it would be an entity that would treat QuarticON like any other business partner. Nevertheless, the meeting we participated in during this trip was a reason for a follow-up which gives the company hope that the contact will be retained and cooperation will be established.
And despite the fact that after the trip, QuarticON decided to withhold the decision on entering the British market and started considering other options, i.e. USA or Spain, today, they are proudly trying to combat the market in London.