Here’s a checklist of inspiration for aspiring exporters. Our collection of 50 favourite export case studies shows that there is no magic ingredient to making it to the world stage, but it certainly helps to get the basics right.
Paul van Saarloos on CustomVis
Exporting since: 2005
Key markets: Asia, Middle East.
CustomVis is a company with vision—laser vision, that is. The manufacturer produces the world’s first solid state laser for refractive eye surgery, which founder Paul van Saarloos says is a large technology leap over current products in the industry.
The company’s first sale was to a Korean surgeon, a former colleague of Saarloos, and since then CustomVis has used highly focused sales techniques to establish themselves in new markets before expanding. In this manner, the company hopes to advance into Europe and South America through business they’ve started in those regions. Exports from the last financial year totalled $2.5 million (more than 90 percent of overall sales).
Their success has brought out the worst in some competitors, with one rival company falsifying bankruptcy documents to convince a customer to cancel their CustomVis order, but it seems that CustomVis already has a view to continuing success.