What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you first started exporting?

Doing business abroad may bring excellent commercial opportunities, but it is no easy task. As nothing teaches better than experience, Energy Focus asked three members with successful exporting strategies for their advice to help companies at the start of their export journey Energy Focus puts the big question to three members

Fairuz Yahaya 

Managing Director at EXS Synergy

We first went to Thailand in 2019 with zero expectations by sponsoring the EIC Connect Energy Thailand, primarily to understand the market. It led to our first success outside Malaysia and instilled confidence in our product’s marketability.

However, exporting remains a daunting proposition, as it can be expensive, and there are always risks associated with a new market. To minimise the risks, I would tell my previous self the following:

  1. Utilise trade organisations and agencies. They help companies accelerate their understanding of the target market, client profile and local requirements, rules and regulations, helping to minimise costly mistakes and maximise the chance of success. They also provide information on government incentives for export-related activities, which can help to minimise costs.
  2. Learn about trade credit insurance. Going into a new market and dealing with new clients means entering unknown territory, and one bad paymaster can severely cripple your cash flow. Credit insurance provides some form of protection while we learn about the market
  3. Understand the local culture. Each country has its own preferences, and knowing the little things can go a long way in gaining respect and acceptance.
  4. Get a reliable partner. You may earn less, but the right partner can gain you more in the long term, providing valuable local contacts, market knowledge and better customer experience.

Learn about trade credit insurance. One bad paymaster can severely cripple your cash flow, and credit insurance provides some form of protection while you learn about the market

About EXS Synergy  

Based in Kuala Lumpur, EXS Synergy was established in 2014. It specialises in electrical and instrumentation (E&I) services, focusing on four key areas: explosion protection (Ex), digital solutions, integrated rental solutions and E&I services. Globally certified by IECEx accreditation, EXS Synergy works with clients within the oil, gas, petrochemical, refinery and renewable energy sectors.


Philip Ross

Managing Director at RTR

Originally founded in Germany in 1969 as a supplier of steel pipes and tubes, RTR quickly expanded and set up its Gateshead, UK office in 1977.

Following changes to our UK domestic market, we decided to focus on exporting as part of our strategy for growth in 2015. We have been successful across global markets, including Europe, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East, culminating with the prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2019.

I’d encourage any company about to start their export journey to research any laws that may apply to them and take expert local legal and banking advice

Today our challenge is to continue innovating and expanding the level of service we deliver to our clients, both internationally and domestically. Looking back to 2015, having a greater understanding of the governance requirements of our target export markets would have been beneficial, for example in terms of determining legal status and establishing a presence in target markets.

There are many options to help you establish a presence in an overseas market, but which one you choose will depend on your company and products.

Knowing more about banking systems and local requirements would also have been helpful. Different countries have different regulations and laws around payments and cu

rrency, and some countries have strict rules about local currency and bank accounts. I’d encourage any company about to start their export journey to research laws that may apply to them and take expert local legal and banking advice.


About RTR

With more than 50 years of industry experience, RTR GmbH & Co. KG is an international specialist provider of steel pipes, boiler tubes, forgings and components for high temperature pressure part applications. It offers technical and project management solutions for complex projects across power plant repair and maintenance with nuclear, coal, gas and biomass, waste to energy, chemical, petrochemical and alumina industries. RTR supports clients across Europe, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East.

Identify global opportunities with EIC

For both first-time and seasoned exporters, the Energy Exports Conference (EEC) is the number one event to identify global trade opportunities in the energy industry.

Covering a wide range of different sectors and projects, EEC provides business advice, access to contacts and discussion panels on energy transition.


Dave Anderson

Sales and Marketing Director at

Score Group

When Score launched its through-valve leak detection,quantification and trending tool MIDAS Meter® in the marketplace, we expected a high uptake in our UK home markets, given its major benefits in valve management and process integrity, efficiency and sustainability. Unfortunately, that early domestic market success did not materialise, primarily for reasons many have subsequently described as ‘perfection paralysis’, so we were encouraged to promote our innovative technology further afield.

We would encourage others to consider investing in market intelligence and then pursuing the appropriate export market opportunities

In doing so, we established a successful export trading business model. Markets where we had imagined that there would be less interest in our products, or indeed the capital available to invest in them, immediately adopted the technology. This was in recognition of the significant return on investment impacts that these products could deliver – simply put, these were safer, more efficient and more profitable process operations.

We learned that some of our previous ‘assumptions’ about export markets were well off the mark. In hindsight, if we’d had the reliable market intelligence that there was enthusiasm and strong appetite internationally for innovative new products and engineering solutions, and that non-domestic, international markets were likely going to be the early and enthusiastic adopters of our technology, we would have started there first. On that basis, we would encourage others to consider investing in market intelligence and then pursuing the appropriate export market opportunities.

About Score Group

Score Group specialises in valves, fuel systems and accessories, and component manufacture, providing complex engineering solutions to support customers in multiple markets, including defence, nuclear, aerospace, utilities and energy. With facilities in more than 30 locations spanning five continents, the company employs over 1,800 staff, including 350 apprentices. Now in its fifth decade, its services have expanded to include engineering design, repair and modification, supply, testing, diagnostics and specialist coatings.


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