A hundred and forty members and their guests enjoyed the elegant surroundings of the Governor’s Mansion in Denver on February 19th to enjoy a discussion of how to make a business as competitive as possible in the global economy.
The discussion panel featured an impressive trio of business leaders with very varied backgrounds: Heather Callender-Potters, Co-Chairman and Global Business Development Officer of Golden-based PharmaJet; Sandi Moilanen, Director International Division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT); and Alan Propp, Business Development Manager for Merrick & Company, a global engineering services company based in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
Colorado’s business ties with the rest of the world make for impressive reading. Moilanen pointed out that about 90,000 people locally work for international companies with $20bn of the state’s exports and services being sold in international markets in 2014. While neighbors Mexico and Canada predictably remain the biggest markets for Colorado companies, there is notable growth in Asia with China now Colorado’s third largest trading partner. Even Europe, which has declined to about 15% market share from a high of 25%, has been making significant strides in the state in the area of advanced manufacturing, Moilanen added.
Mexico is also a major international stage for Merrick, Propp said, but the company is also focusing on China, South America, the Middle East and Africa. “You have to know what you are getting into as you go into a country,” he warned. Due diligence is therefore all important as is the necessity of recognizing that relationships are everything. Much of the company’s international business comes from a small team doing the groundwork several months of the year in far-flung countries, he said. In terms of risks that need to be weighed, for example, Propp pointed out that the backlog of judicial cases involving businesses can go back about three hundred years in India.
The growing middle class in India is also an increasingly important target market for PharmaJet which manufactures needle free syringes. Currently, the company has manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin but is looking to reduce its costs by manufacturing in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries and the Middle East. The company has faced challenges expanding globally, not least the opposition of traditional needle manufacturing companies, Callender-Potters said, but it has established partnerships with major organizations in the field such as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as a number of pharmaceutical companies.
“Our focus is on immunization,” Callender-Potters said. “Forty to seventy percent of needles are reused in other markets around the world.”
This event was graciously sponsored by OEDIT and EKS&H, a Colorado-based public accounting firm providing audit, tax, and consulting services to clients locally, nationally, and internationally.
For event photos, click here: http://www.melissacheriephotography.com/p864383632