Jamal Qureshi never imagined the success he would have when he immigrated to the United States a few years ago from his native city of Bhopal, India. Now he is doing business in the same city he grew up in, just from the opposite end of the world. Qureshi is the CEO of JQ American in Hayward, California, an exporter of products and services in the energy, medical, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. The unique part of JQ American is that they sell to a whopping 16 countries, while most small and medium sized U.S. firms only export to one international market. So how was all this possible?
Many small businesses struggle with financing in international markets, as was the case with Qureshi and his hometown. India does not have a tradition of paying with advance payments. Purchasers want terms, often 45 days, and sellers usually grant them. The only problem with Qureshi was he was lacking the sufficient cash flow to meet his buyers' demand for expensive imaging and other devices. Luckily he received help from the U.S Commericial Service in Oakland, California, and qualified for a 23 million dollar commercial financing loan through the Bank of Alameda in California and the State Bank of India. With the loan and JQ American's excellent reputation, the deal was sealed and Qureshi had accomplished a lifelong dream.
So what are the keys to success to make a small company go international? Qureshi says that you can learn the skills by just doing. In an interview with Export.gov he said, "Get out in the world and get a feel for what people want and how they do business." The opportunities are growing while the risks are shrinking. Even with the global recession, it's a great time to be a small business owner in the international market. Another plus for Qureshi is in Kosovo and the Middle East he has reliable locals perform after-sales service. This resolves the crisis of having problems when you're halfway across the globe, and can leave a favorable impression on the local culture. Qureshi also uses the U.S. Commercial Service to find local equipment maintenacnce companies in markets around the world. Taking advantage of government expertise can really turn your business into a confident, successful global player.
But what is up with the American label? Some people believe it carries with it vast commercial consequences, but Qureshi hardly believes it. Not only does he think people around the world love his services, but he sees the 'Made in America' label as an advantage. In the interview with Export.gov he mentions "We are world leaders in so many areas, but especially in setting high quality standards." Quality standards vary greatly throughout the world. I believe that as an individual company, you can set high quality standards and achieve the same successes as JQ American. Do you believe what country your product is labeled in makes a difference in this globalized market?