By Dalia Petkevičienė, TRIBE Global Leaders Search
What are the key-ways to scale your business using global expat advisory? We are thrilled to share the key business take-aways from the last year‘s Global Lithuanian Leaders Forum! The interactive discussion Global Advisory for Scaling Local Business powered by TRIBE Global Leaders Search told stories of expats serving as international mentors, GLL business advisors, supervisory board members of Lithuanian companies, agents /networkers abroad and builders of start-up ecosystems.
The following panellists shared their insights at the discussion, moderated by Dalia Petkevičienė, co- founder of GLL, partner at TRIBE Global Leaders Search.
- PhD Kestutis Bagdonavicius, GLL Patron, ERGO Group AG (Germany),
- PhD Danguole Hackel, Eversheds Sutherland LLP (Germany),
- Šarūnas Kubilickas, Triodos Investment (Netherlands),
- Arvydas Bložė, Practica Capital (Lithuania),
- Daumantas Dvilinskas, TransferGo (Lithuania).
#1 GLOBAL EXPATS JOINING YOUR COMPANY’S BOARD
Good governance is key to successful growth. One way to strengthen boards of local companies is through opportunities provided by GLL network and TRIBE Global Leaders Search The panellists encouraged and voiced-up opportunities for Global Lithuanian Leaders to serve as companies' Board members and take up other business advisory roles. “The purpose of Supervisory Board is to provide independent view on key topics and issues“, – explained Kęstutis Bagdonavičius PhD, GLL Patron, ERGO Group AG, International Management Committee Member. He shared his experience on chairing the Supervisory Board at Modus Group and partnering with GLL. “One year ago the decision to extend Supervisory Board at Modus Group was made in order to have a more holistic view. GLL network seemed the most promising platform to find the candidates. As a result of working with GLL Referral & Search (now rebranded as TRIBE Global Leaders Search) we found Board members coming from different parts of the world – USA, Switzerland, India, Spain.“
Šarūnas Kubilickas Senior Investment Officer at Triodos Investment Management, with his 12 years experience in investment banking, financial institutions and fintech also reflected on the opportunities for local companies, while empowering the knowledge, contacts and know-how of global expats. Thanks to global advisory of expats local businesses has opportunity to learn more about effective risk operating models, good governance and risk culture.
#2 GROWTH AGENTS OPENING DOORS ABROAD
Expats working in target country of business expansion can be a powerful resource for local businesses going abroad or expanding export markets.
Danguolė Hackel, Counsel, working in Germany, revealed her role as business advisor and a foreign market insider-expert. Those are valuable competences helping to expand local business. Her advice for Lithuanian companies doing business in Germany included opportunities, strengths as well as mistakes to avoid while operating in a highly-structured German business culture.
#3 ATTRACTING SENIOR GLOBAL TECH-LEADERS TO GROW LOCAL TALENT
How do you bring more experienced leaders from the western start-up ecosystem to grow tech talents in Lithuania? Aside from country/city branding campaigns, travel infrastructure (Vilnius – City of London flight was a hit!), relocation incentives, the advocating role of Global Lithuanians is also important.
As it is challenging to get experienced western- cultured C- stage tech leaders relocating to Vilnius, spreading-the-word role is important. Lithuanian expats can play a role to spot Lithuania on the map to their foreign senior tech talent circle. “Lithuania’s got its first unicorn(s) – they are the fresh generation leaders. There is no other way for us to accelerate and lean to the west, other than import the leadership talent from the west. How to bring a German tech-leader to come and build organisation here? It is a real challenge. Without being able to bring C stage-leaders experience to Lithuania we will not be able to build sustainable businesses locally and start-ups might move out, ” explained Daumantas Dvilinskas, founder of TransferGo. “There is a lot of innovative talent but you cannot wait 3-4 years for them to grow. We need people from abroad to train and grow the local talent”. Even though TransferGo has got its
multicultural senior management – South African, Dutch, Irish, British – it is still challenging to attract senior foreign talent.
Arvydas Bloze from Practica Capital agreed that Lithuanian start-ups have talent of building / starting companies locally. However, what they lack is global marketing and sales competence. “The ecosystem is young and we lack skills to knock on doors globally,”- explained the early stage investor.
#4 PROFESSIONAL EXPAT CLUBS FOR BUSINESS NETWORKING
GLL coordinates professional clubs of global Lithuanians in 25+ cities. Joining the local professional club of your targeted foreign market gives you a shortcut to local professional contact-making. Example of LEO IN BERLIN – Lithuanian expat organisation, was mentioned as great starting point to build business network in Germany. Not to mention, clubs are great for fun, friend-making and personally enriching experience while meeting other professionals operating in the market.