Firms obtain experience to become successful abroad

Local enterprises have improved their competitiveness not as a result of recent higher economic growth but by modernizing their operations and showing their outward-looking side by using experienced staff, according to a report by the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) and the McKinsey & Company consultancy. The «Hellas 1000» report, presented yesterday, focused on the international expansion trends of Greek companies and concluded that most of them are successful firms that have incorporated a high degree of innovation. Expansion abroad is key to these companies, as their activity is confined to small niches and the local market cannot provide the necessary potential for growth. To be successful abroad, enterprises hire managerial staff with experience in the acquisition of or cooperation with companies already active abroad. For the future, successful companies are planning to expand their sales to the Turkish and Asian markets. «The modern enterprise does not have the luxury of inactivity and idleness,» said SEV president Dimitris Daskalopoulos. «It plans with long-term objectives rather than for short-term conveniences. It grows through creative competitiveness in order to win over consumer preference. The modern enterprise relies on meritocracy, creative initiative, professionalism, planning, participation and inspiration,» he stressed. Successful companies use their international presence not only to boost sales but also to enhance production and research activities. This is particularly true in heavy industry, manufacturing and retail sales. Private initiative «It was the Greek enterprise which overcame bureaucracy, attracted foreign capital, realized investments, created productive jobs, went abroad and willingly adopted its own codes of social responsibility. In practice, it has overtaken the state in assuming the role of the main vehicle for growth and change,» added Daskalopoulos. The report’s conclusions stress the importance of a clear strategy that takes into account the comparative advantages of each company, its international presence and investments in research and development. In these last two areas, the Greek companies that participated in the survey performed poorly in relation to their German counterparts (on the basis of a similar survey conducted in Germany), which would explain their relatively low competitiveness. According to the respective surveys, local companies spend 30 percent less on R&D than their German counterparts.

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