Success stories

Infrastructure: Tips for the international business of Hitachi Zosen Inova

“The political environment can have a major influence on the respective business activities.”

Roni Araiji, Managing Director of Hitachi Zosen Inova Ltd., on recipes for success for internationally active Swiss cleantech companies.

AD Plant Switzerland, Chavornay

Hitachi Zosen Inova Ltd. is a globally active cleantech company with Swiss roots. Since 2010, the former L. von Roll stock corporation, which later became Von Roll Inova, has been part of Hitachi Zosen Corporation, one of Japan’s largest industrial and mechanical engineering companies and a long-standing partner and licensee of Von Roll Inova. The company is active in the areas of energy from waste (EfW) and renewable gas.

What criteria should suppliers use to select their target markets in the infrastructure sector?

Political stability in the target market is important for successful operations in any case. Another important factor for the selection of the target market is the economic situation of a country; gross domestic product, growth rates, demand structure, etc. should be examined. Furthermore, prerequisites in the infrastructure area, which also include the legal framework, must be right. In the case of Hitachi Zosen Inova, we pay particular attention to the waste system in the potential target market.

How did you succeed in partnering with a consortium or EPC contractor?

In business partnerships, we focus on local and international experience or establishment as well as financial status.

How do you deal with public sector clients?

It’s best for a company to seek direct dialog in advance. You should try to build a personal relationship with future clients.

Financing: What needs to be considered and who is responsible for which areas?

We always make sure that we receive a government guarantee for revenue. In our projects, HZI acted as co-developer.

As a Swiss SME, how are you/were you able to compete with foreign competitors or local companies?

Because we have sought-after Swiss technology, we have a good international reputation. We are a global leader when it comes to waste-to-energy and have over 85 years of experience in this area. As a company, this makes us an extremely attractive business partner in many markets.

What are the strengths of Swiss SMEs? Which Swiss technologies, knowledge and offerings are particularly in demand in foreign target markets?

Swiss companies are highly respected internationally for the quality of their products and services. Our standards and our commitment are therefore always welcome.

What cultural or geographical specifics need to be taken into account?

In our business activities in the United Arab Emirates, we have to take into account political tensions with neighboring countries in the Middle East as well as religion and traditions in the target market. The political environment can have a major influence on the respective business activities.

What basic advice would you give other Swiss SMEs for a successful market entry?

You should be aware of and respect the culture in the target market. Furthermore, do not underestimate the importance of interpersonal relationships in business matters.

Stay tuned!

In our detailed dossier for Swiss companies that offer infrastructure products and services, we provide information on opportunities in international projects and how SMEs can realize them.

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