For every success story of an Australian company that has built an export success story on China, there are many others that have struggled.
One key to building a trade business with China is a well-prepared strategy for protecting intellectual property assets. And to have that strategy in place well ahead of your market entry.
SmartTrans CEO Bryan Carr knows better than most the pitfalls – and the opportunities – across the vast markets of China. He will deliver an international keynote address to the Intellectual Property – Your Business at Home and Abroad forum in Sydney on Tuesday (August 23).
SmartTrans is an ASX-listed company that provides mobile and internet payments services and which has been active in China for a decade, with Mr Carr having lived and worked in Beijing and Shanghai for the past eight years.
In addition to selling payment services, the company has leveraged its platform in China to sell third-party products – providing services from web hosting and digital marketing to bonded warehousing in addition to its payment platform. Revenue nearly tripled last year as its business plan found traction.
Mr Carr says there may have been a time when a reasonable IP strategy for China was simply to move fast and assume the worst. But that’s not the case now, although it’s not a bad way of thinking regardless of the market.
There is no substitute for good preparation, he says, to have all available protections in place before entering the market, and to have a strategic plan for policing that IP. And it is important to know which battles are worth fighting, and the ones that are not.
Mr Carr will outline the protections that are available in China, and provide some market intelligence on what he has been seeing in the market. It is a very different place now, compared to a few years ago.
He points to two distinct markets in China. One is the general domestic market, which is fiercely competitive on price. The other is where increasingly huge numbers of people are willing to pay more for a product that they have faith in its integrity.
This is especially true of food products and natural health products. And this is where Australian companies have been enjoying great success.
Mr Carr joins IP Australia director general Patricia Kelly as a keynote speaker at the forum, which is aimed at startup and Australian SME companies as an intensely practical session that will arm delegates with a solid understanding of working intellectual property strategies for their businesses.
Ms Kelly is an Australian Public Service Medal winner for her work on securing Australia’s leadership role on the massive Square Kilometre Array project and the architect of the nation’s intellectual property protection regime.
She will outline the support measures available to Australian companies looking to extract the maximum value for their innovation efforts, and provide an overview of how to best position your company for growth both in Australia and international markets.
InnovationAus.com has partnered with IP Australia and rights management resource APRA AMCOS to build a hands-on, interactive conference that aims to arm local startups and mid-tier Australian companies with the practical knowledge to confidently enter new markets, and maximise the rewards from their innovation efforts.