NZ’s top global minds share insights

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NZME presented the second PwC Herald Talk event at SKYCITY this morning, with some of the country’s top global business minds and business community connecting. 

Guests enjoyed barista-poured coffee and a catered breakfast before an hour of enlightening discussion on Going Global where four of New Zealand’s business leaders imparted their knowledge, insights and strategies around growth and the ever-changing landscape facing New Zealand companies.

The keynote speaker this morning, PowerbyProxi co-founder/executive vice-president Fady Mishriki, shared his experiences on becoming a groundbreaking technology company and how to gain attention from international businesses.

Mishriki pointed out that businesses can be born global from day one, with good old fashioned networking critical for success.

“You’d be surprised how connected we are locally here in New Zealand,” he said. “You can hire good local staff to build your work base, but it’s not a substitute for travelling. Your overseas clients expect to see the founders; they want to meet the people behind the business.

“It’s important to be present at overseas expos and industry events relevant to your business as it’s the perfect place to build contacts.”

A panel discussion on Going Global featured NZ Trade & Enterprise general manager international Tim Green General Manager, Rangatira Fund ceo/Kea NZ chairman Phil Veal, and Erica Crawford, ceo of Loveblock Wines and co-founder of Kim Crawford Wines.

NZME Business Herald editorial director business Fran O’Sullivan led the discussions as the adjudicator.

Veal said the wonderful thing about “us Kiwis” is that “we are the world’s best travellers”. “At Kea we are trying to create a borderless community. Kiwis are starting to come back on shore and bring those ideas home. None of us are there in business because it’s easy,” he said.

Green agreed with Veal that there are no easy markets when it comes to global business.

“As my business mentor would say, it’s either hard or harder,: he said. “The best way to teach is not to preach but try and unlock the power to the people. We support global growth projects. We are in a volatile, dynamic time – watch things closely – we are dealing with a falling dollar and changing dairy prices.”

Crawford is a business pioneer who created a new business model—a virtual wine company that is now much emulated. Crawford grew Kim Crawford Wines from a small family-owned business to a significant international player that is sold in more than 30 countries. Today, it is New Zealand’s biggest wine brand in the USA and Canada and tops the general sauvignon blanc category in both of these important export markets.

Crawford highlighted that the global journey never ends. “In the early days, selling into the US you had to push New Zealand as a sovereign nation and then push your brand second to that.

“But that’s changed and now they know New Zealand. Coming back after our restraint of trade period it was a different world out there. The way we sell is changing. Internationally we trade on our pure clean and green Kiwi image but we really have to check things.

“I think we are in a grey area and there are businesses that could be following better best practice out there.”

NZME ceo Jane Hastings said she was thrilled to see the business community embracing these business forums.

“We wanted to create an event series that discussed current trends in innovation, growth and changing market dynamics,” she said. “Connecting business professionals to share ideas and inspire new thinking to do business better is one of the goals behind the series. The feedback and results to date is that we are on the right track.”

The PwC Herald Talks are a four-part breakfast series designed to give New Zealand’s business leaders the knowledge, insight and strategies to grow and diversify in the ever-changing landscape facing them.

The first event in July featured Weta digital genius Prof Mark Sagar (star-kiwi-bioengineer-will-front-pwc-herald-talks-business-event).

The PwC Herald Talks series are organised by the New Zealand Herald, PwC, Newstalk ZB and event partners SKYCITY and Kea.

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