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Funding, communication barriers among the challenges of Brunei firms that venture abroad
Publication Date : 22-08-2013
Companies that wish to expand abroad face communication barriers and funding challenges, panellists at the 5th ASEAN-China Youth Entrepreneur Forum (ACYEF) said yesterday.
Panellists of the session "Leading in the Asian Century", held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas, also noted that cultural differences may also pose a challenge for young entrepreneurs.
"Communication is the most important common barrier. The first thing to learn is to know the culture and language when you first step down in a country," Damien Chua (pictured), chief executive of Malaysian mining company JD Resources, said.
"When you understand this, you may understand the way they manage their businesses thus you may be able to share the management style among both countries," he added.
Chua noted that Asian entrepreneurs need not segregate themselves by religion, culture and skin colour. "People are the same. We have to break away the barrier and work together as one," he said.
Dr Rahul Michandani, executive director for Aries Agro Limited in India, also said that funding when starting a business away from one's home country could also be tough.
"Young entrepreneurs need to look more bankable. A lot of banks don't want to fund us because of the high risk (as a new entrepreneur). You need to show (the banks) that you are a bankable proposition and that's a very important way of branding yourself," he said.
Branding, though does not take overnight.
"There are ways to brand yourself which does not take overnight, but once you know how to brand yourself, the others could perceive," he continued.
Michandani also said that young entrepreneurs can tap institutions that provide funding programmes.
"There are institutions that can help fund young entreprenuers such as entrepreneurial programmes. It is just that young entrepreneurs don't know where to look at," he said.
Chua, on his part, advised young entreprenuers to get funding from their own bankers.
"If that is not possible, get funding from friends or family while asking for connections and networks that you could really make full use of in your business. Don't give up or else you cannot step into a foreign territory," he added.