ZUM is a white label, software-as-a-service and multi-carrier platform that helps manage sales and post-sales tasks for insurance distribution channels. Carlos Miguel Vidal, cofounder and CEO, shares his experience as a LATAM based entrepreneur crossing the pond and expanding to Europe.

Why betting on Europe and not on other regions?

 As a startup seeking global expansion, setting foot in Europe is extremely important, especially for a Latin American company. In this sense, in Europe we are in negotiations with potential strategic partners to enter the Spanish and Portuguese markets. Thanks to excellent networks of contacts, we have reached European agents and brokers who are helping us to understand the needs of these markets using their experience and first-hand knowledge.

The fundamental thing is to find a local client because that defines our whole plan, from where to set up our headquarters to how to adapt our platform. We have a great advantage and that is that our platform allows you to change currency and language very easily and the customizations that we have to do are easily done by the team in our headquarters in Peru. We are a technology company, therefore, our activities are not regulated in the insurance sector, this gives us the advantage of not having to adapt to local regulations and standards.

Key learning/recommendations for companies planning to enter the European market:

Growing up in LATAM is easier by the geographic proximity, the common experiences and the knowledge of the region, however, in Europe we did not have that all previous knowledge.  One recommendation we could give is to develop a good network of contacts and do a lot of research on the target market. Thanks to this research and the study of online commerce statistics and metrics, it is possible to make informed business decisions. For example, before entering the Spanish market we need to know first hand how e-commerce works, whether the user is willing to use his credit card online, etc.

Additionally, I always like to highlight the importance of the support of other entrepreneurs and the willingness to share experiences. The networks of contact and collaboration between entrepreneurs and agents of the entrepreneurial ecosystem are key when it comes to entrepreneurship. The old idea of not sharing the business idea in case some one can steal it or piggy back on it has disappeared and has been replaced by a much more open one: “I will share my business idea because thanks to sharing it with some other entrepreneurs I can take it to the next level”.

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