Turkish companies start globalization with MENA
There is a logical reason for companies of Turkish origin, which desire to move their growth targets to a global scale, for starting to work with MENA region.
There are two options for companies that aim for sustainable growth: be global or stay behind. With the digital world eliminating physical boundaries, discovering a new market and exporting products or services abroad has become easier than ever. When companies use digital communication channels correctly, they can achieve tremendous success in a whole new market. Moreover, the fact that these new generation marketing channels operate at a much lower cost than traditional media transforms the world into a game pool for companies of all sizes to play in.
The ideal target for companies that want to go beyond the borders of their own country is to grow in their region first. As a result, cultural proximity, ease of access to geographies and low time difference are added to the facilities provided by the digital world and the path to growth targets becomes shorter. For companies from Turkey willing to open up to the global markets in recent years, the most common route used route passes through the MENA region. Investments in technology from the fast growing cities of the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, make the region a center of attraction for the whole world.
Cultural proximity is an advantage
Turkey’s positioning as a bridge between East and West both geographically and culturally, for companies that want to grow by opening towards the MENA region is a big advantage. Turkish companies are much more culturally aware of the culture and the way they do business in the MENA region than those in the West. This is of great benefit in a recently entered market. Especially when it comes to emerging technologies, high-level cooperation established between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, who want to manage the development, is getting extra support to entrepreneurs.
For example, financial technologies of the fastest rising trend of recent years, aka the FinTech, form an ideal backdrop for strong cooperation between Turkey and the UAE. Signed between FinTech Istanbul and DIFC FinTech Hive, MoU established a bridge between the two countries in the field of financial technologies. FinTech Hive, which operates as an Acceleration Program established to provide support the FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech initiatives within the DIFC, opens the door to initiatives with growth potential in the region.
A similar cooperation was established in the energy sector. Turkey assumed the leadership of this network titled as MENA Regional Liaison Network which combines nearly 60 unions in the energy and textile sector with participants from 13 countries.
The priority should be to provide added value to the region
We have many valuable initiatives such as Menapay originally from Turkey, but now serving the MENA region. MenaPay offers payment and money transfer services in line with Islamic finance, one of the important needs of the region, with a Blockchain-based business model. As Piar İletişim, we support the communication activities in Turkey for MenaPay which aims to facilitate the daily shopping and money transfers of the MENA region population who mostly do not use banks due to their beliefs and cultural nature of the majority.
Of course, as in any new market, initiatives that want to succeed in the MENA region must first look closely at the market and local culture and get to know their target audience. Developing solutions and services to meet the unique needs of consumers in the MENA region and building the business model on this basis provide companies with a strong start. At the end of the day, companies that invest in the region and produce real solutions to real problems always win.
By Berke Oran, Managing Partner, PIAR