Where there are needs, there will be commerce. And in the age of increasing globalisation, commerce transcends borders. A business need no longer set its sight in capturing domestic market share, but in fact, as Tham Keng Yew phrases it, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœa fruit supplier in Tanzania has equal opportunity to connect with customers around the world, as much one in Europe or the USÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. All the fruit supplier needs is a way to connect to his customers worldwide.
Recognising this, Tham founded Socialwalk with the focus on being that connection. The company comprehends the difficulties faced by businesses looking to expand globally, such as in identifying the right contacts, decision-makers and its new market needs, and so helps businesses, such as suppliers and manufacturers, find their intended international buyers and distributors.
In building the site to cater to this purpose, Tham, his partner and their team worked on SocialwalkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s platform and proprietary matching algorithm, utilising multiple languages, on their own. Work, however, doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t end there. In fact, Tham says, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœit never stopsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ as the team is constantly developing the site and system employed in order for the business to grow.
But it's not all smooth sailing. Since its inception two years ago, Socialwalk finds itself fighting for the same budget its clientsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ businesses allocate for advertising and marketing expenses. The company knows full well it is not the first in the market and as such, must also compete with more larger, seasoned companies offering somewhat similar services, more notably Ali Baba, MFG and Globalsources.
But while acknowledging companies the likes of Ali Baba has done a magnificent job in educating the market, Socialwalk's unique advantage is its trademark network that the company had spent the last two years building up. Businesses benefit from the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s focused services as it helps lower barriers to trade and sale acquisitions for their clients. Functioning very much like a dating service, Socialwalk pairs the right business with the right client, and once a perfect match is found, the two meet face-to-face at a tradeshow.
All these have helped Socialwalk with its aim to capture and increase its share in a USD $10 billion market, especially from players which have been Ã¢â‚¬ËœcomplacentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in the space for far too long. It is already servicing clients, including large global brands, such as Messe DÃƒÂ¼seldorf, Koelnmesse, Allworld group and UBM.
And the market is still growing, developing at a rate of between 10 to 20 percent annually. According to Tham, this is due to the fact that those living in countries with developing economies are being accorded better living standards and increased wealth. These have induced heightened consumerism practices on a global scale which, in turn, is what drives the expansion of the entire manufacturing supply chain.
Socialwalk anticipates that this escalating consumerism trend will continue for the next decade or two, even, and it fully intends to develop its business alongside this growth, targeting complete Ã¢â‚¬Ëœglobalisation and democratisationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ within the decade and to become THE first place for companies to look when seeking to expand globally.