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Episode 5: Modica Market Entry

Home Insights Episode 5: Modica Market Entry

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Published on: September 12, 2022


In this episode we hear insights from Tim Fletcher, General Counsel at Modica Group. Modica's cleverly designed and globally scalable communications solution has a market presence all around the world, including in some markets which have been traditionally relatively unexplored by New Zealand SaaS companies. Tim talks through how his function supports Modica to enter new markets, and some strategies for successful new market entry.

Tim Fletcher:

Many people won't have heard of Modica, but almost everyone will have received a message via our platform, with businesses trusting us to send almost a billion messages every year. We fit within the 'CPaaS' - or Communication Platform as a Service category of SaaS companies and our customers use our platform to provide high-volume, secure messaging to their customers both in New Zealand and globally.

Unsurprisingly, I'm a big believer in getting legal involved in market entry activities early. This means that the business can put legal and regulatory considerations into the valuation of the business opportunity. Getting in early also means the legal team can help the business understand and define the risk appetite being applied to the opportunity. Understanding the risk appetite is essential for our team because it is the thread that runs through all of the advice we provide for the market entry opportunity. Understanding the risk is also critical for managing resources. It means we can focus on what's important and what are the nice-to-haves.

The approach to market entry will often depend on the regulatory regime in the target country. There's two areas of regulation Modica always looks at before entering a new market. The first is telecommunication regulation, the second, data protection and privacy. The reality is we don't have the resources, local knowledge, or language skills in-house to be able to make these assessments, and so we always rely on trusted local advisors to support in these areas.
Entering a new market is always going to carry risk and throw unexpected curveballs your way. One of the best ways that I found to mitigate this risk is to rely on your network and those resources that are available to you. It's very unlikely that there's a market globally that a New Zealand company hasn't tried to enter before. And so talking with them and understanding the challenges they face is always an invaluable source of information before you start your journey.

Even the most well-delivered market entry project is going to come up against blockers. One way that we've dealt with this is to scenario-plan early on. What are you going to do when that major risk eventuates? What are the things that will make you pull out from the opportunity altogether? And do you have an option B, C or D that you can apply to try and enter the market in a different way?

You can view the Digital Download Series episodes here.

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