Recapping 2012

The year of 2012 was a busy and prosperous for us at MultiReach; From growing business for Israeli tech-companies in China, via movie production to promote tourism, all the way to introducing Taiwan studies at Haifa University. Here, we are glad to share with you “A Year in Photos” that highlights some of our great moments of the year!

Wish you all a prosperous 2013!

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♥«´¨`•° HAPPY NEW YEAR °•´¨`»♥

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Innovation = Invention + Commercialization

An honorable guest from ROC (Taiwan) has visited MultiReach in Israel last month. He is the Chairman of a big Chinese bank and it was his first visit to Israel. Our purpose was to expose the chairman to Israeli innovation. It was the Jewish holiday season in Israel, therefore, traffic was an issue, so we used Waze (A social GPS application for mobile phones developed by the Israeli start-up) to find the fastest way around. While we were driving him around Israel, a discussion rose up in the car regarding the definition of Innovation. We’ve all agreed that it is not enough to have a bright idea; you should also know how to commercialize it so it would be considered as true Innovation.

While there are many Israeli companies with bright Inventions, the solution/company mentioned above differentiated itself as a good example of bright invention made in Israel alongside with commercialization in China.

Source: iTunes

Waze, the smart crowd-source traffic information application, which also takes part in Apple Maps project, has picked up $30 million in a Series C round of funding as it looks to capitalize on a burgeoning international opportunity, particularly in China.

The Israeli company’s latest funding been led by Horizon Ventures, which is managing the funds of Hong Kong’s Li Ka Shing, considered among the most powerful and richest men in Asia.

The company, leverages data from users who have downloaded the app to help construct a very accurate and real-time picture of traffic conditions. And it’s increasingly letting users report news events.

For Waze, Asia is huge challenge/opportunity and no country is bigger or perhaps more complicated than China, where consumers are snapping up cars but the infrastructure isn’t keeping pace. That’s why the investment by Li Ka Shing is the key to Waze’s big planned push into the middle kingdom.

It’s important to note that to this day Li Ka Shing invested in few Israeli start-ups: Magisto; Waze; Onavo; Everything.me; Wibbitz, Preen.me. Founders like Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze think that Li Ka Shing can be instrumental in helping establish the necessary partnerships that are required to enter a heavily regulated market likeChina. In interviews for local newspapers, he said the payoff could be huge because there isn’t a dominant mapping player in China and the market is ripe for the solution that Waze offers.

What do you think about the suggested formula: “Innovation= Invention + Commercialization” ? Are you familiar with other examples? Leave us a comment.

You might also be interested in:

Developed in Israel, Assembled in China & Taiwan

 

Chinese Style Entrepreneurial Marketing – Some Lessons to be Learned…

By Moti Blau *

 On their way to success, entrepreneurs, regardless of their origin, share the fact that they operate in an uncertain business environment, and lack many of the critical resources needed. As such, marketing done by entrepreneurs is very different from marketing of established firms. Established firms have accumulated market knowledge, managerial experience and financial resources, thus having the luxury to choose from a range of possible marketing strategies, and the ability to execute a variety of marketing plans. On the other hand, entrepreneurial firms, mostly young and small in nature, are short of these capabilities and resources, therefore resort to a different, less formal or methodical, marketing approach and techniques.

Set on the above background, Chinese entrepreneurial firms stand out with some unique marketing approach, which entails both advantages and disadvantages. Chinese entrepreneurs utilize their personal social network (known as Guanxi), and leverage on it quite significantly along their marketing processes.

At one end of the marketing process, this network is used to collect market information and to learn about new opportunities, such as unmet customers’ needs, which may lead to new product ideas and additional revenues. At the other end, these trust based relationships can be used cleverly to identify potential customers, as well as channel partners (distributors, agents etc.), reducing both risk and time to market. Clearly, doing business with someone you know is much easier than with someone you never met.

This leads to better responsiveness of the firm, reacting to market changes and finally may very well create a competitive advantage over entrepreneurs that lack such a network. Unlike other resources, such a network cannot be easily imitated or transferred.

Still, there are few distinct downsides to this entrepreneurial marketing approach of reliance on personal relationship network. Firstly, it takes quite some time and efforts to develop. Many of the Chinese entrepreneurs are young and their network is not very well developed, especially on the international front. Most Chinese firms have been starting to engage in international business only in recent years. Local relationships will not provide much advantage for firms wishing to export their products.

Therefore, a not surprising fact (and well documents) is that Chinese entrepreneurs are utilizing their connection network, of Chinese family and friends living abroad, in order to have access into foreign markets. Interestingly enough, one can find a similar approach with Israeli business people, who are seeking and utilizing the Israeli / Jewish connection. A distinct difference with Israelis is that they are building trust rather quickly with other Israeli or Jewish people. This might be explained by the fact that the overall Israeli / Jewish population is of fractional size of that of the Chinese, so ‘points of similarly’ might be recognized quicker.

The most notable disadvantage of this approach is that entrepreneurs stick too much to their existing network, and do not do enough to explore alternatives. They apparently ‘feel better’ at the comfort zone of their existing network. This means that possibly some better opportunities, attractive target markets, efficient routes to market or a more sustainable competitive position could be missed out. This may lead to potential lost revenues, lower profits or smaller market share.

Until few years back this might not seem to be such of a problem to Chinese entrepreneurs as they were very much sales oriented, focusing on having price advantages by lowering costs and increasing production efficiencies. They were basically reacting to western customers seeking for cheaper manufacturing outsourcing. This, however, changes gradually (or rapidly, depends on who is being asked) but surely. China is further opening up to foreign, in many cases very professional, firms and at the same time costs within China are rising.

Therefore cost leadership strategy may not be sustainable anymore for Chinese entrepreneur, so they must seek out more sophisticated marketing strategies. This is true for both entrepreneurial firms that operate within mainland China, as well as those that operated internationally, where competition has always been fierce. Based on its plans, the Chinese government is aware of these trends, and is putting much emphasis on fostering innovation as a source of competitiveness, rather than on low cost production.

In order to better response to these environmental changes and better compete, Chinese entrepreneurs need to embrace a more strategic and methodical approach to marketing. This means that choices should be evaluated more thoroughly and a longer term view of the market is to be taken (branding for example).

Analysing the market more objectively, having better defined marketing objectives, and formulating a more sophisticated targeting and differentiation are few areas of possible improvement for Chinese entrepreneurs. This does not necessarily mean that greater financial resources are required, on the contrary. Smaller firms that enjoy inherent flexibility are able to respond quicker to market opportunities, and do much more with much less. 

Better strategy means better utilization of existing resources, including social networks. Chinese entrepreneurs may need to try and explore new markets and marketing channels which are beyond their personal reach, as these may better fit their newly formed strategy. Trust can be expanded beyond the existing network by having professional processes in place and by improving quality of service for example. At the same time Chinese entrepreneurs can expand their network in a way which is synergetic to their strategy. This can be done by cooperating with seasoned, better connected entrepreneurs or managers which relate stronger to the relevant target market.

Raising awareness and increasing marketing knowledge base, among Chinese entrepreneurs, learning about new marketing methodologies and techniques, combined with strong networking capabilities, will definitely pose a serious challenge to western firms either in China or abroad. 

Moti Blau 鲍慕磾 (MBA, MCIM). An entrepreneur and international marketer, is the Managing Director of Proxy Marketing Solutions Ltd. Engaged since 20 years with international marketing and business development with the technology industries. As part of his activities Moti lectures on international SME marketing.

motib@proxy-ms.co.il ,www.proxy-ms.co.il

©  2011. All rights reserved to Proxy Marketing Solutions Ltd.

Developed in Israel, Assembled in China & Taiwan

Start-up Iway Mobile and Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile phone operator, launched on Sunday (Jan. 23rd, 2011) a communications, Internet and entertainment system for the automobile.

While the Comodo Console will be sold first in February in Israel, where it will be marketed exclusively by Cellcom, Iway is in talks to sell the product to cellular operators in other countries over the next six months.

The design and development of the console was done in Israel, while the assemblage is carried out in China and Taiwan.

Read the full article on Ynetnews: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4018618,00.html

Israel to head the world’s largest R&D initiative

The “Eureka” initiative, a pan-European, inter-governmental initiative that sees investments of 1.5 billion Euros every year, has chosen Israel to head its world largest R&D network.

Israeli companies taking part in more than 10% of the Eureka program projects, worth 100 million Euros. In an event to be held in Berlin in two days (June 23, 2010), Israel will receive the official presidency, 150 new R & D projects will be approved, of which 23 are Israeli projects (project has a budget of one million Euros a year, for three years).

Israeli Presidency will promote investment of venture capital, regional banks and large investors – like the European Investment Bank – for marketing the projects.

Mr. Kedmi Sharon of Israeli Ministry of Industry said Israel will act to promote the R & D with Germany. He said that Israel will focus on four areas: information technology, pharma and biotechnology, cleantech and water. ”

The full article (Hebrew):

http://www.themarker.com/tmc/article.jhtml?ElementId=oc20100621_44058163

Israel, Taiwan and World Competitiveness 2010

The world’s most renowned and comprehensive annual report on the competitiveness of nations- The Swiss Institute for Management Development (IMD) yearbook, ranks and analyzes how a nation’s environment creates and sustains the competitiveness of enterprises. The IMD competitiveness survey ranks 58 economies according to 328 different criteria that measure how favorable a country is to business.

According to the latest rankings of the World Competitiveness Yearbook, Taiwan’s rating surged from No. 23 in 2009 to No. 8 in 2010. Israel’s rating surged from No. 24 last year to No. 17, placed it after Germany and before China.

Israel’s economy is No. 1 in the world in terms of:

  • Economy’s resilience to crises
  • Expenditure in research and development as a percentage of gross domestic product
  • Innovative capacity of firms to generate new products, processes and services

In the business-efficiency category, Israel scored very high in availability of skilled labor, finance skills, entrepreneurship of managers and venture capital.

MultiReach visit to TECO (Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office)

MultiReach Managing Directors, Mr. Michael Liagine and Mrs. Maya Chen have visited Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Tel-Aviv last October. Mr. Liagine and Mrs. Chen, who were the first Israelis to graduate Master program of Business Administration in Chinese, wished to personally thank Mr.Terry Ting- Representative and Mr. San-Shiun Tseng- Deputy Director for allowing them to have the opportunity to be educated in Taiwan while providing 3 years scholarship.

MultiReach is facilitating the flow of Technology and Investments between Israel and Taiwan, hence, both sides (TECO and MultiReach) shared great hopes to boost future cooperation between two nations.

The visit was covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of China (Taiwan) and by the Portal of Republic of China (Taiwan) - Diplomatic Mission.

MultiReach visit TECO

From Left:Mr. Michael Liagine, Mr.Terry Ting, Mrs.Maya Chen and Mr. San-Shiun Tseng

Kosher Chinese

China is expecting 70 million visitors in Expo 2010 which will be held in Shanghai, from May 1 to October 31. This is the highest number in the history of the world’s fairs. Less than 100 days from opening, The Israeli Pavilion for the World Expo 2010 is getting much attention.

Matthew Fishbane has met the Jewish community in Shanghai and heard from them about the excitement and preparations towards Expo 2010. In Kosher Chinese he describes the expanding economic and military relationship between China and Israel that has been supported by soft-power efforts to burnish cultural exchange based on shared values of prosperity, education, diligence, and tribalism, set in national historical narratives that span four millennia.

Israeli Pavilion Expo 2010

Israeli Pavilion Expo 2010

2010 International Venture Capital and Emerging Industry Forum in Taiwan

In the past few years, we’ve been witnessing Taiwan Government’s efforts in promoting and fostering the development of emerging industries in order to create Taiwan’s industrial opportunities to enhance Taiwan’s competitiveness. The government wishes Taiwan’s VC investors will be able to understand the state of the art technologies of global emerging industries.

The “2010 International Venture Capital and Emerging Industry Forum” will discuss the technology, applications, and future business opportunities of specific international emerging industries  to assist investors to understand the enormous potential of emerging industries and to help Taiwan manufacturers to acquire the newest technologies.

Since Israeli Technologies are playing an important role in these industries, we would like to invite Israeli professionals to present their state of the art technologies of E-book, Clean-Tech, and Bio-Tech industries.

Attendees in this Forum which will be held in Taipei on May 17th,  are Taiwanese VC  Investors, Manufacturers, and Industry leaders.  Interested in presenting at the forum, kindly write to: maya@multireach.biz

The Lantern Festival and President’s call for Innovation

Last weekend millions of Chinese were celebrating the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year and officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations. One of the festival customs is writing wishes on paper lanterns and then launch them in the open air. As you can see in the picture, it’s a beautiful sight.

Lantern Festival

In his weekly online magazine, Taiwan president Mr. Ma Ying Jiu, has shared his wish when he called for passage of innovation bill. “Taiwan’s businesses should put more into research and development in order to enhance the country’s competitiveness”, said President Ma. “We need to encourage creativity, not only use labor, but also brain power to strengthen growth in Taiwan.” President Ma believes that in order to become an “Innovation-driven” economy, there must be more forward-looking approach that should be backed up with invasive regulations.

We at MultiReach believe that the constant search for Innovation holds great opportunities for Israeli-Taiwanese Cooperation.