Building a Global Network for Your Cross-Border Business

Building a Global Network of Customers for Your Cross-Border Business
Prashanth13 December 2023

Expanding your cross-border business is a grand adventure. It is like setting sail on a voyage to build a global network of customers—a journey filled with diverse landscapes, encounters with fascinating individuals, and the thrill of discovering new horizons.

However, building a global customer network is an ambitious undertaking, and it presents a unique set of challenges, such as diversity and complexity, building trust, logistics and compliance, and market research. These factors often deter many from venturing into the international marketplace. 

Recently, Skydo engaged in an enlightening discussion on this topic with Chinmay Chandgude, a Partner at Alpha OBS LLP Venture. 

Let's learn how he succeeded in building a global network.

Q. How and when did you decide to transition to an export services company? What were the benefits you realised about building a global customer network? 

Chinmay: Reflecting on our journey, we began initially by connecting with a network of talented freelancers in India. This approach allowed us to undertake website projects and provide competitive quotes, denoted as X, while subsequently outsourcing the work to these freelancers at a lower cost of 0.75x.

At that time, our company was still in its infancy, and we aimed to set our prices strategically to ensure profitability. However, our decision to venture into exports was primarily driven by a desire to reduce our dependence on Indian clients.

One compelling reason for this shift was the realisation that we could achieve higher returns for the same amount of effort invested by working with clients abroad, especially those who pay in dollars or other European currencies. 

In practical terms, if a global client were to pay us $1,000 for a project, their expectations remained consistent with that value, meaning they anticipated $1,000 worth of work. This experience contrasts with our understanding of Indian clients, where a $1,000 project often came with expectations for work equivalent to $5,000.

This fundamental difference in client expectations made global clients an attractive prospect for us. Dealing with clients from outside India offered the potential for better compensation and a smoother and more straightforward business relationship. In essence, we pursued exports to tap into a customer base that values our work and provides fair compensation. 

Q. How did you land your first client? What was your approach to identifying and targeting global markets?

Chinmay: Our first exciting and memorable experience was on Freelancer.com. This platform served as our initial gateway into global client's work. 

On Freelancer.com, individuals would post their projects along with their specific requirements, and freelancers like us would submit bids based on our expertise and capabilities. 

We landed our first client by combining some key factors. Our proposals were strong, and we communicated well with the client. Our team was always responsive to the client's needs, which helped seal the deal.

Our approach to identifying and targeting these markets involved a multi-faceted strategy. 

We used platforms like Freelancer.com and Upwork, which offered us exposure to a diverse clientele worldwide. These platforms allowed us to showcase our skills and services, ultimately leading to engagements with clients seeking our expertise.

Additionally, we recognised the importance of building a powerful network. This exercise involved collaboration with vendors, consultants, and other industry experts who could provide valuable insights and referrals. By establishing these connections, we could tap into their existing networks, expanding our reach and enhancing our reputation.

Our team played a pivotal role in our success story. We fostered a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Our dedicated and skilled professionals were instrumental in delivering high-quality work that garnered positive feedback and recommendations, helping us build credibility in global markets.

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