Online education expert shares Thai recipe for export success

An education specialist company whose online maths aid is helping educate pupils across Thailand – thanks to help from UKTI – is urging others to tie up success in this high-growth market.

Richard Marett, co-founder and CEO of Whizz Education is speaking at the central London event about his company’ export success: Doing business in Thailand event on Friday 17 May, 9.30-2pm, and forms part of next week’s Export Week, a series of events across the capital promoting opportunities in high-growth markets.

Delegates will also get the chance to meet the UK’s Ambassador for Thailand, Mark Kent, who will discuss the growing opportunities for UK companies with UK exports to Thailand increasing by 28 per cent in 2011 to £1.36 billion.

This event, which still has a few places left, will also look at Thailand’s business environment, etiquette of doing business and the associated risks e.g. getting paid and protecting intellectual property.

Ahead of the event, Richard said,

“I would certainly recommend other small, ambitious companies to look to Thailand, especially as it is one of the largest growth markets in Asia. It’s definitely a challenge worth taking as, even prior to the official launch in early June, our maths learning aid, Maths-Whiz, is piloting in schools across the country. This contract has also represented real growth in terms of our headcount as we have extended the team by five and are still recruiting.”

“Thai businesses and organisations are certainly eager to work with innovative British companies.”

Whizz Education’s Thai journey started in November 2011 when they started to search for a trusted local partner there. Richard explains:

“As a small UK company, finding the right partner in an unfamiliar market can be a daunting prospect, so we decided to seek expert advice and support from UKTI. We undertook an Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) which enabled us to make visits to the market and benefit from the research and networking capabilities of the UKTI in Bangkok.

“We went to Thailand in order to assess the market potential first-hand and were able to narrow our search down to five companies and set them the challenge to write a business plan for us.

“We appointed Nanmee Books as our Thai partner in December 2012. Although the process had been long it had been worth the patience and thoroughness. We certainly couldn’t have done it without UKTI’s support. Working with their team changed the dynamic and gave credibility in the market, helping us to attract serious contenders.

“On the back of this success, we aim to see Maths-Whizz being used by teachers, parents and educational institutes across Asia to help teach youngsters. It will be great to see British innovation and expertise educating the next generation there.”

Richard’s top tips for doing business in Thailand:

  • Thais are gracious and polite. However, never mistake their demeanour for weakness – they have an iron will

  • The issue of losing ‘face’ is very important in Thailand. So you must be mindful and respectful of this – especially in education where high achievement is so valued

  • Working with UKTI gives you credibility and really helps connect you with the right people – the initial investment is well worth it

  • If you’ve got a good product, you’ll get approached. Signing a deal isn’t a challenge, but signing the right one is. Be thorough in finding the right partner for you

Thailand, with a population of 67 million, is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia and has a strong trade and investment relationship with the UK. The Thai economy is recovering strongly from the impact of devastating floods in 2011.

Other speakers at the event include Neil Wynn-Jones, an International Trade Advisor from UKTI who will highlight the forthcoming trade mission to Thailand and Jonathan Silverman of Silverman Sherliker LLP Solicitors.

Notes to editors

To book a place at this event, which will take place at the BMA House in Central London, from 9.30-2pm, contact:

Martine Terrelonge

Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 3051

Email: martineterrelonge@uktilondon.org.uk

There is an exclusive two for one offer for this event (tickets costing £60 each), until 4pm on Friday 10 May.

To speak to Richard Marett or Mark Kent at the event, please contact Jo Sheppard on the number below. Further background on Whizz education’s Thailand success is also available.

Jo Sheppard or Helen Clarke on

Tel: +44 (0)115 959 7994/3 or 07778 829769

Whizz Education was founded in 2004, is based in London with offices in Dubai and the United States. Its mission is to enable individuals, families and communities to reach their full potential, through effective personalised learning, world-wide.

UK Trade & Investment is the Government organisation that supports British companies engaged in international trade and those wishing to locate and invest in the UK. UK Trade & Investment in London aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through their network of International Trade Advisers who offer experience across a wide range of different markets and countries

Export Week runs from Monday 13 May. For more information on the events taking place visit www.exportweek.ukti.gov.uk or call UKTI London on 0845 052 4001. Follow @UKTI_London for regular export updates and use #exportweek

Sectors: Education & Training
Countries: London and Thailand
Topics: Business Development
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