Following the final of the ‘Open to Export International Business Awards‘, we talk to some of the finalists about the impact that the Export Action Plan tool has had on their business and their exports.
(Photo: © WTO/Jay Louvion)
Company: Andean Beauty
Representative: Juvenal Luna
How did you find out about the Open to Export International Business Awards?
Me and my partners found about this competition when it was featured by the WTO on its Public Forum section.
How did you find the experience of pitching to the judges during the final?
It was a very rewarding experience. At the beginning I felt nervous, but as I advanced, I felt more confident and I saw everyone in the room understood what our purpose was and were really interested in our products. Furthermore, the questions from the judges really challenged me and allowed us to think about more ways we can innovate in the future.
How did you find the experience of being at the WTO Public Forum?
It is unforgettable, since we had the opportunity to showcase our product in a world-leading event. We were entrepreneurs from all around the world showing our samples and our ideas in the building of the World Trade Organisation. I do believe that as a business, this is a great opportunity – not only business people, but also representatives of different international organisations showed interest in our products. That gave us international recognition.
How did you find the using the Export Action Plan tool and what impact did it have on your business?
The Export Action Plan is now a crucial element in our export activities for next year. Being a company that sells at a national level and that is looking to sell overseas, we found the tool to be extremely helpful. As we completed the Plan, we understood more about what our ideal market would be, it made us question ourselves in many stages. We are using the conclusions and recommendations of the Export Action Plan in our new strategy for next year, and we do believe it is going to get us where we want to go!
Looking ahead, what’s your next step now as a business?
Thanks to the Export Action Plan, we are now focusing on developing partnerships in our target market, as well as finishing the design of our export packages. With that finished, we will proceed to invest in our online presence. We are updating our webpage and trying to increase our range of products.
What three tips would you give to other MSMEs looking to enter international trade?
- Be ready to present your business concept to anyone, you never know if that person in front of you may connect you to a great opportunity.
- Spend time researching the target market and the main cultural differences. It is important to become an expert in what refers to your customers.
- Develop an Export Action Plan, it is extremely helpful!
About Andean Beauty
Andean Beauty is a company that, working alongside families in the community of Maras in Cusco, seeks to share healthcare products with the world. Founded in 2018, we not only help our customers with natural salt soaps but also help the local handicraftsmen by promoting their work and techniques.
The main resource in our products is the salt, which is obtained from natural Salt Flats located in Cusco, Peru. These flats date back to the Incan Empire and have been conceded to local families, that oversee obtaining the salt and transform it into beautiful products.
Traveling to Cusco, we learned from Maras and its unique Salt Flats, its history and the properties that their final products possess. After being active users and engage with the local community, we understood that such amazing products cannot go unnoticed.
Our natural salt soaps are perfect if you are looking to relax or exfoliate your skin; Andean Beauty is continuously working tirelessly with local handicraftsmen to maintain the high quality of their work and improve their situation.
So remember, when you are purchasing a product from Andean Beauty, you get a high-quality product made with resources dating back to Incan Ages and you are supporting local communities living more than 3 000 meters above sea level in Peru.