Dear business partners,

Can we skip an introduction this time? Great!

Core Business: when writing about investing in Slovakia, people usually think about money, however, is this the best approach to investment opportunities? Let’s have a look folks.

We understand these standard investment tools:

  • Commercial loans issued to foreign businesses
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  • Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI)

We can write thousands words about the above mentioned ways of investment, however, they actually work on the same principles all over the world.

Have you ever thought about investment opportunities whilst skipping ‘money’ and adding a value? Sure, you have. But you know what, it takes a few minutes to recap, shall we go through?

Business Partnership
Looking for a business partner is never easy, it is a question of trust and reliability. Sales? Important people, but they actually want to make some profit (which is good) rather than develop the business (which is desirable). It is, therefore, very useful to find out someone who can keep an eye on your business, networking and performance. Business partnership can have many forms – from private equity investment, a supplier to an existing firm in Slovakia or even CRM outsourcing. One of the highest form of business partnership is information, for example, your company has interest in three areas, why it should and why it shouldn’t invest in Slovakia? The answer is very valuable piece of information which can save a lot money / make a lot of money.

Skilled Labour
An overseas company needs skilled workers; by recruiting in Slovakia, it is always a win-win situation. The firm gets good quality workers, the country indirect investment and reputation. How to do it? A standard way is to use services of international job agencies, however, there is a more interesting way. You can also use a consulting firm which understands the business better, create a pop-up camp, come to Slovakia and interview/try the workers directly, so you immediately see if you want to employ those people. How much does it cost? Fly ticket + hotel + consulting fees. Benefits: saving HR agency fees, direct contact with potential workers, low-cost training opportunities. You actually not paying for great CV documents, but people you really need.

Educational Portfolio Investment
Time to time, I like posh names, nevertheless, it is so simple. There are two ways of how to perform this investment. The first one is to invest in schools/institutes in Slovakia. For example, you really need some people from a particular field, so you can invest in a school that offers this subject, shape up its quality and outputs. Moreover, you can send people to this school to learn together with the Slovaks. Secondly, I cannot see any obstacles why not to add some value to this project by establishing a training centre next to the school; or within the school. An exclusive agreement would guarantee the first draft for your firm when students are about to finish the education. Benefits: quality/cost ratio, exclusive access to skilled workers, cultural exchange, clients interest. It is like creating an international corporate faculty, one in Slovakia, the second in Argentina and the third in China for super low costs.

What sort of investment is this one? Well, sounds a bit unconventional, however, it is a very good opportunity to meet many businesses at one place at the same time. People can either express an interest in your products, collaboration with you or even some mutual understanding might be agreed. The most important is to appoint a right person to present. Benefits: low cost investment in market research, business culture, buying power and reputation. When appointing a smart consulting firm, there is also an ‘added-value’ premium service; for example, an article in national newspaper about your firm, products or investment interests.

Online Presence
There are many businesses which work online very well. The company has a great IT solution, for example an Internet shop. All you need to do is the Slovak language, one business development manager and logistics (goods delivery). Actually, you do not need to develop anything as you already have the system. Benefits: low cost local sales network, local CRM support, direct clients. It is a bit neglected investment area in Slovakia, however, it has a great potential.

Certainly. We just have to answer how we understand investment. The best way is to consult it, think about it and make some investment variations to work with.

Investment is always about money – we invest because we want to benefit of it. It is, however, our responsibility to think about money in different ways. Many times, investing in a small country in central Europe means to invest in Central European presence as collaboration among the countries is well established.

Legal Insider Trading
Folks, I tell you something from my personal experience. I met a guy during World Travel Market in London who wanted to invest in tourism in Belarus. He came to London to see how is the country’s international reputation, to ask what neighbors think about Belarus, to compare it with different countries and find out local people. During one day, he met with representatives of 10 countries, considered his investment strategy and booked his flight to Belarus to have a closer look. A smart approach? Certainly. The guy invested around 700 euros to make sure that 50,000 euros is well invested 🙂 Not bad at all.

UBD KEY is a private consulting firm based in Slovakia providing business development services for clients worldwide. If you considering investing in Slovakia, looking for business information or want to help with anything else, please, contact us.

One of our initiatives is Eastern Slovakia Trade&Investment group on LinkedIn. It is designed for those who consider investment in Eastern Slovakia, please, feel free to join it online, introduce yourself and ask questions.

Eastern Slovakia Trade(Author: Martin Zubko)