May 19, 2020

Investing Internationally: Tips from Asim Khan

brand awareness
business in a foreign market
direct foreign investment
Export Management Company
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Investing Internationally: Tips from Asim Khan

Khanstellation Group is a leading Export Management Company that offers consulting services specializing in international business development and export services. Khan and his team work with clients to identify export markets and potential buyers for a company, evaluate financing opportunities, create business development distribution and management strategies, and negotiate the terms for transaction and payment solutions.

What are some current trends that you’re seeing when clients come to you for advice in the export spectrum?
The trend has been consistent over time with clients who are fearful of the nuances of doing business in a foreign market. Those fears range from how to manage cultural differences, language, logistics, getting paid, and business etiquette.

Khanstellation Group takes the fear out of exporting for “newbies” by arranging payment and financing before products leave our shores. We can also help hedge threats from political, social, and currency risks associated with exporting to volatile markets or emerging countries.

What types of options are out there when it comes making a direct foreign investment?
There are options of utilizing your company's free capital to make a direct foreign investment into an emerging market. Companies in the US that have surplus reserves should use that same capital overseas. Remember that a dollar goes a long way in many countries so in essence, you are getting more “bang” for your buck by cost-effectively and efficiently servicing international customers, developing new products/services, and having a larger market base to spread risk over.

By establishing a physical footprint in a foreign market, US companies can develop an affinity with their new customers in more positive ways, thereby increasing the likelihood of raising brand awareness and loyalty which translates into more revenue.

Companies learn new ways in reaching consumers by understanding social trends and needs. This new insight translates into new product development and profits.
Lastly, if a company is very serious about market penetration, liquid capital can be used to establish a joint venture in the foreign market where the local partner takes more ownership of the business and shares their experience, “know-how”, and low overhead to increase market share and profitability.

What’s your take on this year’s market fluctuations? What’s your forecast for the rest of the year and 2011?
This year’s market fluctuations were certainly felt by everyone and exporters are no different. Costs are increasing across the board pushing some businesses out of business and others into a new game of survival.

Most of what you see is the same efforts to increase productivity or commercial activity – discounting, fire sales, and attractive incentives – which, in the end, is only a band-aid solution to the core issue of providing real value. With our domestic market as mature as it is with hundreds if not thousands of products and services, we have reached an apex that will only be overcome with creativity, calculated risk, and a new economic trajectory which will require a new way of thinking.

Those who are actively exporting or are planning to export will have the upper hand as markets overseas in emerging countries like Brazil, India, China, and the Middle East offer profitable opportunities for those who would like to participate in helping these countries meet their growing affluent populations by providing them with more products and services to pick from.

Next year offers even greater opportunity as most of the developed countries of the world will increase international trade volumes in pace with the global economic recovery relative to what we experienced in 2009 and 2008. However, that growth will only reach pre-crisis levels towards the end of the year, as the persistent effects of the financial crises will still be palpable and affect business’ ability to obtain proper financing, inventories, and talent.

What export companies do you see being successful in 2011?
There are a lot of companies actually poised to do well in 2011 by leveraging the export market – the medical, consumer goods, agricultural, apparel/fashion, media, automotive, and industrial goods sectors will fare well if they focus on export market sales. Some of our own clients, including Guardian Pool Fence Systems, Multicoat, MayDay Health, and Vitalee, all have aggressive marketing programs that include exporting as a major component of their sales efforts.

I think something important to discuss in relation to exporting, the US, and globalization is cultural awareness. At no other time in human history has integration and harmony been so important. If we want to maintain our dominance on the global stage, we need to make sure our fellow citizens are doing what’s necessary to stay competitive, relevant, and self-sufficient in a borderless economy that rewards innovation and punishes the lethargic.


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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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