5 things CFOs need to consider when expanding into APAC

The APAC region is fast becoming the place to be for global technology vendors on a growth mission. Thanks to the accelerated adoption of digitalisation spurred by the pandemic coupled with the region’s increasing digital literacy and inclination toward cloud-based solutions, APAC is exploding with opportunity.

In fact, 55% of U.S. and Europe-based corporations identified APAC as their key target for international expansion. Funding for fintech companies in APAC, in particular, nearly tripled from 2020 (AU$9 billion) to 2021 (AU$24.15 billion), highlighting the opportunities in the region and confidence from startups and investors that APAC is a great place for expansion.

However, while the opportunities for growth are ripe for the taking, there are still challenges. While these tech vendors may have amassed huge success in their homeland, expanding to APAC requires a completely unique approach. They must consider the variety of nuances that come with growing in a new area, including managing currency risk, understanding regional regulations and respecting the local culture. Even more, it’s critical to realise that no area is safe from global concerns like inflation pressures and talent retention.

While global expansion is a huge undertaking, it shouldn’t defer you from taking your organisation to the next level. In fact, in today’s highly competitive business environment, expansion is often a vital component of an organisation’s growth strategy. The following tips and considerations will help you seize the opportunity with confidence and drive growth in the APAC region.

  1. Speed and agility are key to winning in all markets: Fast, agile organisations understand that integrating disparate systems and automating core processes are critical to accelerating business growth and success. This was true before the pandemic and even more so now. That’s why we are continuing to see the market for application and data integration evolve and grow. According to Verified Market Research, the iPaaS market is forecasted to skyrocket to AU$35.2 billion by 2028. Intelligent integration must be at the forefront. Businesses of all kinds can benefit from a simple, easy-to-use, cloud-native integration platform to help them prepare and respond to rapid changes, especially as they expand their borders.

  2. Get optimal impact from investments: Value and ROI can take many forms. As a CFO, I look at a variety of metrics when funding new projects or initiatives. What’s the short- and long-term capital investment and/or anticipated savings, what’s the impact on our existing team and resources, what productivity and time to value gains can we expect, and how soon before we start seeing the benefits or return on investment? Data is at the heart of all of this — we don’t make any important financial decision that isn’t backed up and supported by data.

  3. Seize the opportunities of tomorrow: There will always be periods of disruption. Each one of them will bring new unexpected challenges as well as new opportunities. While some CFOs and other members of the C-suite might be inclined to be cautious and step on the brakes, the leaders of tomorrow see opportunities. At SnapLogic, we’re using this time of disruption to step on the gas and move forward with confidence and optimism — for ourselves, as well as for our customers.

  4. Human capital is priceless: Holding off on infrastructure investments and hard costs until your foreign operation has matured is a sound way to justify expenses and assure a long-term ROI. However, it’s vital to hire strong, local employees with an ear to the ground. They can evaluate market penetration plans daily, identifying untapped opportunities while making adjustments as necessary. They’ll also be more familiar with the area, understanding local and cultural nuances, ensuring your success within the new market.

  5. Strike the right balance: It’s important to surround yourself with a leadership team that is truly data-driven and metrics-obsessed, across the entirety of the business. As a finance leader, you need to be able to track and measure everything you do. It’s a delicate balance between investing for growth but also tracking the returns, particularly in areas that are underperforming. This allows you to quickly shift to areas that will drive better and faster growth. This speed and agility, enabled by real-time data and agreed metrics, is fundamental to success.