Initial dialogue and analysis of the market for Chordate
During Feb-Aug 2015 Chordate participated in Business Sweden 6-month program “Steps to Export” in Sweden. At the end of that program Chordate had an intern from Syria that had made a memo to management and board regarding the potential in Middle East. The contact for the "Steps to Export" program connected Chordate with the project leader for Arab Health 2016. Chordate then increased its engagement with Business Sweden through the Arab Health Modules which gave Chordate an opportunity to look into multiple markets in the Middle East region. Chordate chose to explore the Saudi Arabian market as well as the UAE. As part of the module in Saudi Arabia, Business Sweden looked into the rhinitis and ENT fields of medicine in Saudi Arabia. Business Sweden was in contact with multiple ENT doctors to understand the viability of Chordate’s rhinitis solution in Saudi Arabia. Discussion with experts and ENT doctors indicated the market was very open and interested in their product because of the limited invasiveness and the potential to lower long-term hospital costs. The discussions with experts and doctors led to meetings with key opinion leaders, which is a crucial step to gaining credibility in both the public and private health care sectors.
Market penetration strategy through careful distributor selection
Business Sweden began looking into the most appropriate distributor for Chordate as a niche product that would fit more effectively with a smaller focused distributor. Chordate’s visiting program was comprehensive as it focused on distributors with experience in the ENT field as well as smaller startup distributors with the intention to make Chordate a focused product in their portfolio. The most exciting meeting took place between Chordate and the local distributor which is headed by a key opinion leader in the Saudi health care sector. The meeting between the two parties as well as Business Sweden proved the two companies share a similar vision for the Saudi market. Shortly after the meeting Chordate signed a distributor agreement with the local distributor and immediately began the process of passing regulatory requirements laid out by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in order to sell medical equipment in Saudi Arabia. The regulatory approval was given in January 2017. This represents Chordate’s first sales and revenue in the region and has been a fantastic reference case for how Business Sweden can support small and medium sized Swedish enterprises analyze, develop and execute a strategy to effectively enter the Saudi market.