“When breaking into a culturally challenging market such as South Korea, local expertise and local industry knowledge are both crucial,” comments Stellan Heyerdahl, ContextVision’s Director for OEM Sales in Asia.
With more than 30 years’ industry experience, ContextVision is the undisputed leader in the medical imaging technology segment. Most of ContextVision’s customers are medical equipment manufacturers who produce advanced imaging equipment for procedures such as ultrasound, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and digital X-ray. They are mainly located in Asia, Europe and North America.
Heyerdahl maintains that South Korea, unlike China and Japan, has tended to be overlooked as an export market for Swedish companies.
“You need to understand the Korean market dynamics to succeed here, and this is why Business Sweden’s local presence and expertise has been absolutely invaluable to us,” he says.
South Korea is currently one of ContextVision’s most important export markets and home to five to ten of the company’s customers. As a resource for ContextVision, Business Sweden’s senior project manager in Seoul, Bong-Soon Park, dedicates approximately a week a month to handle the day-to-day interactions with these customers. She also facilitates ContextVision’s trips and activities in South Korea and face-to-face meetings.
“In a country where personal relationships, hierarchy and local networks are of such huge importance, it can sometimes be difficult for a foreign company to navigate the complex company structures and get access to the right decision-makers. I believe Business Sweden’s official status and existing network helps customers like ContextVision get past the first obstacles to a new customer,” says Park.
“There have been occasions when having this local resource has really helped us bridge the gap,” continues Heyerdahl. “The fast pace in South Korean industries puts new requirements on ContextVision, and Mrs. Park really supports us to meet those high customer expectations.
“Mrs. Park has made a great difference to our business, both thanks to her extensive local industry knowledge and immense professionalism,” concludes Heyerdahl.
ContextVision has also worked with Business Sweden in China, Russia, India and the U.S., and currently rents an office space from Business Sweden in Beijing.
Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Stockholm, ContextVision is a medical technology company that specializes in image analysis and artificial intelligence. It is the global market leader in developing imaging technology for procedures such as ultrasound, digital X-ray, interventional radiology, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, and digital pathology. Listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, ContextVision is represented globally with offices and partners in Asia, Europe and North America.
To enable ContextVision to break into the South Korean market, with its distinct culture, language and way of doing business.
A consultant at Business Sweden spends one week a month working for ContextVision to support them navigate market complexity and accelerate sales. She reinforces ContextVision’s customer relationships and work continuously to find new revenue streams on the South Korean market to propel growth.
Result: South Korea has become a top export market for ContextVision, with Business Sweden handling all the day-to-day dealings with customers there.
6.1 billion: In 2016, the South Korean medical device market was valued at US$6.1 billion, making it the11th largest in the world.