Since the beginning of the programme, EU Gateway | Business Avenues has been turning countless European companies into successes in Asian markets .
The latest company to prove such a success is Puik .
The Dutch company commercialises a wide range of original, sustainable furniture and accessories made by local designers.
Founded in 2012, the company brings contemporary Dutch designers to the forefront of the global design scene.
With help from EU Gateway | Business Avenues, Puik created a footprint on the Korean market and locked in the first partnership with a local company.
This was all accomplished since May 2019, when Puik took part in the Contemporary European Design  business mission in Korea.
Given its ever-evolving consumer base, Korea is one of the most sought-after markets for European design companies.
Korean trends pair a unique aesthetic rooted in the local culture with a modern minimalist approach that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide thanks to European influences.
In this climate of openness, European companies like Puik have many opportunities available to exploit and further their growth in Asia.
From the get-go, the company has planned to find a local partner that can help it overcome regulatory and cultural barriers and better understand the business ecosystem.
At the fair, we spoke with a lot of interesting companies. Due to the time and language barrier for the Korean market (…), we decided to focus on one partner that can look after our interests in the Korean market. – Freek Claessen, Founder, Puik (The Netherlands)
Intelligently, the company figured out how to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers and achieve its first success in Korea: finding a true local partner.
During the weeklong business mission in Seoul, Puik met numerous potential clients and partners and was able to quickly make moves to bring its products on the market.
We made an exclusive distribution agreement with SEVO KOREA . This is a big distributor near Seoul (…) They have 55 shops-in-shops in department stores, sell a lot through television and also to independent retailers. – Freek Claessen, Founder, Puik (The Netherlands)
The Korean company already purchased Puik’s entire range of products (including hundreds of each accessory) and will have them showcased in their local showroom.
One of the key benefits of the new partnership is that Puik can now plan to reach more new clients in the coming months.
The Dutch company is aware that establishing a reputation on a new market is a challenging, long-term game, but that partnering with the right company has set it up for success.
Our partner will approach the other companies we met during the mission, so we focused on this exclusive deal. They made a good first order and our partner has the channels to make a nice turnover with our brand, but Puik is a new brand in the Korean market so we have to wait and see the long-term development. – Freek Claessen, Founder, Puik (The Netherlands)
Despite the short period time since the mission, Puik has already achieved amazing results.
One major benefit of being chosen for an EU Gateway | Business Avenues mission is the matchmaking process, which ensures participant companies meet relevant partners and customers.
In Puik’s case, this led to establishing an immediate business connection for the long run.
The mission, in general, was amazing. The online platform where we could invite companies and they could invite us for appointments was very effective. This is also how we found our new partner SEVO KOREA. The mission turned out a great start for Puik on the Korean market; it’s now up to us and our partner to follow up. – Freek Claessen, Founder, Puik (The Netherlands)
If Puik’s story sounds too good to be true, you now have the opportunity to figure it out for yourself.
The 2020 edition of the mission for Contemporary European Design companies is now open for applications.
Find more details here.