EMKO is a Lithuanian-based furniture design and home accessory company. The company took part in the EU-funded Contemporary European Design business mission to Singapore & Indonesia in March of this year.
The first part of the mission was dedicated for exhibiting at the International Furniture Fair 2017 at the Singapore Expo. The EU Gateway | Business Avenues programme then took Emko and the other participating 50 European companies to Indonesia, for a new round of sector experts’ presentations and pre-arranged business meetings with local companies.
The company’s clean, space-saving and smart design made it very suitable for Asian markets. According to EMKO’s Project Manager, Ms. Inga Markovska, who represented the company during the mission, two products in particular got increased interest from Asian companies:
- My Writing Desk, a desk especially designed to reduce clutter, while keeping essentials within reach at all times.
- Step Up Shoe Rack, a ladder-shaped shoe storer that helps home owners save up space.
While Indonesia didn’t seem like a suitable market for the company at the moment, Singapore was a place overflowing with new customers and partners that were interested in its products.
EMKO stroke the deal on two collaborations with Singaporean e-commerce businesses during the event. One of these is with newly-founded company Big Fish. The partner was already preparing for a launch event for interior designers and architects where EMKO furniture was to be displayed. The other collaboration, with Bibliotek, was to bring EMKO even more visibility to local end customers, by adding the Lithuanian products to Bibliotek’s e-commerce website.
These two successful business partnerships in Singapore allowed EMKO to consider further expansion to Asia. In the future, the company is interested in stepping to South Korea and possibly Vietnam, among other countries.
It was very valuable experience even in Indonesia. South Korea and Vietnam seem to be interesting markets for us, relying on the buying behaviour, as well as the purchasing power. –Inga Markovska, Project Manager, EMKO
Before EMKO continues its quest on the Asian markets, the company is planning to learn more about trends, customs and styles in target countries and to interact with key retailers, architects and interior designers beforehand. EMKO is also planning to attend further presentations, shows and design events, and participating in future business missions organized by EU Gateway | Business Avenues is also seen in high regards, due to the rewarding outcomes.
According to Ms Markovska, what the company loved about the taking part in the business mission the most was the thorough coaching that occurred before the mission and the interaction with like-minded companies from the same industry.
I really liked the serious preparations which were made as well as all the information: economic situation, income rates, etc. given to participants. It is important to know as much as possible about the markets we are going to step in before traveling there and the business mission gave us his opportunity. Also, not forgot to mention the shared experience from other participants, it was and still is very useful to hear the experience of others in ASEAN countries to understand what is the best way to be attractive there. –Inga Markovska, Project Manager, EMKO