We interviewed Codenomicon’s vice-president APAC Sami Petäjäsoja on his experiences running the company’s Asian operations. This is what he said about the versatility of the Asian market, cybersecurity awareness in Asia and the future of Codenomicon in the region.

Codenomicon’s Asian operations were kick-started in 2006, five years after the company was founded, when we started co-operating with a local partner in Japan, with whom we have an excellent working relationship to this day. Between 2006-08, we were expanding the partner network in Asia, but that only works to a certain point. Eventually, the only way to guarantee a sufficient presence is to have a local representation. Today, we have offices in China, India, Singapore and Hong Kong.

What we have learned is that all countries are different, and operations have to be adapted to their different needs. Although many companies treat Asia as one market, it is, in fact, a collection of very different market areas. What works in one country may be a completely wrong approach in another.

I’m happy to say that the reception has been positive. There is a rising awareness of information security issues in Asia, and Japan, India and China in particular are doing a good job in regards to improving information security.

The customers have been happy with the support and service they have received. They appreciate in particular the reliability of Finnish companies: we deliver what we’ve promised, and within the agreed schedule. For example, we lost one deal in India to a company which made absolutely impossible promises to the customer. We knew that there was no way for them to deliver what they had promised, and we were right. Some time later, the customer contacted us, and now we are delivering them the solution we had offered.

In the future, our goal is to expand in the APAC region, but we will continue developing the local operations in China, India and Singapore. We are also actively looking for new partners. Right now there are no plans to set up new offices, but as the company grows it is likely that the number of offices will increase too.