Targeting Investors in the Tourism and Business Process Outsourcing Sectors
18 July 2016 Category:
Communique International was selected for a Compete Caribbean supported project to attract FDI into Dominica, through a proactive promotion programme aimed at a carefully targeted list of foreign investors in the Tourism and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors.
Following consultation with local government ministries, agencies and the private sector reports on the Tourism and BPO sectors were prepared. These identified the strengths and weaknesses of Dominica in attracting FDI in these sectors. In consultation with Invest Dominica marketing messages for the sectors were developed and promotional material prepared.
The consultants identified 400 companies in each of the sectors based on criteria, such as their track record, the likelihood they would invest in Dominica, their suitability to the island, etc. Further analysis was carried out on this long list from which a short list of 100 target companies in the Tourism and in the BPO sectors emerged. The target executives and their contact details in these companies were identified.
The primary tourism market for Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean is the US. In recent years the Caribbean has also become a major nearshore outsourcing location for US BPO companies. As there was a cluster of target companies in the South East and North East US it was decided that the two Market Outreach Programmes funded by the Compete Caribbean would be to these regions.
A problem facing many investment promotion agencies is to get meetings with target companies in order to make their pitch to persuade them to invest in their country, region or city. Many capacity building projects concentrate on what must be done to secure meetings with potential investors but spend insufficient time on developing the communication skills to do so. Communique International is extremely strong in this area and spent a lot of time working with the local executives responsible for attracting FDI on developing these “soft skills”. A number of training sessions were held on site in Dominica and over the following 4 months numerous Skype sessions were held with the executives involved. These focused on developing their skills in making the initial contact, their pitch when they contact the target company and finally their meeting and presentation to the targeted executive in the target company. Skype has the advantage that as it is a number of short sessions over a longer period it enables the FDI executives to better absorb the material and also causes less interference with their on-going work.
The consultants accompanied the Invest Dominica executives in a mentoring role on the two Market Outreach Programmes to the US and attended the meetings only as observers. The programme secured 17 meetings and secured indications of 8 possible site visits to Dominica.