BIO: Marko Höynälä is the Founder and CEO of Kipuwex Ltd and has invented three game-changing IoT products. Kipuwex is a medical device that wirelessly and continuously measures a person’s biomarkers which can then be accessed by health care professionals from anywhere in the world.
STORY: Marko jumped blindly into an opportunity to partner with a Pakistani company to distribute his medical device. The company ordered a considerable amount of devices but never paid for them.
LEARNING: Do not trust people or businesses blindly. Building trust is an essential part of a business, and when it is broken, the business breaks down too. Be confident to go out of your comfort zone.
“Do your homework on how foreign markets operate. Do not just go there blindly.”
Worst investment ever
Marko had been actively seeking investors and customers of Kipuwex outside of Finland, his home country. Coincidentally, Marko was contacted by a company from Pakistan that was very eager to have this kind of device because it can do more than most of the other devices and is more affordable.
He decided to go to Pakistan and find out what the market had in store for his company, despite the security risk that the country is. Marko spent some time with a company that wanted to do sales and distribution of Kipuwex.
Getting into a foreign partnership
Marko spent a week with the Pakistani company. The company introduced Marko to about five hospitals, and he got to demonstrate Kipuwex to them. The hospitals were eager to buy the device.
Marko and the distribution company got all the agreements and paperwork ready, and they agreed to partner and distribute Kipuwex in Pakistan. The company even ordered some devices. Then Marko returned to Finland and sent the devices to Pakistan.
The company did not pay upfront for the devices; they promised to do so the next day. Marko is yet to receive the money to date. The company gave a shoddy excuse claiming that the problem was with Marko’s bank account. Marko lost a considerable sum of money in the deal.
Do not trust people blindly
Do not trust people or businesses blindly. Find out as much as you can about them before partnering with them.
Cultures are different around the world
People are not necessarily similar in other countries. Just because people do business in a certain way in your home country does not mean it will be done the same elsewhere.
Be confident to go out of your comfort zone
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must be bold enough to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.
Building trust is an essential part of a business
Trust is the glue that keeps a business together. If that trust breaks, the business breaks down too.
There is no shortcut to building trust
Trust is built over time. You get to see how a person or a relationship performs over time and get to know whether they are worth trusting.
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you must go out of your comfort zone. But, first, do thorough research and seek guidance from those who have been in your area of business before.
No. 1 goal for the next 12 months
Marko’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to focus on the next round of investment that his business needs to deliver products to customers around the world.