The late management theorist Peter Drucker used to tell those who attended the lectures and seminars he hosted that every time they see a successful business, they should stop and realize the parties who were the founders. They made a courageous decision when they started it.
A similar observation could be made about when an existing business decides to enter a new market. Such a decision was recently made by Pelco Products Industries of Edmond that is now attempting to sell its products in 15 different foreign markets.
Mike Gilliland, who holds the recently created position of Manager of Foreign Opportunities at Pelco, recently explained how that decision was made after Pelco’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Parduhn made a trip to the Middle Eastern state of Qatar.
Pelco has been in operation since 1985 and has expanded since that time to sell the metal products it produces throughout the U.S. Parduhn saw a potential market in Qatar and also in South and Central America. Gilliland detailed how Pelco sought out the expertise of Anthony Cambas of the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade (CITD) at Oklahoma State University.
The guidance that Cambas and his associates and other partner organizations gave to what Gilliland calls the “Pelco International Team” has allowed the company to makes its way through the regulatory cultural and linguistic challenges that confronts U.S. firms that seek to sell their products in foreign markets.
Gilliland praised Cambas for the assistance given and said that he believes that Pelco will in time become a formidable international exporter as a result of that assistance.
Cambas, who has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Florida International University and a masters degree in International Customs Law from the University of Canberra in Australia, headed a U.S. Customs import specialist team in the port of Miami for several years. He has also served as an advisor and consultant on customs administration and trade policy to the African state of Angola and the Central American nation of El Salvador and several other Central and South American states.
Cambas is fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese. The CITD director recently spoke of how his office is looking forward to helping other Oklahoma businesses of all sizes and levels of complexity to access foreign markets for their products for either the first time or to expand their existing export markets.
He has given seminars in communities throughout the state on how businesses can begin the exporting process. Cambas explained how the CITD is part of the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center network and works with partner organizations that include the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Export Assistance Center.
Cambas believes that the high quality of goods produced in Oklahoma will insure foreign markets for them in the years to come.
William F. O’Brien is an Oklahoma City attorney.