IIBN Member Rob Rae, Partner at Littus reveals in his interview that Littus provides soft-landing services to foreign companies and their economic development agencies looking at the USA for growth.  

You can visit the Littus website here

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

  • Collaborate with foreign business and their partners in establishing connections and support infrastructure to efficiently and effectively launch growth plans in North America.
  • Educate companies from abroad about the business climate, local nuances, opportunities and challenges of operating in and/or trading with North America.

What are your biggest challenges?

  • Uncertainty about Brexit is holding back investment from many European companies who are waiting for final details before taking their next steps.

How do you keep your team/staff motivated?

  • Motivation is always reinforced whenever we engage with our clients. The opportunity to support a company’s global growth plans continues to be a primary source of motivation.

What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?

  • A recent trend toward a softening in global trade.

What new trends are emerging in your industry?

  • Mobile work forces have significantly reduced the costs and complexities for companies from abroad to set up operations in the market.
  • Technology advancements continue to fuel global collaboration and communications.

Are you finding any skills gaps in the market?

  • Finding the right personnel is often a challenge for our clients. We try to have them open up their view of potential landing spots for their offices/operations to improve access to affordable and applicable.

How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?

  • Not directly but as European companies came out of the economic crisis and looked for growth, it opened up more opportunities for our services.

How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?

  • The biggest pain from Brexit is the existing uncertainty of how it will ultimately be structured, which is tampering investment.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

  • Success for us is anytime a foreign business makes that leap of faith and decides to launch in North America. The follow up with these businesses, as they move employees into the region and hire locally, keeps us motivated for continued success.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

  • “Think globally, act locally.” It’s all about understanding the value of global trade while putting in the time and infrastructure to be successful in the local markets that you serve.

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

  • Since our launch in March, 2019 we have hosted 13 companies across two trade missions to Philadelphia and Boston.

What’s next for your company?

Our focus for 2019 was on specific relationships in Ireland and the UK, for which we achieved much of what we wanted to do.  In 2020, we are looking to expand our services to other regions within both countries as well as other specific countries for which we have had preliminary discussions.