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International students help companies in internationalisation

New markets for street lighting abroad

"“A small investment from the company with a great effect on its internationalisation. JAMK’s international students helped C2 SmartLight survey new markets.”"

International students know the language of their home country. They are also familiar with the culture and business customs. These strengths can be utilised by companies from Central Finland in determining international markets for their products and services.

 In addition to an idea about the markets, we established contacts

 Jyväskylä-based C2 SmartLight Oy relied on the competence of JAMK’s international students in surveying new markets for their street lighting control systems. The survey project was carried out in Poland, Latvia and Russia. A similar survey will be carried out with a new group of students in Slovenia, Hungary, France, England and Croatia.

 “The students start out by doing some online research, looking for potential cities and calling them. They ask questions essential to us and report the answers,” says Petri Laitinen, Sales Director of C2 SmartLight, describing the project.

 Laitinen says that the information is valuable capital for the company, since futile work can be avoided in looking for international partners if no market potential is found in a certain country.

 “The first student project strengthened our impression of Poland as a potential market area. In addition to getting an idea about the markets, we established good contacts in Poland. On the other hand, we also received information based on which we could exclude Latvia from our potential areas for the time being.”

Familiarity with local customs and a network in place

 Slovenian Grega Kurent studied as an exchange student at JAMK. He wanted to take part in C2 SmartLight’s project to get experience of a real corporate project.

“The project allows me to see how theory works in practice, and it is a good reference for me. I know Slovenian customs and how you should act in the country,” Kurent says.

 In addition to international students, the survey work involves some Finnish students with international contacts. Rita Kattilakoski from JAMK’s English-language International Business degree programme was an exchange student in Croatia, so her task is to determine the market potential for street lighting control systems in this country on the Adriatic coast.

“I got to know Croatian customs during my exchange period. I also have contacts there whom I can ask for assistance. The project provides me with a practical insight into how things work in the real business world,” Kattilakoski says.

 An increasing need for outdoor lighting abroad – waiting for the right moment

 According to Petri Laitinen, the outdoor lighting specialist company was to establish in spring 2013 whether it was to start looking for a partner in the new target countries or whether it would hold on and wait for the right moment. In any case, he predicts that the global need for smart control systems will increase due to the pressure to save, for example, in energy and maintenance costs.

 “JAMK’s students help us carry out an extensive survey with a small investment,” Laitinen notes.

 

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