Management InSites

CCST to Comi Polaris – Rethinking the ModelConsulting, Management, and IBI

Problem – A leading capital equipment company in Italy wanted to start selling in the U.S. market.

MI’s Solution – An examination of the company’s product offering revealed that a Joint Venture with companies that offer similar and complementary products would be beneficial for sales.

Deep Dive – When Comi Condor entered the U.S. as Comi Condor Separation Technologies (CCST), they hired a German engineer as their CEO for the U.S. subsidiary. They also engaged MI to provide advice as the legal entity was formed, and to have MI’s manager sit on the Board of Directors. From the beginning, major cultural differences – both between the German CEO and the U.S. customers, and between the CEO and the company’s Italian management – emerged. Eventually the situation grew so complicated that the CEO resigned. The company then decided to work with a U.S. distributor, which also did not lead to expected sales results.

As part of MI’s consulting role, we saw problems with relying on a single agent, and noticed that the company’s product offering was not enough to get traction in the U.S. market. Knowing that the owner of Comi Condor had close relationships with the heads of other companies based in the same region, with similar company cultures, and with complementary products, MI encouraged the formation of a Joint Venture. We recognized that none of the companies would be successful at penetrating the market on their own, but that together their diverse product range would be attractive to buyers of this capital equipment. Plus, with the combined financial backing of the companies, a true marketing and sales office could be formed, complete with an internal salesperson with direct industry experience. Within the first three years of the Joint Venture’s formation, it established a foothold in the U.S. market with yearly sales of several million dollars.

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