Skip to content

Login  |  Sign Up

Management Motivations: Never underestimate the value of local knowledge to uncover business opportunities

Management Motivations is a new series of articles by Quectel’s senior executives that explores their management styles, approaches to the challenges of further developing the company and what drives them to lead and succeed.

Ricardo Simon, regional sales director, Latin America

3. Never underestimate the value of local knowledge to uncover business opportunities

Every sales professional must understand the products they are offering and the industry and market they are part of. Technical knowledge is therefore critical so the usage of customers and the concept of what is being sold is well understood. Naturally, with a large and complex portfolio such as Quectel’s the learning task should not be underestimated. It’s therefore important to me to ensure my team keeps up and intimately understands everything we can do alongside what that enables for our customers.

The main challenge is to understand the differences and specifications between products and how and when they can be used by our customers. A lot of this depends on the end customer’s needs and which specific capabilities of the product are required and which will not be used.

In Latin America, there is some fragmentation because each country is at a different stage in its technology evolution and its mobile network development. We still sell 2G modules in Brazil, for example, while in Argentina we sell only 3G and 4G. In addition, 5G is still only in the pilot project stage in two or three Latin American countries even though it is widely deployed in China.

It’s not just technology decisions and developments that create differences across the region. There are large differences in politics, GDP and economic performance. I like to say that doing business in Latin America is like being on a roller coaster, there are constant ups and down. We can’t become too excited by the up moments nor be over-concerned by the downs but to manage this we need to understand the specific issues in each country and its economic performance. In the end, these factors will impact on our customers’ sales potential and our performance as well, so it’s important we continue to increase our knowledge and understanding of individual market drivers and conditions.

Even where there is a lack of stability, there are opportunities and Quectel is in a strong position to help customers accelerate IoT usage and improve their business performance. IoT brings with it a necessity to perform some level of hardware customization, so it’s different to selling a black box that has the same functions worldwide. There are no emerging start-ups that are developing hardware to match local demands in every Latin American country and for Quectel this presents a great opportunity.

We are helping our customers with local support and in the development of specific products. For example, we are the first module vendor to have a Cat M plus NB-IoT module with 450Mhz frequency, which will start to be used in some Latin American countries. It’s this local knowledge which enables us to smooth out the highs and lows while positioning us to support local customers and hardware developers.

Look out for my next blog in this series: “IoT is a global market and we can be consultants to our customers.”