Halosil International is a manufacturer of a suite of Halo disinfectants and biocides, which destroy a broad spectrum of harmful microorganisms. Their products are used in the healthcare, education, and transportation industries. The company knew there was a lot of potential for growth in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region. Maryalice StClair, the Chief Commercial Officer, started to work with Export Delaware in 2021 to begin exploring partnerships and laying the groundwork to launch their brand there. In February 2021 they participated in a virtual business trip to Dubai, where they met with several potential resellers in the healthcare industry. They selected one and signed an agreement with him so they could begin selling their products in the UAE. He is already representing their products to hospitals, ambulance services, and end-users.
StClair decided to participate in the in-person business trip to Dubai in March 2022 for two main objectives. First, to meet with their new reseller, educate him about their products, and meet with potential customers in the healthcare industry with him. Their second objective was to interview additional resellers in industries outside of healthcare, such as transportation, commercial facility management, water treatment, and end-users like commercial cleaning companies.
StClair had never traveled to Dubai before. Of course, the prospect of traveling to this lavish nation was exciting, however, she had some concerns. “Beth Pomper and the Export Delaware team really prepared me very well for the trip.”
Work on the trip logistics and itinerary began in December 2021. The Export Delaware team spent a great deal of time researching potential partners for Halosil. StClair had the opportunity to review a target list and provide feedback before any official meetings were set up.
Before departing the US, the group of Delaware small businesses who were participating in the business trip had a briefing meeting with Export Delaware to discuss the trip logistics. In addition, they were provided with resources on how to prepare. “There was a lot of communication about COVID and what we had to do to enter the UAE,” says StClair. Participants were also briefed on proper business etiquette in the Arab nation.
Business Meetings and Logistics Support
The Export Delaware team, led by Beth Pomper and OCO Global, the state’s international trade representative office in Dubai set up customized, one-on-one business meetings for StClair during her week in Dubai.
“The meetings they set up with potential business partners were very relevant. Plenty of them were good candidates for potential resellers for us,” says StClair.
The Export Delaware team worked hard to maximize StClair’s time in Dubai to make the trip very productive. Halosil had 12 meetings that their reseller set up for with hospital systems. In addition, they had six meetings with other potential resellers. StClair admits she had to “Run from meeting to meeting, hospital to hospital – which was great!”
Although she had a busy schedule, the Export Delaware team took care of all of StClair’s logistics, even providing a driver to take her from meeting to meeting on time. “It would have been very difficult to plan this trip on my own,” says StClair.
“We accomplished our objectives on this trip,” says StClair. “It was very good to meet with new potential resellers and end-use customers. The meetings that Export Delaware set up were with people who understood what our product is, and how they can resell to customers and/or buy it for their own operation.”
StClair expects a lot of business to come from the trip. “The nice thing is a lot of these resellers operate in other countries as well,” says StClair. “We can use the same resellers throughout the gulf region.”
It pays to be in the right place at the right time. As a result of the trip, Halosil is now being reconsidered for a tender. When StClair met with the potential client in person, she was able to show them an alternative piece of equipment that could save them money.
Overall, the trip was a valuable experience for Halosil, and StClair was appreciative of the support from Export Delaware. “If we would have had to hire a consultant to set up the meetings and logistics for us, it would have cost us a fortune. As a small company, we couldn’t have afforded it.”