Jay Acharya is the director of ASPIRE Consulting and Training Ltd. ASPIRE uses a select group of associates with specific skills to help deliver training on programs around the world. Having been in people and business development for almost 20 years Jay understands the value of having a fully engaged workforce and the importance that training can make to an organisation.
In 2017, Jay attended the Trade Mission to Thailand and Vietnam with the Training Gateway to explore potential new markets. Although prior to the mission Jay did already have experience working in Asia, the company was new to Vietnam.
The Trade Mission to Vietnam and Thailand lasted 5 days with delegates from the UK meeting large number of representatives from public and private sector organisations in those countries. In order to get the best out of these meetings Jay recommends delegates undertake some key planning prior to the mission to see which of the contacts were likely to have the most potential, and to do research around them. “I did a little research about the organisations”’ he said ‘so that I was able to prioritise any meetings’.
The advantages of going on a trade mission Jay argues, is that it saves lots of time trying to identify which companies and organisations to target. The Training Gateway via the Department of International Trade of the local chambers do all that work for the delegates based on their profiles. An even greater advantage is that by going in a larger group you are more likely to get the opportunity to participate in mini exhibitions and masterclasses, something that you couldn’t do on your own.
Other top tips include sending out emails to everyone he met. ‘If I get 10% replies, and then 10% follow-ups,’ he says ‘it means that there is potential’.
When asked what his best advice would be for anyone attending a mission Jay responded that anyone on a trade mission should be prepared for long days, and keeping a smile on your face. ‘You’re always on show,’ he said ‘Listen to the advice that the Training Gateway gives you and take advantage of every opportunity.’