Alexandre Cervinka is founder and CEO of Newtrax – a world-class supplier of electronic safety, productivity and analytics solutions to the global underground hard rock mining industry. Since it opened its doors, it has been transforming the mining industry through the introduction and effective use of disruptive technologies.
When and why did you first start thinking about exporting as part of your business?
Exporting was part of our business from the get-go. Our client base is located all over the word, so we had no choice but to focus on international business.
What is the biggest difference between selling in Canada and selling in another country? How did you adapt to that difference?
When selling in another country you have to take into consideration the culture of that country as well as its values and traditions. That is why we try our best to employ staff members locally in the countries where our clients are present (Mexico, Chile, Australia, Brazil) to ensure that our practices conform to our customers’ expectations.
How has exporting changed the way you market/sell your products/services in Canada?
We still consider ourselves a Canadian company, as all the R&D and manufacturing is done here. However, the fact that we have clients all over the globe provides us with a significant advantage because it shows that demand for our product is large and broad.
EDC resources to help you export
Can you share the best lesson learned from a bad exporting experience?
It is extremely important to pay attention to and follow the rules and regulations for shipping and duties in foreign countries, and also for certification of new technologies.
It is quite fascinating to know how many different sets of rules exist out there, and the key is to be made aware very quickly of the potential roadblocks and tackle them as early as possible in the process.
Some materials that we ship can also be considered “hazardous,” and it is important to have the correct labelling and identification on these products to avoid any delays or penalties.
When it comes to exports, what do you know now that you wish you knew then?
The potential delays and roadblocks associated with all the paperwork for shipping, handling and duties when sending products abroad. Being very prepared in advance and always having a plan B is crucial for an international business, but most importantly being aware of the country of destination’s culture, business practices and values.
What’s the biggest lesson learned in going global?
The quality of life we enjoy in Canada should not be taken for granted.