Understanding your target market and executing strategy are key planks to successfully taking your company global, says former Manuka Health chief executive John Kippenberger.

"I'm a great believer in the power of re-setting strategy in order to unleash an organisation's cultural energy," said Kippenberger in a keynote speech at PwC Herald Talks' latest event - The Global Marketplace.

"This is particularly powerful when going into a company as the new CEO but also highly relevant when there's been an ownership change which typically can make people very nervous about their futures."

"The better you engage your team in this process the more likely you are to build a new sense of direction with some real energy behind it."


Kippenberger says having people on the ground at the right time was important for companies with offshore aspirations.

"Really take our time to understand the market that you are looking at, and the consumer, and how you are going to reach that consumer in that market," Kippenberger said.

"Paying respect to the complexities of those markets is important - taking the time to really understand the model that's going to allow you to successfully supply product commercially in that market for you and your partners," he said.

"When you rush these sorts of things, we all know from experience that when you unwind trading relationships it can take time.

"It takes time, energy, and it can cost a lot of money.

"Having resources on the ground at the right time in target market can be important," he said.

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said people have to be open to both new sources of capital and capability and aware not all of these things can be fully exploited from New Zealand.

"There's this paradox that these opportunities are able to be exploited from New Zealand but their size is often such that they can be beyond the capital requirements or the size of our capital markets to run the journey."


Kippenberger earlier told the Herald New Zealand needs more companies with overseas ambitions.

His advice is for companies to go the extra distance to understand their own businesses.

"I still think it's about taking the time to really understand your business - what it is that makes you special.

"Is it design? Is it supply chain? Is it the ability to build brand or is it your culture? Often it's many of those sorts of things."

"It's about really taking time to work through what will, I think will ultimately lead to a bigger, better, more sustainable success for your business," he said.