When one speaks of revolution in business, undoubtedly one of the paramount ideas likely to trigger in an individual’s head is globalization. Rare is the sight of an entrepreneur pitching on ‘Shark Tank’ without mention of prospective expansion into new territories or a contestant on ‘The Apprentice’ aspiring to build a cozy domestic day-to-day hustle. It is easy to forget that only a generation ago, the broadening of horizons to include foreign lands was only reserved for titans of industry, where supply and demand of heavy-duty goods to clamoring nations was inevitable. For better or worse, globalization has become the great revolution of the 21st Century, rivaled only by the height and influence of contemporary social media.
It is peculiar, therefore, to conceive of globalization experiencing a revolution within itself. After all, globalization has yet to live up to its name, as much of the progress it creates has only been seen in western nations and a select number of wealthy eastern ones. There is a further injustice in the immeasurable benefit it has provided to leading corporations, namely that international expansion is not accessible to all businesses equally. Much of the population of even the likes of the USA or the UK may be unlikely to know where to start when entering markets in India, for example. However, all this may be about to change, and Centuro Global may be the ringleader this revolution needs.
To speak in more specific terms, there are two obstacles faced by companies with ambitions on foreign soil: cost and practicality. According to the status quo, for businesses to successfully establish operations beyond their native country, they must enlist the help of a major law firm, one of the big four accounting firms, or both. That comes with a cost, a lot of it. Inherently, companies that are not generationally large with significant investors or capital in the bank have no choice but to stick to what they know and expand as far as possible within the domestic market. Already, a large proportion of businesses with huge universal potential may have been deterred.
Centuro is not a firm but a platform and service for business owners to utilize. Therefore, opting to plan a company’s expansion with its toolkit, knowledge base, and specialist advisors is likely to incur significantly lower costs than handing over all internal documents to an international law firm and saying, ‘Here, you do it.’ A transformative by-product of this approach, in addition to the lowering of costs and leveling of the playing field, is that business owners and their staff are empowered to take on an expansion themselves. It’s somewhat of an IKEA approach to business development, comparably making the transposition of goods and services much easier while still providing optimum support to the consumer.
Naturally, this analogy prompts the issue of practicality, which Centuro seeks to overcome. As opposed to the presumption that compliance with another country’s requirements is within the exclusive skill set of lawyers and accounting professionals, the platform provides a wealth of information on all necessary aspects of expansion into a particular country. Everything from legal regulations and tax to immigration and the steps to open a bank account are covered within Centuro’s ‘blueprints,’ opening up international gateways that entrepreneurs previously may have never thought possible.
In addition to the more passive service provided by Centuro, users are provided with direct access to an account manager, who acts as the first point of call for all queries relating to the proposed international expansion. Centuro streamlines the expensive and time-consuming service typically provided by law and accounting firms into a single specialist, creating a community rather than a static Wiki-type black and white website. CEO Zain Ali believes this approach allows for the ideal balance between technological and human services, a support structure fit for 21st Century expansion.
Ali is keen to illustrate the problem-solving potential of his platform by reference to precedents of success. “A client’s HR team came to us for immigration assistance when they needed to move workers into Ghana to complete a project,” he outlines. “Upon realization that an entity set up by a large international firm did not allow for the client’s ex-pat workers, we were able to work with our Ghanaian service provider members and the government to enable them to be brought in.” Above all else, Ali’s platform is committed to providing users with the most suitable advice for their expansion.
Centuro provides such a multitude of assistance mechanisms for expanding business people, it is almost difficult to condense them in a journalistic capacity. In a way, that is also the best summation of its upside: entrepreneurs are provided with everything in one place to set up in a new place effortlessly.