The ability for a business to expand market share or open up new commercial channels in emerging and even hostile environments can be worth millions, sometimes hundreds of millions. It is no surprise then that one of keys to success, and often a closely guarded secret, is how VIP/Executive protection is utilized as a profit centre in this business growth strategy. Whilst it may not be known, or immediately apparent to all, well-used VIP/Executive protection support has been used for many a company to research, explore, enter and prosper in hostile and emerging markets. In one instance, I actually had a company tell me “don’t tell anyone else how to get into or operate safely in this country….we have no competition
“don’t tell anyone else how to get into or operate safely in this country….we have NO competition here, because they’re all too scared or simply don’t know how to get in and set up business!”.
This company has since been operating for years in an environment overlooked or considered “too hard” for nearly all their competitors. Niche markets present in many forms. This company has since been operating for years in an environment overlooked or considered “too hard” for nearly all their competitors. Niche markets present in many forms.
In order for a business to make informed decisions, it relies upon accurate and relevant information and advice. It is the direction of VIP/Executive protection professionals that assist in this initial marketing analysis, aiding the company in determining its risk appetite, budget, agenda, opportunity and even who to send as their initial emissary.
The investment in a new or emerging market can be significant, however it is this initial foray that can have the highest relative risk due to the fact they are sending one of their best suited and most qualified individual/s on behalf of the company. This investment in people, whilst intangible can be significant. A single individual on a couple of hundred thousand dollars annually salary could establish a revenue stream for the business over the next decade, totalling tens of millions of dollars. It is therefore an integral part of enterprise risk management to ensure that this “mission”, along with their delegate, be adequately secured, supported and even protected. There can be a lot riding on one journey and/or the initial “break-in” task.
Expeditionary services conducted by VIP/Executive protection professionals is another niche expertise and skill furnished by those with the appropriate competencies and experience. It may entail prior entry by these individuals/teams in order to evaluate and analyse the local environment and agenda in advance. Alternately, they may plan from afar and enter at the time of the task with the company’s representative. The environment, familiarity with the location and customer’s timeline will contribute as to which is possible, desired or required in advance. There may even be dual tasking, that is the identification and establishment of networks and providers for follow up visits or sustained trading once established.
By integrating business objectives, collaborating with internal stakeholders such as marketing, finance and operations, VIP/Executive protection professionals can assist a business of any shape or size evaluate it’s initial chance of success and probable costs. Sometimes this initial investment may be significant, due to the elevated threats and required countermeasures, but depending upon their product, service or potential profits, the returns outway the costs.
Examples of where this expeditionary support has yielded considerable returns include; mobile cell phone tower providers setting up the first stage of a mobile network in a remote, under-developed country; construction companies building national infrastructure, sponsored by the US government in post-war nation; mining explorations leading to the establishment of the country’s first extraction mining endeavour of its kind; and a multi-national chemical manufacturing company establishing factories and a regional manufacturing/distribution hub within a country more known for it’s sectarian violence and border disputes. All of these new ventures were won off initial VIP/Executive protection support tasks, with some continuing for the life cycle of the start up and sometimes even through to routine production.
There is nowhere you cannot do business…..with the right planning, people and support. This is achieved with collaboration from VIP/Executive protection professionals who are far more than just “hired muscle” or “hired guns” as the media and Hollywood love to portray them. With well-developed business acumen, international planning expertise and respectable pedigree borne from operating within some of the world’s most ‘challenging’ environments, these individuals are the new frontier of profitability and market expansion and the future of new, smarter businesses.