Working on an International Scale: Craig Corporate

Working on an International Scale: Craig Corporate

International expansion can be a daunting prospect – even when you are used to guiding clients through the process yourself.

When Glasgow-based Craig Corporate – a management consultancy which helps owner-managed businesses to achieve their goals and improve their productivity – had its sights set on a move to the Middle East, HFI was its first port of call.

Managing director Paul Yacoubian says, “We had been thinking about expanding internationally for a good few years. We wanted to expand our business outside of mainland Europe and had given serious consideration to both the United States and the Middle East.

“We were familiar with Dubai, having assisted other companies’ expansion there in the past, so it seemed a natural choice.

“When it became time to set the wheels in motion, I couldn’t think of anybody better than Hugh’s team. I have known Hugh for a long time, since he helped me with a client’s own expansion into the Middle East a number of years ago. He and his team are very pragmatic; they have an intimate knowledge of the process and do a huge amount of the lifting and project management.”

And now, a year after expanding into the Middle East, Paul has experienced some unexpected benefits. He explains, “When we opened our Dubai office, I believed I would spend much more time in Dubai and the surrounding gulf states than I actually have.

“Instead, what has happened is that our clients – and potential clients – now see Craig Corporate as a player in the international field. Where we may have been passed over for international work in the past, we are now seen as a global entity. So, in the last year, as well as working in the Middle East I have worked in Houston, Washington DC, Sidney, London, Geneva, Frankfurt – amongst many others.

“Having a base in Dubai has really increased our clients’ perception of where we can work.”

For Paul, a large proportion of Craig Corporate’s successful expansion overseas is down to the expert advice and consultancy provided by HFI. He says, ““I would recommend HFI to anybody; they’re very calm, and nothing phases them – even when additional hurdles present themselves. The team really understands that there are practical solutions to any issues and can make everything easy to understand.

“Rather than handing over everything at once, they split things into easy-to-manage steps. There might be 50 of them – but they’re presented in bitesize chunks, that are more manageable to work through. And wherever they can physically do things for you, they will.”

“I’d still be trying to get set up if I was doing this on my own. My business is not huge – we don’t have hundreds of administrators who could do this level of research – and I’m busy consulting for my own clients. So, it was really important for me to have someone that I trusted project manage our expansion.”