Blair Companies Tapped for Global Expertise
Blair Companies (Chicago), a leading provider of image solutions, spoke to Chicago business executives recently on their global experience. The event, one of a series of conferences sponsored by DHL Global and INC. magazine, explored various global business topics in a panel format. Blair was recently recognized by INC. as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. over the past three years.
Blair President and CEO Philip Devorris explained several strategies that were key to the growth of Blair’s global business. “Our first global efforts were procurement projects in China and Korea, followed by IT services from the Philippines. We found it easier to start as a buyer, rather than a seller. Once our presence was established, selling overseas was an easier step.”
Blair manages projects directly in North, Central and South America, and relies on their joint-venture partners, ProLicht and Albert Smith, to manage Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. “We worked together on BP’s 34,000 site global re-image back in 2002, then formed a joint venture in 2006 to manage other global re-image projects. We’re working on a host of global projects for large banks, automotive, pharmaceutical and industrial firms.”
Devorris was asked by an executive from the audience why all the panelists panelists had devoted so much time talking about Asia. “When will India and their 1.2 billion population become a focus? What country do you see as the most important place to do business in the future?”
Devorris responded, “Regarding China, our group still finds them much easier to do business with than India. Their government has embraced capitalism and created a relatively organized approach to support sustained growth through infrastructure investment. We’ve not seen this level of organization or commitment in India yet. Irrespective of that, I see being global as more important than any specific country. As a company, being global makes us platform independent.”