"Success is possible in Iran!"
Iran is not an easy terrain for foreign companies and investors. The Salzburg-based company Condor, which has been working in the country for some time already, recently opened its own office in Teheran. We spoke to managing director Andreas Gfrerer about the unique local conditions.
Mr Gfrerer – what are the dreams as well as the realities of the Iranian market?
The embargo on business with Iran has been eased, which raised many expectations. Companies from Europe and the rest of the world are nevertheless still struggling to gain a foothold in this market of 80 million people. The regulations are too complex; the market too specialised.
How did you react to developments?
We decided to make the best of our ability to open up the market for western companies by setting up a new branch office of our own in Teheran. We offer firms a wide range of services, including transport, warehousing marketing and various special customer services.
What is the composition of your staff?
We work with a mixed Iranian-Austrian team in Iran that has been in action since July.
Has the extra effort been worth it so far?
Opportunities exist to be seized! They may at first appear to be out of reach in Iran; but on closer inspection it becomes apparent that exciting new chances can arise – with the right know-how! Success is possible in Iran! We provide our customers with everything they need to compete in the complex Iranian market.
What is your recipe for success?
Condor’s Iranian branch office unites several disciplines under one roof, therefore putting us in a position to operate in the market as a holistic service provider. This is not something that can be taken for granted; it is not a common approach in Iran.
What is the basis of your experience in Iran?
We were already active in Iran as a forwarding agency from Austria during the embargo. We’ve known the market for years; we successfully exported goods to Iran during the embargo period – which, as you know, was associated with a fair amount of effort and for which detailed local knowledge was a key pre-requisite. There is no better time than today to get started in Iran.
What’s different, now that you’ve relaunched your business?
The fact that we run our own office in Teheran is one of our unique selling propositions. This move makes us one of the first western service providers in the sector to do so.
What transports do you specialise in?
Condor is a forwarder. We made our name with tailor-made solutions for complex transport jobs to and from Russia, other countries in the CIS, and Iran. Our customers include Audi, Red Bull, Danone and the Austrian football association.
How well is your company currently positioned for global trade?
Today Condor has 41 employees (from 12 different nations) working in five locations, spread between Nantes (France) and Moscow (Russia). Our headquarters are still in Salzburg (Austria). In 2016 we were awarded the Austrian economic chambers’ export prize.
Interview by Christian Doepgen.