Case Study: Instron Technologies' Expansion into North America through TBDC's Ontario Soft Landing Program
November 24, 2023
· Updated: November 24th, 2023
Meet Instron Technologies
Instron Technologies LLP, founded in Pune, India, by Rahul Shirude, Rahul Bhokare, and Milind Saindane, specializes in process skid plants, digital factory solutions, and test bench systems. Helping manufacturers improve productivity and enhance operational efficiency, Instron Technologies has been operating since 2013 and experienced quick growth internationally.
Expanding to North America
Before joining TBDC’s Ontario Soft Landing Program, Instron Technologies had a team of 32 people and was already exploring its products internationally, with North America being their largest market after India. Recognizing the need for local support and considering that North America was their largest market after India, the company decided to expand further into this region.
To help them prepare for market expansion, Instron Technologies conducted research to identify potential clients and understand the market. They called existing clients and new potential clients to gain feedback on their offerings, researched competitors in the market, and met with local businesses face to face to develop pilot projects to validate their idea further in the North American Market.
Growing in North America With the Help of TBDC
When looking to set up their new startup office, Instron Technologies faced many of the challenges other startups face when trying to expand internationally, such as; regulatory concerns, finding local talent, and trust-building with customers due to their non-local status.
The company sought support from the TBDC Ontario Soft Landing Program, which helped them understand the local culture, provided assistance with legal incorporation and immigration, and facilitated networking opportunities. The program’s team was also helpful in addressing any problems or providing guidance. Additionally, participating in networking events helped create a sense of community and overcome feelings of isolation.
While they had already been selling in North America before setting up an office here, Instron Technologies knew they had to tailor their product and service offering so they could capture more market share.
Instron Technologies focused on ways to strengthen its pitch and marketing materials to help influence business decision-makers, simplifying its product interfaces, ensuring compliance with North American standards, and developing advanced documentation to help with training and onboarding. They also adapted to the local business culture by emphasizing building relationships, understanding that initial meetings in Canada might take longer to arrange compared to the U.S.
“Instron Technologies greatly values the TBDC’s mentoring and network support in our expansion into North America. Their expertise significantly bolstered our market credibility and recognition. With their insightful guidance and strong referrals, our transition into this new market was effectively streamlined.”
Instron Technologies Expansion Success
Through TBDC’s programming, Instron Technologies was introduced to the Hamilton Innovation Factory and recently joined its North American Business Acceleration program. Recently, they’ve secured contracts in Hamilton and Mississauga and are exploring contract opportunities in Guelph, Kitchener, Windsor, Cambridge, and even Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Prior to their arrival in North America, the startup’s revenue stood at about $400,000 a year. However, after establishing their presence here as a Canadian Entity, they secured $160,000 in new orders, with a 50% split in revenue between Canada and the U.S.
The international expansion has brought increased credibility and recognition to Instron Technologies. Both the Indian and North American teams are dedicated to growth, and the Indian team strives to become a world-class team. The company has gained a better understanding of international operations. Notably, a previous client noticed the company’s expansion into Canada and awarded them a $400,000 new project.
How Can Other Startups Experience International Success?
Rahul Shirude advises other startups to conduct thorough research on their industry and invest in developing a great product. He wants to emphasize that traction in the market will attract needed investment, and it’s much easier to gain great traction through a well-built product. Additionally, he highlights the importance of building relationships and leveraging networking opportunities.
“TBDC’s expertly curated events were a cornerstone in our expansion, offering vital insights into the regional economy and cultural dynamics. Their guidance in business etiquette and introductions to key associations significantly broadened our network, catalyzing our market growth.”
What do These Startup Founders Love About Living in Canada?
Rahul Shirude’s favourite aspects of living in Canada include; the quality of life provided through our infrastructure, including the libraries and parks, and the beauty of the fall season. He also mentioned the ease of doing business and the strong support network and connectivity among the government, organizations, and the community.
Want to Expand Your Startup in North America?
TBDC is the bridge you’re looking for! We are Canada’s premier startup incubator. Successful companies like Ibentos and Ayottaz have graduated from our programs and scaled through North America and the world. Are you ready to do the same and make your mark? To learn more, click here