Hitt Group (Etoolinnovation and Dingus) was recently invited by ICEX (Spain Exports and Investments) to participate in a conference on SMEs internationalization process. The objective was to share our experience with other multisectoral companies. These participant companies are either starting to open markets abroad, or seriously considering it. Basically, this is what we shared with the attendees …

Hitt Group is in the field of technology, specializing in the distribution and marketing of hotel romos and services. Our main brand is Dingus, through which we sell, in SAAS format, our reservation center and channel manager, among others. Currently, 58 people work for the company. We started taking our first steps abroad in 2013, participating in the NEXT program and at the same time creating an International Department within the company. At the time, our brand was widely recognize in Mexico and the Caribbean. This was due mainly to our positive experience with Mallorcan hotel chains which are widely present in the area.

As a result of internal analysis and market research, we decided to establish a tourism “HUB” in Cancun, opening a subsidiary office, to reach the entire Caribbean from there. We like to consider ourselves GLOCAL,  a global company acting locally, and commited in the medium and long term.

To achieve this decision it was essential to design an International Marketing  Plan: performing the aforementioned market research, getting to know stakeholders in the destination, the visible and invisible barriers (such as excessive bureaucracy), the legal and fiscal systems in Mexico and the sales’ potential for sale in different market segments. All this led us to a more concrete action plan, estimating the necessary financing to put into operation. The reality is that the plans are never fulfilled as planned, but that’s the interesting matter: analyse the deviations and reformulate everything adapting to the situation in that particular time frame.

In our case, one of the main difficulties we have faced has been to consolidateing our Mexican team and integrating them into the organization despite the physical distance. Communication (when there is a significant time gap and cultural differences) is also a topic that should be placed at the center of the agenda. We finally resolved it working on different fronts: we participated in a UIB (University of the Balearic Islands) Tourism Master welcoming mexican students as interns. These two interns, who showed their involvement and capacity during their stay with us, were incorporated, upon their return to Mexico, in our Cancún offices. We also went for a Director in Mexico with great experience in the sector and in the Caribbean area, and strong ties to Mexico . All the company areas work every day to ensure that communication flows. In this sense, the implementation of ISO 9001 quality management system is being of great help: processes are standardized and work formulas are established that are replicated in any location. Resulting in communication flowing throughout all dimensions of the organization. This has been a very positive factor.

Undoubtedly, internationalization has meant significant changes among all personnel, from the training in english clases within the company’s quarters, to the extension of customer service hours. The integration of our tools with the main American and Canadian channels -dominant in the tourist issuing market in Mexico and the Caribbean- has also been essential. Now, and once integrated with these channels, the caribbean hotels are requesting connections through our BookinCenter platform.

During this sharing session, and as a summary, our recommendations to companies that undertake this internationalization project were: Act without fear but mitigating risk with a good international marketing plan and thorough market research. Companies should take advantage of the resources offered by ICEX and their tools: Plan NEXT, Commercial Offices, Connect with the market, CAPACITA, and or other institutions such as IDI.

In many cases it is recomendable working with a consultant who will guide you on how to operate in foreign markets. Above all, companies must asume that this a medium and long term proyect.  All speakers agreed that an international proyect will bring important changes to the organization, making it more competitive.  The importance of the company directors and CEO involvement in the the international proyect success was also agreed by all of us.

We hope that our contribution was useful and interesting for SMEs that are going to undertake the process of selling their products and services outside of Spain.

Cristina Anacabe




Cristina Anacabe

International Strategy Manager Hitt Group