NanoLayr: A 21st Century Kiwi Manufacturer Capturing East Asia’s Attention.
Kiwi manufacturing company NanoLayr produces nanofibre textile technology that equips commercial businesses with functional industry-leading solutions. Produced by Sonic Electrospinning machines, NanoLayr’s nanofibre fabric is produced efficiently and flexibly to the needs of each client. Of most significance, the fabric has been utilised to create revolutionary changes to acoustic soundproofing, skincare technology, higher-performing composites, and air filters and masks. These cutting-edge products define NanoLayr as a Kiwi manufacturer leading 21st Century solutions that aim to modernise industries against increasingly changing markets. Their purpose is to; “Develop the function of fabrics to ultimately improve the quality of life for their users within many different industries”.
“The technology to create the quality and quantity of nanofibre we needed didn’t exist, so we created it. Our proprietary Sonic Electrospinning machines create quality nanofibre products at great speed and allow us to easily tweak or customise each production run to suit client needs.”
As one of ExportNZ’s Excelerator members, NanoLayr’s East Asian growth, particularly in the South Korean market, has uniquely captured our attention as a story of developing Kiwi export success. We were very fortunate that James Chong, NanoLayr’s Business Development Manager, joined us for an interview to reflect on NanoLayr’s 2021 journey into South Korea and prospects for 2022.
So, why South Korea?
Chong explains that an interested party in Australia came across their nanofibre technology and instantly recognised its potential for the South Korean cosmetic market. Among this party were native South Koreans who could facilitate this opportunity by bridging the language and cultural gap for NanoLayr as BDM’s. Once NanoLayr was introduced to the market, there was an overwhelming interest from South Korean leaders in the cosmetic industry for their bleeding-edge technology. Long-term agreements and contracts followed, with South Korean businesses willing to take NanoLayr’s products onto a global scale.
The next challenge for NanoLayr has been delivering on this interest, which requires the Kiwi company to adapt to the “bali bali” culture that deeply defines the South Korean market. ‘Bali bali’, which directly translates to ‘hurry hurry’, refers to the Korean cultural expectation of speed, immediacy, and accuracy when dealing with customers and businesses alike. Failing to meet these expectations is commonly seen as a sign of disrespect. For NanoLayr, this means adapting their export process to ship larger quantities at a faster rate without sacrificing their environmentally friendly focus. This is especially difficult for NanoLayr considering their nanofibre technology is a delicate commodity that must be shipped by sea freight at a particular level of humidity.
An Exciting Future for NanoLayr
However, with the help of ExportNZ’s advanced export knowledge and our strong network of Kiwi exporters, NanoLayr is well-positioned to overcome the challenges associated with the South Korean market. As Chong states, NanoLayr’s 2021 has been focused on improving operations by scaling its manufacturing and shipping capability to meet client expectations. Now that this capability is nearly achieved, NanoLayr’s 2022 is commercially focused, with preparations to employ a permanent sales and marketing team in South Korea. Additionally, NanoLayr is also looking at expanding further into the East Asian market, including China and Japan. For us here at ExportNZ, we are extremely excited to watch how NanoLayr will perform in this space over the next few years and help wherever we can.
In concluding our interview, Chong offered sage advice for any exporters who are or may be interested in expanding into the East Asian market. Above all, “be prepared for the uncomfortable” and “ensure that your team can operate functionally at the extremely high pace East Asia expects”. Lastly, if any exporters are further interested in tapping into this market, Chong tells us that NanoLayr would love to share their insights from their journey to help other exporters.