The interaction with the Scots made Ekomate aware of the relatively high concentration of software companies in that part of the UK. Moreover, virtually all of these firms were software SMEs - exactly the type of firm that Ekomate was interested in dealing with. Based on pnor positive expenences in dealing with fellow Indians in the USA, Thomas's strategy for the UK in general and Scotland in particular was to partner with a non-resident Indian business based in Scotland. The local partner would provide the front-end interface with the client while Ekomate would provide the back-end software programming.
Thomas visited Scotland and an agreement was signed between Ekomate and a Scottish partner. Although the main individual involved at the Scottish end was not himself Indian, the connection had been made through a Scotland-based Indian contact that Thomas had cultivated in the interim. Thus. a strategy of tapping into ethnic ties overseas was continuing to be adopted. Thomas was very opti-mistic about the new relationship and business targets were agreed by the partners for the forth-coming quarter. The partnership was, however, short-lived. By early 2005 it became apparent that a personal crisis for the individual in Scotland made the relationship unsustainable. This was a setback for Ekomate, which had pinned great hopes on the additional growth that would accrue through new business in Scotland.
1. How did network relationships facilitate the internationalization process for Ekomate?
2. What are the different types of network relationships that you can identify in this case? How does their particular role in Ekomate's growth and development vary?
3. Could small entrepreneurial firms network relationships have a, ark side'?