Exporting to Survive

With U.S. customers in a crunch, new telecom firms go abroad for business

Robert Dalias was convinced he had a better mousetrap--a new kind of switching device that U.S. telephone companies seemed eager to buy from his start-up company, WaveSmith Networks. But as the telecom crash washed over his customers and prospects, one after another canceled or postponed orders. His venture-capital investors started making nervous noises. So Dalias looked abroad for help. Despite having a meager track record and no multinational distribution channels, the CEO landed his first big sale, to NetOne Systems, a leading tech distributor and systems integrator based in Tokyo, and that success helped Dalias close his first U.S. sale in...

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