So, what’s it like? It would be wrong to say seamless. But there are sufficient similarities to make it feel quite ‘familiar’.
For one, both Links and UKTI deal with broadly the same multipliers that bring companies to market, whether it is Chambers of Commerce or Trade Associations. The difference is that UKTI, as the export promotion arm of the British government, helps UK companies explore the export potential for their goods and services, whereas Links tends to form relationships with companies that have invariably identified or seized an opportunity and are now keen to form a local entity to take it forward.
Interactions with potential clients are also similar. The UKTI team does not engage in hard selling of UKTI products (market research etc). If there is no market for goods or services then UKTI will pass on their impartial advice and suggest the company explores another market. Similarly, a consult with Links may indicate a company may be better off forming in e.g. a Free Zone and that advice will be freely given. In both cases, the emphasis is on talking with companies to better understand their business and their fit in the local market.
The main difference has to be the more technical knowledge required to advise about local company set up as opposed to the specific sector knowledge required in UKTI. The things both have most in common? Heavy workloads goes without saying. But heavy workloads that are processed by both sectors professionally and with an eye on great customer service. Oh, and a large dose of humour.