WASHINGTON: Marc Ross, former US-China Business Council communications director, is teaming up with SafeSource Trading CEO Jeremy Haft to form Caracal Strategies.
The Washington, DC-based firm is designed to "help clients navigate American business at the intersection of globalization, economics, market access, government, and commerce," according to a statement.
Ross said the firm will work with companies already established in and looking to break into the markets in the EU and China. Whether a company is looking to expand in a foreign country or make its presence known for the first time, Caracal Strategies will provide the tools and insight to support its success.
"A vast majority of [foreign companies operating in China] are facing issues that are challenging them from a variety of pressure points," said Haft. "An issue you face in China, as a company, will have many components to it – it may be government, public affairs, or business strategy."
"Companies really need a wide range of skill sets to fix these problems," added Ross. "You need people to understand these overlaps [and the] role government plays as well as public affairs." The founders’ expertise runs the gamut – Ross noted his background is in communications and public affairs while Haft has long been steeped in business, particularly in China.
The firm came out of Ross and Haft seeing a "need" for the type of multi-layered services Caracal Strategies will offer, Haft added. One recurring misstep he’s noticed among companies moving in to new territory is the inclination to seek out the "similarities in business, as opposed to the differences," which Haft said is "a fundamental mistake that can scuttle your whole business plan."
Caracal Strategies will have partners in Beijing and Brussels, said Haft. Ross added the firm will look to grow over time.
Before his stint at the US-China Business Council – where he will remain in the short-term as a communications consultant, he confirmed – Ross was a political director for the California Republican Party, a VP of business development at Leverage, and a director of grassroots and public affairs at the American Chemistry Council, according to LinkedIn.
Haft was a founder at both the Asia Assurance Group and BChinaB, and a creative director at CKS Group and SiteSpecific, per LinkedIn.