Expert Insights: How to navigate the complexity of UK Market Entry with Atulya Mittal

Atulya Mittal is the Partnership Lead for the United Kingdom at Rainmaking Expand, and has a wealth of experience in the UK market. As an entrepreneur and innovator, Atulya has an impressive background and is passionate about shaping new ideas and technologies into relevant partnerships.

In this article, Atulya shares some advice and tips on how companies can navigate entering the UK market, as well as outlining some common mistakes to avoid.

Hello, my name is Atulya Mittal and I am the partnerships lead for the UK for Rainmaking Expand. If you haven’t read my last article on key trends and differentiating yourself when entering the UK, please do take a moment to check it out here.

For this article, I will be diving into some of the strategies I have seen companies utilise when navigating their market entry in the UK, as well as sharing some common mistakes which companies tend to make.

Through my practical experience of working with a variety of companies in the UK, I have gained an insight into the various difficulties and obstacles they come up against when attempting to enter the market. It is essential that companies bear in mind certain key considerations when looking to penetrate this market, ensure that their strategies are tailored to suit the preferences of the UK market and that they are able to adjust their operations quickly in order to respond to any changes in the business environment.

There are multiple actions you can take to prepare yourself for the UK market, but below are the three key areas to understand when exploring a UK expansion:

  1. Localisation: Products and services need to be localised before launching at scale. This requires research and a nuanced understanding of the customer and may also require certain design changes in the user experience. However, there are ways to establish product-market fit on a smaller scale with a soft launch without investing heavily in the localisation upfront.
  2. Regulations: In areas such as FinTech or any consumer-facing digital opportunity, the UK has its own set of laws and data collection practises which may need particular attention. The good thing is that the UK makes these regulations and practises very clear and there are resources to help navigate this topic.
  3. Partnerships: The right set of partners can significantly accelerate market entry. Finding the right partner is about talking to many potential partners and finding solutions to immediate problems while keeping the long term in focus. Once established, these partnerships can unlock opportunities that companies outside the UK may not even be aware of. Most large UK companies have some form of innovation arm or team that are open for partnerships.

In order to accomplish a smooth entry, it is important to avoid some of the common missteps that some companies can take. I have seen some of the follow missteps which would be best to avoid:

  1. The first common mistake is underestimating the time, resources and commitment required to enter the market. The UK is a complex market from a regulatory and a customer acquisition perspective. A common mistake is to under-allocate resources to expansion into the UK and then scramble to find the resources, both financial and non-financial, to make up for lost time.
  2. Businesses must realise early on that the cost-base and cost-model will change as they enter the UK and they need to plan for this in advance. If the business ignores the changing cost structures and the impact on the pricing and profit model they may be able to enter and grow quickly but find it hard to become sustainable in the UK.
  3. Lastly, its important to look within the market and launch the business with the optimal set of target customers instead of going for a broad based “spray and pray” approach. The right set of initial customers ensures that businesses get actionable and useful feedback early on and are able to iterate on their offering quickly to become more relevant to the market. Thus, rather than focus on the “number of customers” acquired, businesses are well advised to focus on the “quality of early customers”. This is equally relevant to B2C and B2B businesses.

Through the Rainmaking Expand programme, we help companies navigate these nuances and avoid these mistakes, making sure that their market entry into the UK is effective and produces key results. But only avoiding the common mistakes listed above is not enough to guarantee a successful entry. It is also important for companies to gain an understanding of the UK market and adapt for the local needs.

Once you are ready and at the stage to begin your market entry journey, companies looking to expand to the UK would be able to leverage the unique and tailored approach offered via the Rainmaking Expand programme. Applications are open all year round, and I look forward to working with you when you are ready to enter the UK.

Interested in scaling your business to new markets?

Rainmaking Expand is for growth stage startups & SMEs looking to accelerate market entry into multiple locations, focusing on business development and leveraging genuine commercial opportunities. Our Rainmaking Expand framework aims to accelerate companies’ speed to market while de-risking market expansion.

Our programmes are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Explore our current markets available and apply now:


Written by
Atulya Mittal
March 7, 2023
Partnerships Lead, Rainmaking Expand: United Kingdom

Related Articles

Join a Programme

  • South Korea A structured, multi-phased approach to exploring and de-risking entry into the South Korean market
  • United Arab Emirates Structured market entry into the dynamic and high potential ecosystem of the UAE via our programme
  • United Kingdom An accelerated approach to the London & UK Market utilising our flexible framework for Market Entry
  • South East Asia Accelerating market entry for fast-growing companies into South East Asia via Singapore