Clark Grue’s aim is to provide unique solutions that exceed companies’ expectations by increasing their productivity, profitability and competitive advantage in global markets…
Formed in 2007, Rainmaker Global Market Access is the brainchild of Clark Grue and his partners, Timothy Kozmyk and Lois Mitchell. In their fourteen year journey, the company has worked with hundreds of companies as they navigate the nuances of business development, marketing, and sales generation in geographies that are new and distant to them. Each one has been unique as they have a different strategy for the expansion of their business, product, and service offering beyond their current market.
A passionate Canadian who serves on several NFP Boards, visionary Clark Grue has been able to lead Rainmaker through exacting competition as the CEO. Present-day, they are known for their strong values of quality and trust as each piece of work is undertaken with a deep sense of strategic focus, excellence, and integrity.
Clark transitioned into global business through his role while selling satellite devices and communication channels to mining companies working in Africa. It gave him an invaluable perspective on how difficult international markets can be to navigate and the challenges that are faced by businesses as they operate globally.
The regulatory and cultural barriers to doing business in developing countries can be daunting for businesses that are based in a developed economy. To add to this, the pace of growth in some countries that are catching up to developing countries has never been more accelerated than it is in today’s world. This adds to the complexity and challenge of expanding companies into the global marketplace.
This simple start of selling communication devices to be used halfway around the world was what captivated Clark’s interest in international business.
The next catalytic event in his career was when he was hired to establish and run one of the British Government’s first trade offices established in a non-diplomatic post. The five years that he spent as the Director of the British Trade Office provided the base training that he needed to be able to help companies as they navigated global markets.
Founding Rainmaker Global was the next critical step in his career. Working with a highly accomplished energy executive and future Representative of Queen Elizabeth II, as the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, was both humbling and formulative to Clark’s vision of guiding CEOs as they strategize for global growth.
Appealing to the Target Audience
“As the global economy ebbs and flows, changing forces are constantly impacting opportunities that exist, or will exist for businesses in the future. As the world changes, Rainmakers MUST change as well. The data we use, the people we have in foreign markets, the tools we use to enter a market, the work we do with the government, and the process and models we recommend are in continual beta-testing; since the world we are operating in is in constant change”, Clark shared.
“This mindset of perpetual change defines what it means to be a Rainmaker. Seeing what is going to change in the markets we are accessing, activating, or accelerating before and while it is happening is our value proposition. Hence, we must continually adjust our offering to meet our clients’ requirements as we open new markets. This is the only way to ensure our clients experience the full impact of our Rainmakers. Adjusting to our clients and to the markets we are accessing keeps Rainmaker on the cutting edge as a driving force for market expansion”, he further added.
The “Secret Sauce” behind the Success
- Learn always: Listen to the perspective of others. No matter who the others are, their experience, or age. Be open to learning from their view of the world.
- Pick your team well: If you are always the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong rooms!
- Understand your impact: Everything you do affects others. Know this, tune-in to it and allow it to influence your decisions.
The Biggest Professional Failures & Learning
Clark says that he has made many mistakes in his career. Thankfully, they have not been more than learning experiences for him personally.
That said, interacting with people who have stale view points on innovation, global markets or cultural interactions have always frustrated him. He is sure that he has made many people uncomfortable with his positions on various global dynamics. He is sure that he will continue to do this as he has a passion for encouraging companies to expand to new markets and has strong beliefs in how to do this effectively. Perhaps he is still learning how to portray this position.
Definition of Success
A healthy and strong family and business…
Rainmaker is striving to achieve truly global reach and being able to serve any company in any industry that wants to expand into international markets. This is the gold standard for the company, and Clark believes that achieving this is within Rainmaker Global’s reach. In addition, having clients, employees, and partners who benefit from this vision is the ultimate goal for him. In today’s world, this is more possible than when we started in 2007; the same year that the iPhone came to market!
Clark’s Greatest Accomplishments
“Definitely being blessed to raise an amazing family with my wife of 33 years. Nothing trumps family! Professionally, I have been proud of my volunteer work on many boards. The Association for Corporate Growth, the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada, Meetings Mean Business Canada, all amazing and foundational accomplishments for me personally as I served as President, Vice-Chair, and Chair, respectively,” the visionary said.
“Rainmaker’s success over 14 years is what I would deem my greatest professional accomplishment. Now in version 3.5, Rainmaker has adapted and reacted to market forces, including the COVID-19 pandemic and globalization. We test, implement, fail and learn quickly and effectively. Rainmaker 4.0 will truly be a transformation that will accelerate the organization globally as it grows to have over 200 Rainmakers around the world,” he further added.
The Successful Journey & Primary Characteristic of a Leader
“People matter. We impact people every day. If I can be a positive force for each of them as individuals, I hope that they will take that and grow on their own path. I believe that the more we can influence the world in a positive way, the more satisfied we will be at the end of this life”, said Clark.
Vision: According to Clark, there is no real leader without a vision. “Take a position on something and ask people for the honour of leading them to the goal ahead, a goal that will benefit not only the leader but all who follow and buy into that vision. There are many people who are in positions of leadership; Politicians, CEOs, Executive Directors, Faith leaders, all with an opportunity to lead with vision and with the followers’
interests in mind”.
The key to Rainmaker providing more value to the clients in the future is to add strategic Global Partners to our organization. As the CEO, Clark is always on the lookout for the right people in international markets around the world to join them and be part of assisting companies to expand and grow within those markets.
The Best Advice Recently Received
Do not use COVID-19 as an excuse to not grow your business. The work we do now will pay massive dividends to those who stayed focused and proactive.