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TIPS: How to find a commissioning organization for your assignment?

​A very important part of the Building Partnerships… minors is the Assignment which must be obtained from a Commissioning Organization (CO). It is the responsibility of each team to find a CO that will give them a suitable assignment.


We know that it may be quite a challenge to find a proper CO for your assignment, if you do not have much experience of networking or contacting companies. Yet, this is exactly what the minor is all about!

We often receive questions such as ‘how can I find a suitable Commissioning Organization?’ Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question. There is no ‘recipe for success’…

However, the tips below may give you some inspiration.


Your first goal is: Identifying organizations that intend to do business in or with the target destination (China / Southeast Asia (Thailand) / South Korea).


If you pay close attention to the media, you will soon discover that there are many organizations that have ambitions to expand their scope and seek for Asian opportunities. Either selling their products in Asia (market entry, export), or buying products/services in Asia (sourcing, import). Those companies/organizations are your target!


What is a "suitable Commissioning Organization"?

A suitable Commissioning Organization (CO, Dutch: "opdrachtgever") can be any organization that has serious plans to expand their business contacts overseas. This is in many cases driven by commercial motivations: selling their products overseas (market entry, export), or buying products/services overseas (sourcing, import).

But... actually any organization that is looking for new professional relationships in Asia may be suitable. Suitable assignments may also be obtained from, for example, a physiotherapist practice, an international law firm, a hospital, an IT company, a real estate company, an investment fund managing company, a professional sports team, etc., etc., etc. ...that is looking for a new network of experts in Asia to exchange knowledge and expertise. But keep in mind that the assignment:


  • Should be focused on building partnerships in the designated destination

  • Should require at least 15 appointments to enable the team to write a good advisory report




  • The Commissioning Organization must have a significant interest in a proper execution of the assignment. They must have a real motivation to establish a network in the designated country and need your advice to help them accomplish this aim, once your team has set up the initial contacts.

Below you can find some simple tips to identify your potential Commissioning Organization. But let's first have a look at what you can offer to the Commissioning Organization.

What is your offer to the Commissioning Organization?

  • You will spend a full month on location. You have ample time to do groundwork for your Commissioning Organization. You can follow up on leads. You can visit (production) facilities, offices, warehouses.

  • You can take photos of the local situation. You can talk to management, contact persons, suppliers, government officials, consultants, etc.

  • You can inspect shipments. You can attend a trade show (if applicable). You can network on behalf of your Commissioning Organization.

  • You can set up a local consumer test to assess acceptance of a product in the local market.

  • You will receive local support from local students that volunteer to help you to find your way on location.

  • You will set up (a minimum of) 15 appointments (during the preparation phase in The Netherlands).

  • You will visit (a minimum of 15) relevant business contacts, consultants, organizations etc. on location.

  • You will deliver a well-documented report to the Commissioning Organization. In this report you will give advice on how the Commissioning Organization can follow up on your ground work.

  • In your report you will deliver an overview to the Commissioning Organization with detailed minutes of meetings and photos.

  • You will present your findings at the office of the Commissioning Organization in The Netherlands.

  • ...


Where to find a Commissioning Organization?

“In the field”


Look in stores for boxes, packing, labels, etc.:













Seminars, trade missions (past, future)
  • Contact the organizers (KvK,, etc.)

  • Ask for the participants and/or exhibitors list

Example: The Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs is very actively promoting the Netherlands with trade missions abroad. Many companies joined these missions. Check the “missieboekje” of each mission for company details. You can also look at the business opportunities per country (e.g. here, here, or here).

Associations, Business Clubs, Industry Networks

For almost every industry there is an association. Try and contact its members to ask for advice, suggestions and names of companies that are potentially interested in doing business in the designated country.


Try useful search entries. Dutch*) words and sentences will give search results of Dutch web pages.

  • Use “xyz” (quotation marks)


    • “Directeur China” or “Direkteur China”

    • “geopend in China” or “geopend in Shanghai”

    • "opent in Korea"

    • “kantoor in Thailand”

    • “importeert uit Korea”

    • “exporteert naar Thailand”

    • "is vertegenwoordigd in Thailand door"

    • "wordt in Korea vertegenwoordigd door"

    • "vestiging in Korea"

    • ...

*) You can use any other language, of course


Below you can follow an example of a search trail with Google:


In two clicks you can find an interesting lead!


Google: Search for companies/organizations


Use the “+”

  • +china +shanghai +[industry] +…

  • +”white paper”

  • +PDF

  • +".doc"

  • +".ppt"

Try also:, or (different search results!)

​Your own network!

Assignments offered directly by relatives or friends are generally not challenging enough and there may be a conflict of interest. But... You can use your own network to find a suitable Commissioning Organization! As said earlier: Spread the word. Let everyone in your network know what your plans are. Post a message on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram page. Ask people on birthday parties if they can help. "Do you know someone who is working in <company>, <industry>, ...?", "Can you help me with finding a contact person at..."

Last note...


Try to work systematically. First, draft a long list of potential companies/organisations that you found. Second, plan all your actions in a time frame that suits you best. This includes your planning when you make phone calls and when follow up emails and meetings with your potential COs (in that order: call first -> then email to confirm what you discussed). Note that emails received from unknown senders are often considered as spam, deleted or ignored.


Also... Do not bet on only one horse!

Keep in mind that finding the right contacts is simply hard work. Try, and try again. Spread the word. Let everyone in your network know what your plans are and what you can offer to them, or their network.

And... do not give up! Consider this as your first exercise in... Building Partnerships!

We wish you a lot of success and fun with finding your suitable Commissioning Organization!

- The BPI minor team -

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