I would say that this is the most important point in any business. There is no substitute for strategy. With that said, I would say that strategy is even more important based on two more facts. First, you are in a foreign country. Hence, by this fact alone you are at a disadvantage. You might lack an understanding of the society and what other natives know, you might not know. Second, if the industry is competitive, then this fact puts you at a disadvantage as well. It is hard to break into a strong sector.
In light of these two points, you will need some excellent strategies. You will need all the best information on the market, the product, the people, and anything else that might help as well. You might want to hire a local consulting firm to do the research and give you some ideas. Even when you entrench yourself in that soceity, you will still need further strategy to get ahead. In short, strategic thinking is king.