A Wellingborough-based international chemical company has renewed its commitment to a global export drive with a new focus on South Korea, Japan and Brazil, with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Scott Bader, which employs 650 people worldwide with 250 in Wellingborough, manufacture a wide range of speciality chemicals, resins and adhesives. They currently sell about 70% of their £200 million global turnover across North West Europe but are looking to boost profits and grow further by developing new business in several high growth countries where sales today are low or zero.
This ambition for international growth is on track after the company developed further sales opportunities across South Korea, Japan and Brazil, with support from UKTI.
Malcolm Forsyth, Global Director for the Adhesives & Advanced Composites Business of Scott Bader, said: “We have historically focused our efforts on North West Europe but the recent recession has reinforced to us that we need to refocus and do much more in high growth markets further afield.
UKTI helped find entry routes overseas
“Working with UKTI these efforts have begun to reap rewards and we have now gained entry into some key new global markets. UKTI have provided us with valuable support and helped us find entry routes in countries where we had very little prior knowledge or experience. It’s vital to us that we increase our presence in these growth markets and exploit our key speciality technologies on a more global scale.
“We have had an arms-length relationship with a licence partner in South America for 40 years but as Brazil emerged as a key market we have moved this to a much more proactive relationship resulting in the setting up of a 50-50 joint venture to manufacture some of our key speciality products locally in Brazil.
"The success of the venture so far was greatly enhanced by the helpful and informed support we received from the British Consulate in Sao Paulo where we were given briefings on doing business in Brazil and recommendations for legal and financial partners to meet with. The lawyers we selected from the recommended list have been instrumental in helping us get the right legal corporate structures and arrangements in place and helping us navigate the very complex legal and taxation environment any business has to operate within in Brazil.
Formidable regulations overcome
“Working in a new market can be very complex and there are a formidable range of regulations to get around but with help from UKTI we have been able to negotiate these hurdles. We are now manufacturing in Brazil and sales are starting to build. We expect to see a good profitable return from our joint venture in 2015.”
The company also have further plans to expand in Japan after visiting with a UKTI trade mission in December 2013, a visit which confirmed they have a range of specialist adhesives that are of real interest to the Japanese market. Working with a local Japanese agent, a first major order is now on the horizon.
Work with UKTI has also helped them advance in South Korea. The company has received specific advice from UKTI on the regulatory approval requirements to be satisfied, enabling them to get a foothold in the market.
Malcolm added: “Our strategy is clear – we are growing by advancing our global footprint and continuing to innovate new technologies which appeal to markets around the world, and UKTI are providing vital help to us with implementing this strategy through local market knowledge, advice and contacts.”
Ian Harrison, Regional Director for UKTI East Midlands, said: “Scott Bader is a vital company in the region which has embraced overseas markets to find ways to grow and prosper during difficult economic times. Their ambition is admirable and we will continue to work with them in any way we can to help them reach their global targets.
“Expert trade advice and support from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is available to all UK companies to start them on the path to exporting success and Export Week is an excellent opportunity for companies to find out more.”
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