Gate 7, a Gateshead specialist printer for the construction machinery sector whose clients include JCB, Volvo, Hitachi and Caterpillar, plans to grow its international sales by expanding its presence in India.
Established in 2000, the business offers specialist self-adhesive sticker production services, printing onto everything from vinyl to stainless steel.
The company began exporting to India in 2010 after receiving support from International Trade Advisers at the Department for International Trade (DIT). DIT initially helped Gate 7 carry out market research on the Indian market, working with the company to secure face-to-face meetings with potential Indian customers.
Since then, the company has seen its Indian export sales increase by 2% annually, with sales in India now accounting for 12% of its total export revenue.
Recognising the potential for further growth in the Indian market, Gate 7 is now in talks with DIT’s network of staff in India to explore the possibility of opening an office and production facility in the country over the next two years.
Gate 7 also exports to countries across North America and Europe, including the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and the US.
Over the last two years, the company’s export turnover has increased by 18%, with international sales now accounting for almost 70% of the firm’s turnover.
Earlier this year, the company was awarded its second Queen’s Award for International Trade in recognition of its export success, having previously won the award in 2005. In 2017, Gate 7’s Managing Director, Kate Wickham, was awarded an MBE for Services to Exporting and Outward Investment.
Kate Wickham MBE, Managing Director, Gate 7, said: “Exporting has been in our DNA from the start. Because we provide a very specialist service, we’re naturally limited by the size of the UK market, and having a global reach enables us to boost both our profitability and resilience.
“The Indian market is very lucrative for our business but building our presence there has not been without its challenges. Through trade advisers here in Gateshead and on the ground in India, DIT has helped us identify buyers across the country, as well as offering cultural insight into the ins-and-outs of doing business. DIT has also helped us with the cost of travelling to meet partners around the world – often one of the main barriers for businesses looking to export.”
“We’re currently talking to DIT advisers based at the British High Commission in India to help us establish a manufacturing base in the country, which will enable us to further establish our Indian operations. The support is out there – if a company like ours can do it, others can too.”
David Coppock, Head of the North East, Department for International Trade said: “Gate 7 is an outstanding example of a North East firm that has worked hard to capitalise on the huge opportunity for growth available to British businesses overseas. Last year, exports from the North East totalled an impressive £12.9 billion, an increase of 8% on the year before.
“To help businesses of all sizes and aspirations get their products overseas, we offer a wide range of support options. These range from structured trade missions to one-to-one coaching through our expert trade advisers who are based on the ground across the North East. I’d urge anyone interested to get in touch and see how they can profit from the benefits exporting can bring.”
Firms looking for support should call 0345 136 0169 or email email@example.com. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.