If you’re looking to export, where do you turn to for expert advice and guidance? The DIT is your first port of call... that is, as long as you’re happy to trust an expert...
Who remembers this quote from 2016? ‘I think that the people of this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms…’*
Uh oh. The Department for International Trade (DIT) places a great importance on the expertise that our International Trade Advisers (ITAs) bring to the businesses with whom they work. We may even go so far as to say we consider them ‘experts’. A feature of life today is certainly the preponderance of hyperbole: people don’t just like things, they are passionate about them, if you’re above the pay grade of an expert, you may style yourself as a ‘guru’, or perhaps even, a ‘tsar’. Semantics aside, we are very proud of our team of ITAs who, on a daily basis, help many of our East Midlands businesses to be successful overseas. Kathryn Borg, an adviser based in the High Peak, is one such adviser. “I began my working life in sales and progressed on to training sales people and then a role training the trainer. After studying marketing, I worked as marketing manager for a variety of companies. “I then decided to go it alone and set up a consultancy business specialising in marketing, sales and business growth. Later I included stress management in my service to my clients. “Because I am so interested in people and business and how to help companies optimise their results, I have enjoyed branching out into many areas, all of which have an impact on a company’s bottom line.”
The DIT in the East Midlands has 23 ITAs just like Kathryn working with many of the exporters in the region. Some have sector specialisms or subject matter specialisms such as rail, China or digital. Kathryn’s area of specialism is in global sports: “I was a director on the board for the Malta Sports Council when I lived in Malta. In this role, I worked with the Government to develop the sports sector in the country. “I now actively promote the Global Sports Sector to businesses in the East Midlands for DIT, supporting the work they do and identifying companies who could supply the requirements of countries holding events such as the Olympics, the World Cup etc. “At the moment, I am working to help get businesses into the Pan Am Games in Lima.”
It is fair to say that Kathryn has been a globe-trotter in her time, having lived in Germany, Malta, The Netherlands, Libya and, briefly, the UAE. This international outlook is typical of the ITA team, many of whom are linguists and have lived and worked overseas. On top of this, they all have experience of export sales and are able to advise on other, general business practices.
Kathryn works with between 70-80 companies on her patch, about 20 very closely who need intensive help. One of the joys of her job is the variety it brings. Each company is unique and is on a different stage of their export journey. That being the case, there is no such thing as a typical day, but Kathryn and colleagues are committed to ensuring that they leave no stone unturned for the companies they support.
So, let’s leave you with the words of author, Ken Poirot, who perhaps has a more enlightened observation on the subject of experts: ‘Wise people understand the need to consult experts; only fools are confident they know everything.’
To find out how DIT can help your business grow through exporting please contact us on: 0345 052 4001 or [email protected]
* Just in case you were wondering, the quote is from Michael Gove.