Employees go and sell with pride
A LINCOLNSHIRE firm that won big in a major competition run by one of the world's biggest banks has urged other businesses to get involved, as it looks to India for new markets.
Luxus, the Louth-based plastics recycler headed by managing director Peter Atterby, was named regional winner of HSBC's Business Thinking challenge last year.
The company is now heading to the national final, with further financial incentives up for grabs, having already launched an academy and significantly expanded research and development facilities with the last prize.
Mr Atterby, who was also flown to Hong Kong with other regional winners as part of the event, told an audience of his peers at a regional launch for 2012's Global Connections competition, that Luxus now sells 24,000 tonnes of compound for use in sectors including the automotive market, employs 140 people on Fairfield Industrial Estate and generates a £21-million turnover.
It is currently working with companies in India to set up operations there too, as it looks to win supply contracts with car manufacturers on a global basis.
And he underlined the Business Thinking competition's role in giving the firm the confidence to strive. He said: "The opportunity to benchmark our thinking in a global market was excellent for us. It is incredible and through it, I have met a lot of people – some brash, some studious, some techy, all of them had something to offer. As long as you enter for the experience, rather than competing, there is a lot to be gained.
"It has increased our confidence and every one of our employees now goes out there and sells our products with pride."
Telling how he was reluctant at first, Mr Atterby pulled down the obvious barriers for those looking to be one of the top 30 firms involved this year.
He said: "'Are we good enough?' was one question I first posed. We all go through the same process, thinking we are not very big. The challenge is not about size and what you do, it is about how you think and what you think about the future.
"The time it would take was another consideration. Time is extremely valuable and it took me away from the day-to-day, but I think it is some of the best time I ever invested in terms of looking at the business and presenting it in another way."
It has also led to a closer relationship with the bank, which has helped with recent global growth aspirations.
Mr Atterby said: "We have formulated a well thought out plan for the market of India with UKTI and HSBC. We did a tremendous amount of planning before we went, and it was time well invested as we hit the ground ruining. We now have the ability to sell products in the Indian market, we have appointed an agent and we are validating six companies to supply to us there.
"We have moved forward with pride and confidence. India and global markets are the answer. However, you look at it, Europe is in a mess."