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Even experienced exporters can benefit from Scottish Development International (SDI) support when targeting new overseas markets.
"I'm delighted with the support we receive from SDI. As well as the extremely helpful financial support in attending major exhibitions, they also give us a real insight into potential markets and help us to make some vital contacts.” John Davis, Xyrex
Glasgow-based company Xyrex manufactures a range of leading edge products for the fishing, seafood and aquaculture industries. The company’s innovative liquid technology can help increase the value of wild-caught and farmed seafood by eliminating bacteria in fish and controlling undesirable enzymatic activity in prawns and other crustaceans.
While Xyrex has always had an international focus, the company was keen to expand into new, potentially more challenging markets.
The key focus was on countries with strong areas of aquaculture production where there would be a strong demand for one of its core products – Prawnfresh, which is designed to control a condition known as melonosis. (blackening of the skin on shrimps when they come out of the water).
The company identified a number of key countries with strong potential such as Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, and Asian markets including Vietnam. While the opportunities for business growth in those markets was clear, the challenge for Xyrex was to understand how best to access the markets and adapt to the cultural differences.
Having worked with Scottish Enterprise and SDI for a number of years in developing both domestic and international business, Xyrex Managing Director John Davis was well aware of the support available.
“When we took the decision to focus on the aquaculture industry and the international opportunities, we knew SDI would help in terms of attending exhibitions and carrying out detailed market research,” says John.
“They have been brilliant in helping us to focus on what we are doing in particular markets. For example whether we are exhibiting at an event or walking the floor.”
“As well as providing support in terms of attending exhibitions, we’ve also helped Xyrex to identify potential customers and distributors in key markets,” adds Joanna Gourlay, Xyrex’s SDI representative.
As the company has begun to focus on the Asian market, so support from SDI has become ever more vital.
“When we first looked at Asia, we were able to speak to SDI staff on the ground, who could give us a kind of 10 commandments of operating in the market,” says John. “That gave us an excellent starting point.”
Among the Asian markets that Xyrex has targeted recently is Vietnam, where SDI – supported visits to the country’s major seafood exhibition – Vietfish – and market research trips have yielded encouraging results.
“Thanks to our visits to Vietnam and support from SDI, we recently signed an agreement with a distributor in Vietnam,” says John.
Xyrex is looking to exhibit with their new distributor at this year’s Vietfish event and they have already placed their second order with Xyrex while looking at ways to expand into other geographies there.
We've enjoyed significant growth over the past few years mainly due to our international activities and the support from SDI has been fundamental in our overseas success to date,” says John.
Read more about SDI's support to visit potential markets
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