13 November 2017


#CBIGlobalGrowth Blog: two businesses on their journey through exporting

The North East has 4500 exporting businesses, and Newcastle is a hub for innovative, ambitious businesses in the region. Here, two home-grown businesses take us through their journey and offer advice to the next generation of local exporters.

#CBIGlobalGrowth Blog: two businesses on their journey through exporting

Raman Sehgal, Managing Director, Ramarketing

Ramarketing is Newcastle’s award-winning pharmaceutical PR and marketing agency. The company has seen phenomenal global growth since 2015: the number of international clients has increased from 3 to 22, the number of countries they export to has grown from 3 to 15, and the proportion of turnover from exports has risen from 5% to 40%.

Managing Director Raman Sehgal puts the company’s success down to 5 simple guidelines.

  1. Become world-class at something first, then explore the world
  2. Be present, persistent and patient, the pay-off is worth it
  3. Be a chameleon, understand the nuances of the market
  4. Respect cultural differences, but get the global basics right first
  5. Prepare to up your game

Sarat Pediredla, Chief Executive, hedgehog lab

hedgehog lab is a global technology consultancy that designs and builds digital products. It started exporting in 2014. Since then it has grown its footprint exponentially. The company now has 135 team members, operates in 6 locations around the world, and has seen revenue growth from exports rise to 30%.

Chief Exec Sarat Pediredla thinks that the company has always had a global outlook, and questions why businesses wouldn’t at least consider exporting. With a focus on developing a specialist product really well, trade was the logical move in order to enable growth, rather than diversifying their product offering for the domestic market.

Moreover, for a company such as hedgehog lab, which started life in a backyard shed with no more than a laptop and mobile, the barriers to internationalisation have been relatively low. The firm has been able to set up relatively cheaply in markets such as the USA, India, and Denmark, replicating their UK model.

The chief learning has been around compliance across different countries. But with demand for their products and services high, and market entry issues low, the company considers trade a no-brainer.