Focus SB’s MD Gary Stevens accepts DIT Export Champion role for 2nd year

Focus SB’s Managing Director Gary Stevens has been appointed Export Champion as part of the Department for International Trade's (DIT) Export Champions programme for 2022/23.

In 2020, Mr Stevens was thrilled to accept an invitation from the Department for International Trade (DIT) to become an Export Champion for the South East UK, in recognition of Focus SB’s achievement at becoming the first and only British (and European) premium electrical wiring accessories manufacturer licensed to export and sell to mainland China’s luxury hospitality and residential construction markets in 2017.

This year Mr Stevens accepted an invitation for the role to be extended for a 2nd year in light of the pandemic, saying: “I am delighted to accept the Export Champion role in recognition of the contribution Focus SB makes towards the South East’s economic growth. 

“It’s a great honour for us to be part of the programme and I intend to contribute as much as I can to share our positive export story and experiences trading with China. I am more than happy to do my bit to encourage and support those businesses still exploring export opportunities. We launched a unique collection in collaboration with celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen at Design Shanghai in November 2020 as well as showcasing an exciting partnership with Lutron to finish its bespoke Palladiom keypads, and we now have seven showrooms and 10 sub distributors out there, with more planned, and business has really taken off.

He concludes: “Focus SB still holds the unique position of being the only UK manufacturer licensed to export its sockets and switches to China, via our established main distributor Kursel Ltd and sub distributor network, and continues to boast the widest range of plates and finishes conforming to the China Compulsory Certificate (CCC mark), outstripping all other electrical wiring accessory manufacturers based in China! In the second year of launch, our Chinese distributor became our highest turnover account (UK and overseas) with China now 92% of our total overseas sales. It’s great to be recognised by the DIT as one of the ‘one in ten’ British firms currently selling overseas, supported by the former Prime Minister Liz Truss when she was  international trade secretary in her comment to the Daily Mail!”

The DIT’s Export Champion programme, launched in 2019, aims to highlight inspirational exporters who are willing to share their stories and support other SMEs aspiring to trade overseas. Export Champions are invited to share tips and informal advice with other businesses, attend DIT export events, host VIP visits and contribute to the development of DIT strategies as well as participate in roundtable discussions with senior officials and government Ministers.

South East Regional Director, Ben Raby offered Gary Stevens congratulations on behalf of the DIT in 2020: “A huge congratulations to Gary Stevens from Focus SB for becoming one of our highly valued South East Export Champions. “Focus SB is a company that manufactures electrical wiring accessories and has extensive experience in trading overseas, including having the unique position of being the only UK manufacturer licensed to export its sockets and switches to China. This experience makes the company a perfect fit for the Export Champion programme.

"DIT’s Export Champion programme aims to highlight inspirational exporters who are willing to share their stories and support for other SMEs aspiring to trade overseas. With export playing a significant role in supporting our economy, especially as we begin to address the economic challenge posed by coronavirus, Gary Stevens and the wider Focus SB company will be a fount of knowledge for budding exporters”.

On Tuesday 26th January 2021 Gary Stevens was invited to speak at an exporting event being hosted by Haven Gateway Partnership and the I-Construct network. Experienced in building successful overseas relationships and complex supply chain project management, Mr Stevens was pleased to be invited to share Focus SB’s experiences with other businesses looking to trade internationally.

Other speakers at the online event include Marcus Deeley, Sector Manager at the Department for International Trade (DIT) whose role is to help UK Construction Sector companies to win business in international markets and support international companies invest in the UK construction Sector, and Robert Edge, Business Development Manager at Haven Gateway Partnership.

This year, hosted by our Head of Strategic Partnerships Duncan Ray, Deputy HM Trade Commissioner for China Tom Duke, Department for International Trade (DIT) enjoyed a private tour of Focus SB's head office and factory on the outskirts of Hastings, facilitated by Made in Britain.

Following the tour, Mr Duke said: “DIT supports UK exporters like Focus SB in China to overcome market access barriers, navigate a complex regulatory, economic and strategic context, and make the most of opportunities represented by the UK’s third-largest trade partner.

“Companies like Focus SB, a DIT South East England Export Champion, represent the best of the UK. It is vitally important to ensure they continue to enjoy healthy and sustainable growth in key overseas markets. That’s why I’m visiting today, and why the work of DIT - alongside the Made in Britain industry association and other partners - is so crucial to the future of British manufacturing.”

Find out more about Focus SB on their member profile page here

Member-created content 1 year ago | From members

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