Since its success in last year’s PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, JDR Cable Systems has grown its presence overseas, won a series of contracts, and been acquired by an overseas company. Tom Nightingale, strategy and marketing manager of JDR, tells BQ about how the award has helped the business grow.
Tell us a little about your business.
We supply cables to the offshore energy industry. These provide power and control to offshore energy infrastructures such as oil rigs. We are also the world leader in the supply of cables connecting offshore wind turbines, helping clean renewable energy to be delivered to your home.
Explain the impact that international trade has had on your business.
We have been exporting across the globe for many years and in some years exports have accounted for the majority of our business. Our growth has only been possible through our international contracts.
What difference does exporting make to your business?
Exporting opens up new possibilities to JDR and is a key driver to all of our historic growth plans from growth into large oil and gas cables, to diversification into offshore renewables. This has also allowed us to grow our presence overseas, with satellite offices and service centres now on five continents.
How has the last year been for you?
We have continued to grow and leverage our technology leadership to secure important new contracts both in the UK and overseas.
What has happened to you since you got involved in the export awards?
Following our export award success, we have been acquired by an overseas investor. This is a great example of the offshore energy industry attracting inward investment to the UK. Our international experience was an important factor to our new owner.
What did it mean to you to be recognised in the Northern Powerhouse Export Awards?
We were honoured to be recognised at the first ever Northern Powerhouse Awards and winning the overall Exporter of the Year on the night was the icing on the cake.
What advice would you give to firms considering getting involved in international trade?
Have a realistic strategy for export markets and make the best possible use of trade associations. We have joined a number of international visits with DIT among others. UK Export Finance has also been key to our success. Awards like these are a great way of celebrating Great British Industries and highlighting the important role companies can play in growing the UK presence overseas.