Focus on Latin America: Snapshot of companies on Extend Your Global Reach

Sarah Hildersley
Market Specialist - Latin America | Department for International Trade - South West
26th March 2018

Extend Your Global Reach is the South West’s leading business support programme for SMEs looking to grow exports in Latin America. 

Companies, who will typically be experienced exporters already, must be Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and will already have a turnover of at least £2 million.  Extend Your Global Reach is delivered by Business West, and forms part of the Export For Growth, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and The Department for International Trade (DIT). 

Objective: to help South West companies accelerate their sales into the high growth markets of Latin America. 

A handful of South West companies show us how its done.

  • Smart-Tab

Somerset based company, Smart-Tab, has recently established trading connections in Brazil with the help form the Export for Growth & Extend Your Global Reach programme, Smart-Tab has introduced its unique range of security labels, PIN number pin-tab security mailers and tamper evident labels to the Brazilian market with results surpassing all expectations.

Through Extend Your Global Reach, Smart-Tab were introduced to a carefully selected range of potential customers in Brazil who were were briefed on Smart Tab’s technology.  These warmed leads were provided to Smart Tab to shortlist, who were then accompanied to Brazil by our market expert to undertaken sales meetings.  There are real prospects of new UK export business running into millions of pounds over the coming years developing from these meetings. 

Smart-Tab’s dynamic Managing Director, Andrea White, commented “the reception from potential customers in Brazil was far better than I thought possible.  They readily identified the products we offer as a solution to fraud and cybercrime experienced in the country.  We have found new customers of really high quality and established friendships at the same time. This would never have been possible without the guidance provided to our company under “Extend Your Global Reach”.  We have been fast tracked into a substantial global market and fully expect this to materialise into significant exports over the years to come”

  • GDS Ltd 

Global Design Systems Ltd, a leading Bristol-based firm in the bespoke design and installation of theatre lighting, had previously considered entering the Brazilian market but they lacked the time needed to follow up contacts identified in earlier research.   The contacts they had identified were very out-of-date so through Extend Your Global Reach, our team supported the detailed re-evaluation of those contacts and the overall market entry strategy.  Our Brazil-based team warmed up the leads and confirmed through their research that prospects were really strong for GDS’s niche services in the market.  GDS are planning a visit to Brazil in 2018 to secure sales with support from our in-market experts.  Projected sales £400k.

  •  Anstee Coil  

A Gloucestershire-based manufacturing company has an important US customer they supply in China who required that they also establish a base in Mexico.   They came to us with a requirement for support to set up a ware-housing site and to search for a General Manager in Mexico, who would drive operational activity with the key client and secure business from other Mexican companies.  Our team has a great deal of experience in Mexico and their insight helped identify the best likely locations for ware-housing sites in the Monterrey or Chihuahua, and good links into local, qualified engineering companies.  Through Extend Your Global Reach, we set up a market entry strategy that researched and validated the locations and also established a programme of interviews with prospective candidates.  A strong candidate was recruited into the GM position; premises have been secured and the new business is about to get moving in 2018, firstly through ware-housing UK-made product.  It’s anticipated that some manufacturing or assembly will take place further down the line to supply product to a broader range of US and Mexican customers.   Additional sales resulting from this activity are projected to reach £10m over the course of the next 5 years, greatly contributing to jobs in Gloucestershire and export growth in the South West.

  • Haystack Dryers

Haystack Dryers have a unique proposition – their People Dryers are designed and manufactured in Dorset and exported to multiple overseas markets.  In Latin America, they had sold just the one unit into a Mexican hotel – their target market sector – and we all agreed that the potential was significant in Mexico, given the size and structure of the tourism industry.  Extend Your Global Reach was deployed to identify and prioritise the hotel chains and pull together a comprehensive market entry strategy.  In hotel industry, procurement decisions are made variously within corporate head offices and sometimes at a local level.  We undertook bespoke market research to identify the chains with the most potential and visited the market to undertake sales meetings in August 2017.   Strong inroads were made into the market through our introducing the company to some of Mexico’s key hotel procurement offices in Cancun.  The market entry strategy was adapted to fit the market needs - the original plan to have a distributor was found to be competing with the Haystack Dryer offer since they sell towels into hotels.  So the decision was made to appoint an agent and sales have since grown – projected sales are estimated to reach £1.5m over the coming 5 years.

*sales figures are projections based on early sales discussions

Extend Your Global Reach is currently being provided to over 35 high quality companies throughout the South West.   Collectively, these companies have demonstrated the capability to win over £100m of export sales across Latin America in the coming 1-5 years.  This bespoke package is setting new standards in guiding companies at every stage into demanding export markets. 

Eligible SMEs in the South West are encouraged to take advantage of this support by contacting Sarah Hildersley (, our Market Specialist for Latin America.

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