A GATESHEAD firm specialising in home and lifestyle adaptations for people with disabilities is building success overseas after launching an office in Shanghai.
Launched in 1993, by Martin and Denise Cook, Easibathe and Easiaccess Ltd provides bespoke bathing and hoist solutions and specialist adaptation work for individual homes or large-scale refurbishments.
Having established itself as a market leader, the company was keen to explore new overseas opportunities and enlisted the support of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to take advantage of a wide range of services including Passport to Export and the Gateway to Global Growth (G3) initiatives.
Easibathe also took part in market visits to China and commissioned an Oversees Market Introduction Service (OMIS) report before using the specialist support of UKTI’s China Programme and Virtual Export Manager to realise its expansion plans.
Last year the company launched its Shanghai office and Easibathe China was incorporated to enable the company to forge new relationships in China’s major cities to promote its “Excellent Systems” ramping products.
Managing director Nigel Heath said: “China has an estimated 83 million people with disabilities and we felt our products and expertise could make a real difference.
“The help and guidance from our local UKTI office, in particular Sonya Roe, John Doolan and Zhengming Yang, has proved invaluable in the process of understanding and establishing our presence in China.
“Our chairman Martin Cook has been heading operations in China and has been learning Mandarin so he can build relationships with potential clients and suppliers more effectively.
“Opening the new office in Shanghai was an important step in establishing ourselves in China and by taking part in the Care and Rehabilitation (CREXPO) exhibition in Beijing and also the China Aid exhibition in Shanghai, we were able to make contact with many intermediaries, dealers and the general public.”
John Doolan, one of UK Trade & Investment’s International Trade Advisers, said: “As the world’s second largest economy, China offers huge potential, but as it’s such a large and complex market even seasoned exporters can benefit from the advice and support that UKTI can offer.”
North East companies interested in exploring opportunities in China are invited to take part in UKTI’s forthcoming Market Visit to Wuhan and Shanghai (May 17- 25). There will also be an opportunity to attend a pre-visit workshop on April 24. Delegates have until March 1 to sign up.