British manufacturer ‘seals’ deal with Indian Navy

Coltraco Ultrasonics, an innovative Somerset-based ultrasonic technology manufacturer for the maritime and naval sectors, has secured a new contract with the Indian Navy, thanks to support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The contract will see the British business supply almost 200 of its advanced watertight integrity inspection product Portascanner® WATERTIGHT, to the Indian Navy to protect its crews by ensuring the hatches, doors and cable transits on its 155 warships are watertight. The contract will service one of the largest navies in the world, employing more than 67,000 personnel.

The business’s Technical Office in Somerset, which opened in 2011, will be key to providing support to the maritime force through its final product testing and logistics.

The deal follows a determined effort by the business to bolster its presence in India, by exhibiting at various trade shows in the country. Coltraco was supported by DIT’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP), which is part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign. TAP provides grant funding to help businesses gain essential market knowledge and make new contacts by exhibiting at trade shows around the world.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP says: “Coltraco Ultrasonics is a brilliant example of how UK design and manufacture can have a global impact, with 90% of their sales coming from overseas.

“As an international economic department, DIT stands ready to support any business with exporting ambitions. Our recently launched Export Strategy sets out a strong offer to companies and I would encourage anyone thinking of selling around the world to contact their local International Trade Advisor for more advice.”

Coltraco has provided a similar service to the Royal Navy in the UK for over 20 years and works with customers in 109 countries including Singapore, China and the US. Asia accounts for 40% of the company’s exports, while North America, the Middle East and Europe account for 17%, 10% and 15%, respectively, with the balance to South America and Africa.

Carl Hunter, Chief Executive of Coltraco Ultrasonics, says: “We presented our Portascanner® WATERTIGHT to the Indian Navy who carried out extensive trials with competitors. The Indian Navy selected our product for its accuracy – it’s the most mathematically accurate model available worldwide – its ease-of-use, and the local in-country support. We secured the Indian Navy contract with thanks also to our Indian Naval Partners.

“Working in international markets like India presents opportunities and challenges. With our 30-year export experience, we are well accustomed to managing and succeeding abroad, and one contributing factor is the support from UK Government, especially DIT.  For example, we started exporting many years ago with the help of the Market Research Reports provided by DIT – today called OMIS reports. We have also attended workshops e.g. an Overseas Agent Masterclass that advises on global network development.

“My advice to any company considering exporting is to do it. Exporting has had a huge impact on our business, and if we can, so can other British businesses.”

The deal follows the launch of DIT’s export strategy earlier this year that sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets across the world.

A government-led collaboration with business, developed after extensive engagement with a range of UK firms, the Strategy sets a new ambition from government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%.

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