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July 2011

emita is pleased to announce Griffin Security Group as July's Member of the Month. You can find out more about this local company below from their CEO, Allan Hildage, including the company’s overseas challenges, international achievements and aspirations for the future.


1.     Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.


The Griffin Security Group was founded in 1994 and its Head Office is located at Balderton Hall, Fernwood, on the side of the A1 near Newark-on-Trent in the East Midlands. The Group maintains a core of 6 full-time staff based at Balderton Hall and who are supported by some 70 accredited associate consultants located throughout the UK.


2.     Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.


The Group’s core business is to provide independent consultancy, advice, guidance and training to clients in all aspects of Business Protection, including information, IT, personnel and physical security, as well as business continuity, crisis management and disaster recovery.  The Griffin ethos of promoting security as a business enabler has allowed it to develop and build a reputation as a market leader in its field.


3.     How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?


We were first introduced to EMITA through UKT&I and the ‘Passport to Export’ scheme. Being new to exporting we found the advice and networking contacts available through EMITA to be invaluable. In particular, the briefings, seminars and meetings have been especially useful in gaining an insight into market opportunities and learning from the experience of other exporting members. 


4.     How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?


Griffin has been exporting its services since 2006. We have undertaken market research visits in the USA, Australia, Malaysia and the Middle East.  As a result we have been successful in providing our services to clients in UAE, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Libya and Malaysia. We are currently considering expanding further into the ASEAN Region and perhaps Australasia, although we recognise the latter is considerably more difficult and perhaps unsustainable to manage and administer from a UK base in the longer term.


5.     What made you decide to expand your business overseas?


Having established a successful UK client base, we recognised the need to expand and develop our business platform if we were to grow our business. However, being a provider of services rather than of products we did not consider ourselves as potential ‘exporters’, but our Directors having previously worked and lived overseas, already knew of the high-esteem in which the UK ‘brand’ is still held in many overseas markets. Therefore, it seemed a worthwhile exercise for us to explore the possibility of expanding overseas and the saying goes, ‘we haven’t looked back since!’


6.     What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?


Our biggest exporting challenge has been balancing the effort and demands required to build a sustainable overseas business whilst at the same time maintaining and properly servicing the needs and requirements of our UK client base. We have found that if you are to succeed in developing a viable export business, you cannot underestimate the amount of time, effort, resource dedication and perseverance that is required! 


7.     What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?


From the very early days we were constantly advised to undertake comprehensive research into the markets in which were interested in and then research some more! This is the soundest advice that we have received and the investment has reaped us considerable benefit and provided a competitive edge and saved us some potentially very-costly mistakes.


8.     What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?


Our diversity into overseas areas has helped us sustain the business momentum through difficult market times in the UK and we are looking to build on this success in the future. In particular and as a result of interest from several Far East clients, we have developed a blended-learning security management course that is to be accredited by a leading UK University as a gateway / entry level course to their post-graduate degree programmes whilst at the same time providing sound professional and recognised vocational training to our overseas clients.






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