The Entrepreneur: Suresh Vidani, Nasco (UK) Ltd
The founder of the international exports company on valuing employees, rising demand for British goods, and peculiar overseas bureaucracies...
Founder: Suresh Vidani
Company: Nasco (UK) Ltd
Description in one line: Export of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)
Previous companies: N/A
Turnover: £22.5m in calendar year 2013
12 month target: £30m expected in calendar year 2014
Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:
- We export quality British products to over 50 countries.
- A complete export solution – from the provision of export documentation to foreign language labelling.
- Our emphasis on customer service and employee retention makes our business unique.
What is your greatest business achievement to date?
I am proud that we have built a company which has strong employee loyalty; a team that can continue to grow and prosper long after my retirement. Winning the Queen’s Award was also a great moment!
What numbers do you look at every day in your business?
Sales, total stock holding, gross margin, total renewables.
To what extent does your business trade internationally and what are your plans?
Approximately 90% of our business is international. We have customers in over 50 countries, however, over the next few years we plan to focus on markets where we still do not have a presence.
Describe your growth funding path:
All funding has been internal so far.
What technology has made the biggest difference to your business?
Devices that enable international phone and video calling have allowed us to develop relationships with international customers and offer a personal service without the need for international travel.
Where would you like your business to be in three years?
Our target for the next three years is for turnover to reach £100m and to expand our sales in the UK and Europe.
What is the hardest thing you have ever done in business?
Keeping customers through tough competition.
What was your biggest business mistake?
Employing the wrong people within senior positions.
Piece of Red Tape that hampers growth most:
As our core business is international trade we are accustomed to dealing with a wide range of international idiosyncratic bureaucracies. However, this can sometimes be unnecessary and overly cumbersome.
What is the most common serious mistake you see entrepreneurs make?
Trying to run before they are able to walk.
How will your market look in three years?
Growth is positive and should continue strongly. We have seen that demand for British products continues to increase.
What is the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a less experienced entrepreneur?
It’s not you that makes money – it’s your employees. However, that does not mean you should not be awake and alert!
Still to be enjoyed.
Executive education or learn it on the job?
On the job.
What would make you a better leader?
That may be a question for my staff!