South Shields based Solar Solve Marine’s father and daughter team of John and Julie Lightfoot headed off to Shanghai at the beginning of December to man the company stand at the Marintec China Exhibition.
Two new products launched at the show were STOPLITE® and VARYSTOP® roller blinds that are Type Approved for use in Marine environments and have been specially created to meet the surging demand for products that are suitable and safe to use in offshore accommodation modules and other similar marine locations.
As well as promoting the company’s well known product brands John, who is company chairman and Julie, managing director were also on a mission to recruit more distributors to represent Solar Solve in China, which they did. Exhibitors from a Shanghai based International Trading Co expressed an interest in the SOLASOLV® and ROLASOLV® products on display. They employ around 50 people, many of whom have technical skills and capabilities, working out of 7 offices in China that are all near shipyards.
John Lightfoot commented “We already have 5 Distributor companies representing us in China but it is a huge shipbuilding nation that intends to become the world leader and most of our Distributors remain local to their area of the country.”
“Since returning to the UK we have completed our research and negotiations with L&Z International Trading and appointed them as an official Solar Solve Marine World Wide Distributor. Because of their size we expect to increase our sales to China to quarter of a million pounds by the end of 2014. They have the skills, resources and reputation that we demand of our Distributors and so that mission has now been accomplished.”
“China is a difficult market in many ways; the language, ways of doing business, application by individuals to achieve objectives and attitudes towards trade marks, patents and copying are all very different to ours. That is why we have to have local representation within the country by people who know and understand how it all works. It is not a market that we could properly serve direct from South Shields.”
Julie added, “The exhibition was brilliant. It was hard work and expensive for us to attend but we think it has been worth it. As well as meeting many of our Chinese colleagues, Solar Solve’s Distributors from the Middle East, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia also called onto the stand. The latter even told me Solar Solve is still AMI Sales best supplier for service and quality, which was very nice to hear.”
Top Image – Solar Solve Marine’s Julie Lightfoot and John Lightfoot are ready to receive visitors to their exhibition stand at Marintec China in Shanghai, ably assisted by Chinese interpreter Justina.