New company formed from Invest NI mission to India

Directors of SDC Trailers in Toome have announced the formation of a new company, Continex Tradeline (India), in India following a recent Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.

Continex is based in Chennai and has been set up to develop opportunities for SDC and other Northern Ireland businesses within India’s fast growing automotive and aerospace industries.

SDC directors were among 32 senior executives from 23 local companies, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster who participated on the mission to India from 13-23 March. The group included leading companies from the materials handling and engineering supply sectors in Northern Ireland.

The mission was led by Lord Diljit Rana, Honorary Consul for India in Northern Ireland.  Lord Rana says: “The formation of Continex Tradeline is a further indication of the rapidly developing business relationship between Northern Ireland and India. It will help light engineering companies in Northern Ireland and other parts of Europe to harness the immense potential of India as a business partner and as a means of improving their overall competitiveness in South Asia and other international markets.

“This was another strong delegation from Northern Ireland. The major equipment manufacturers in Northern Ireland’s materials handling sector spent a successful week in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Goa, meeting iron ore mine owners and steel production companies, before being joined in Delhi by a further group of companies and both universities.  

“With double digit growth, India is now one of the world’s most dynamic marketplaces. It’s immensely encouraging to see such a range of companies, with varying objectives, including exporting, developing supply chain partnerships and investing, taking the opportunity provided by Invest NI to develop business across India,” he adds.

Mark Cuskeran, one of the Northern Ireland businessmen behind the formation of Continex Tradeline, says: “What Continex has been formed to provide is an interface service between Northern Ireland and India.

“We have a team of professionals based in Chennai who will assist clients in areas such as product and component sourcing, international trading, design engineering and trade development.  We will be able to help companies seeking to enter the Indian marketplace.

“We have already been appointed as agents for a number of UK manufacturing companies and have high level relationships with major Indian construction companies, government agencies and banks. Companies considering India will be able to draw on our knowledge of the country and vast range of contacts for an easier market entry,” he adds.

Alan Hingston, Director of Invest NI’s Trade Division, says: “SDC Trailers first visited India as part of the Secretary of State’s business mission last April. The company is an excellent example of what can be achieved by using trade missions as a tool to develop some of the more challenging, but increasingly lucrative markets, and broadening business objectives to recognise the benefits of forming partnerships to improve competitiveness and develop new opportunities.  

“As we did with SDC Trailers, Invest NI has worked with a large number of the participants to provide focused and tailored meeting programmes and we will be encouraging, particularly the newcomers, to make an early return to the market. It is important to remember that the world is now at the doorstep of India and Northern Ireland companies must pursue and cement relationships quickly if they are to grow their business there,and sustain their business in existing home and export markets.”

The mission was part of an ongoing programme of business initiatives in India organised by Invest NI within the framework of the Passport to Export programme. Another mission to India is planned later in the year.