Rapid International breakthrough in Russian market

Rapid International in Tandragee has won business worth around £800,000 in Russia from its participation in an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to Moscow and St Petersburg.

The company is supplying concrete production machinery to clients in Southern Russia for a range of applications including road construction.

Rapid International, a leading manufacturer of concrete batching plants and concrete mixers, secured the contract as the result of a partnership established with a new machinery dealership in Moscow over a year ago.

Jarlath Gilmore, Rapid International’s Sales and Marketing Director, announced the company’s latest export contract which was welcomed by Invest NI Trade Director Dr Vicky Kell.

Dr Kell said: ”This is an important contract which gives Rapid International a solid base for both short and long term growth in one of the world’s fastest developing markets, part of the so-called BRIC regions -  Brazil, Russia, India and China -  which are achieving growth rates well ahead of the US and Europe.

“As a result of our strategic focus on Russia, as well as Brazil, Russia and China, we are now seeing Northern Ireland companies, in particular smaller companies, winning significant business throughout Russia. We recognise Russia is not a market that is right for all companies but, for some, it holds considerable opportunities. We can help companies determine if the market is right for them.

“Russia is a vast and dynamic market with immense growth potential especially in terms of infrastructure projects currently underway or planned in both short and long terms. Rapid has tapped into this market with its machinery for the construction industry. The significant thing about the contract is that it will see Rapid’s machinery being used beyond the traditional centres of Moscow, St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg.

“Immense opportunities are also developing rapidly in other sectors for our companies as a result of a growing Russian middle class which is keen to access western consumer products and technology,” she added.

Mr Gilmore, outlining the contract in Russia, said: “We are investing time and finance to develop the Russian market because our research shows there are extensive opportunities for our products throughout this vast nation. This has included participation in a major construction industry exhibition and in an Invest NI trade mission.

“Russia is certainly not an easy market to crack. It’s also an expensive market in which to operate. Our breakthrough has resulted from taking time to find the right distributor for our products, a company with a strong network of contacts and established business in the construction industry and one that we believed would fit well with us.

“Building on the platform that we’ve established will require further visits to the market and measures to strengthen the relationship with our distributor,” he added.