Hastings based manufacturer Focus SB has achieved a King's Award for enterprise
Focus SB is one of 148 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise. Focus SB has been recognised for its excellence in international trade. A total of 149 Awards are made with one company being recognised with two Awards.
Employing 65 people, Focus SB Ltd was set up in 2000 and is a manufacturer of wiring devices. In 2017 the company made history in its industry when it became the first and only European manufacturer to gain CQC factory accreditation to supply and sell wiring accessories directly from Europe to mainland China, also gaining full CCC licence for all of its products for the Chinese marketplace.
Gary Stevens, Managing Director said: “Winning the King's Award for Enterprise is not only an endorsement of the hard work that we have done in building our export market, but it is also one of the highest accolades a business can achieve.
"To provide some perspective, only two companies from East Sussex were awarded the Queen's Award title in 2022, and only one of those was for International Trade. I’m thrilled that this year sees us flying the flag for East Sussex in the first ever King's Awards for Enterprise! For an SME like Focus SB, this award could potentially help to support our strategy for global reach and accelerate our growth in overseas markets, future proofing our business.
“Focus SB looks set to provide real prospects to resident job seekers in the local community and Hastings area, which is one of the more deprived coastal towns in Sussex, despite being one of the richest in culture and diversity.”
Mr Stevens is delighted to once again be appointed Export Champion for Southern England as part of the Department for Business & Trade's (DBT) Export Champions programme for 2023/24.
In 2020, Mr Stevens was thrilled to accept an invitation from the then Department for International Trade (DIT) to become an Export Champion for the South East UK, in recognition of Focus SB’s achievement at becoming the first and only British (and European) premium electrical wiring accessories manufacturer licensed to export and sell to mainland China’s luxury hospitality and residential construction markets in 2017.
Accepting the invitation for the role to be extended to 2022/2023, then agreeing to continue to be an Export Champion in 2023/2024 Mr Stevens says: “I am delighted to accept the Export Champion role in recognition of the contribution Focus SB makes towards the South East’s economic growth.
“It’s a great honour for us to be part of the programme and I intend to contribute as much as I can to share our positive export story and experiences trading with China. I am more than happy to do my bit to encourage and support those businesses still exploring export opportunities. We launched a unique collection in collaboration with celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen at Design Shanghai in November 2020 as well as showcasing an exciting partnership with Lutron to finish its bespoke Palladiom keypads, and we now have seven showrooms and 10 sub distributors out there, with more planned, and business has really taken off.
“Focus SB still holds the unique position of being the only UK manufacturer licensed to export its sockets and switches to China, via our established main distributor Kursel Ltd and sub distributor network, and continues to boast the widest range of plates and finishes conforming to the China Compulsory Certificate (CCC mark), outstripping all other electrical wiring accessory manufacturers based in China! In the second year of launch, our Chinese distributor became our highest turnover account (UK and overseas) with China now 92% of our total overseas sales."
Stevens concludes: "It’s great to be recognised as one of the ‘one in ten’ British firms selling overseas. To be representing the UK as an Export Champion combined with winning a first-ever King's Award for Enterprise for International Trade will boost Focus SB's visibility in the global arena and potentially help to promote sustainable growth in key overseas markets."
The King’s Awards for Enterprise was previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, and the new name reflects His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s by recognising outstanding UK businesses. The Award programme, now in its 57th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.
Applications for King’s Awards for Enterprise 2024 open on His Majesty The King’s Coronation, 6th May 2023. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/kings-awards-for-enterprise