Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
Sea-Band Ltd was established in 1986 in Hinckley, Leicestershire. Our manufacturing, warehousing and offices are all still located in Hinckley despite cheaper manufacture abroad. We employ about 20 employees and have grown steadily over the last few years to this number, bucking the trend of the downturn, due to our exporting activities.
Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
Sea-Band Ltd, manufacture the Sea-Band acupressure wristband for nausea relief. We have approximately 50 clinical trials for the Sea-Band proving its efficacy for relief of nausea due to motion sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, chemotherapy related nausea, and post operative nausea. Sea-Bands provide relief of nausea by applying pressure to an acupressure point known as the P6 or Nei Kuan point on the wrist (based on traditional Chinese medicine).
How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
We heard about EMITA through UKTI events, and think the opportunities to continuously learn about export and specific markets is brilliant. The meetings we’ve attended have been very useful as there is always a good group of people who all have different experiences and knowledge to learn from. Even if it’s not within your industry the learnings can generally still be transferred and applied.
How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
We’ve been exporting since very early on in the company’s history. We now cover nearly 50 countries, covering Europe, North and South Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia, and North and South America.
What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
The business has always seen export as a key strategy for growth and success.
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Since our product is generally classified as a medical device in most countries, we have to understand the local medical device regulations. Sometimes the registration for this can take a considerable amount of time and can be expensive too. Perhaps one of the most complicated processes has been in Japan which we have been working on for a 2 to 3 year period now and it is still ongoing.
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Understand your markets and plan appropriately. You need to understand the nature of the market you are about to enter into and how appropriate your product or service is for this customer; retailers, wholesalers, the structure of the market, competition etc. All of those factors help you understand a market to make a success of it, so the research and communication is key.
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
We are currently researching various markets including China and Russia.