Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012
Expanding into Ethiopia
Aeroservices works with companies like ExxonMobil to distribute aeroplane and helicopter engine lubricants to commercial airlines and defence forces around the world. The lubricants help to reduce friction and wear in the engines, as well as cooling and cleaning them and fighting rust and erosion.
For years, Aeroservices had its eye on developing business in Ethiopia. The company impressed Ethiopian Airlines (ET) with its competitive pricing and quickly secured several small orders. In September 2011, Director of Aeroservices Mashood Akmal, travelled to Addis Ababa to meet with the airline for the first time. While there, Mashood also met with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) advisers, who then wrote a glowing letter of reference to the airline to support Aeroservices’ bid for a larger contract. Since then, ET has signed a contract worth approximately US$7 million over three years.
“In our industry, the biggest hurdle is often figuring out how to build a relationship with a new customer, and that’s where UKTI’s skilled advisers and words of support make the most difference,” says Mashood. “While UKTI can’t actually win new business for us, they definitely help facilitate it, and without their help our job would be far more difficult.”