Bedfordshire-based learning and development company Clarity 4D has been asked to create a series of unique personal profiles for the Oman Football Association, as a direct result of attending a UKTI Trade Mission to the Middle East.
Clarity4D, which was established in 2008, offers personality profiles and training programmes that help companies to understand and improve their team communication, motivation and leadership skills. Delivered via partnerships with Clarity4D-accredited training companies, such as Kudos in Oman, the company’s recent clients include BP, Hotel Chocolat, Serco, NHS and Monsoon Accessorize.
In July 2012 Clarity4D’s Managing Director, Judy Oliver, decided that her company would benefit from UKTI help to research new markets overseas. “I knew that our approach to profiling could be used worldwide and not just in the UK, because it is based around the universally understood elements of fire, air, water and earth.” Based on Jungian psychology, the profiles also link to the colours of red, yellow, blue and green.
Judy was advised by UKTI International Trade Adviser Anton Rudgalvis to join UKTI’s Passport to Export programme - an initiative that offers strategic advice and workshops for companies that are new to exporting. “Judy was in a strong position to take her products overseas because the UK has an excellent global reputation in the education and training sector,” says Anton. “People are predisposed to trust that a British company will ‘do it properly’.”
Anton also recommended that Judy participate in a UKTI Education Trade Mission to the Middle East in December 2013, where delegates visited the British Embassies in Qatar, Oman and Abu Dhabi over a period of six days. “Time spent at the Embassy in Muscat was particularly helpful to us,” says Judy. “We attended a reception in the grounds of the British Embassy, where we had a number of productive conversations with key local contacts who had been specifically invited by the UKTI Embassy team. As a direct result, we were able to make a return visit to Oman almost immediately, to capitalise on interest from several Omani companies. This was a welcome surprise, as we had anticipated that breaking into the Middle East market would involve a long process of relationship-building. ”
On their return visit in March 2014, Clarity4D ran an accreditation course that qualified representatives from three Omani training companies to deliver Clarity4D workshops locally. These influential training companies have clients in the Omani government, police force and the educational sector: Kudos, Oman's leading consultancy and training specialists, has worked with the Oman Football Association (OFA) management team for several years. The entire OFA management team and key staff went through the Clarity 4D process, during which they were provided with feedback as to how to improve their communication skills - both as individuals and also within teams. OFA management were able to use the process to help with the ongoing restructure and development of their organisation as they prepare for the World Cup in 2018.
All Clarity4D materials and profiles have now been translated into Arabic, so that Clarity4D can be used throughout the Middle East. The company has also worked with UKTI on an Export Communications Review (ECR) that is helping Clarity4D to optimise its website and marketing materials for non-English speaking markets. “For example, we suggested replacing a ‘super-woman’ slide with something that was better suited to the Arabic marketplace,” explains Anton.
UKTI helped Judy to assess which markets she should target next and, after drawing up an action plan, she visited Australia and New Zealand in summer 2014. “As a result of our visit we now have a further 13 businesses that are accredited to deliver our profiles in Australia and New Zealand.”
“Although they are a long distance away, Australia and New Zealand represent low-hanging fruit for Clarity4D because both countries are English-speaking and their profiles are written in English,” adds Anton.
“Passport to Export has been brilliant,” comments Judy. “The support we’ve received when going to an unknown country, with quite a different culture, has been extremely useful. Anton, our Trade Adviser, has been excellent in raising our awareness of anything he thinks might be relevant to Clarity4D.
So far, UKTI has helped us to bring in 20 new business partners overseas. We look forward to visiting Dubai and Bahrain as part of a second Education Trade Mission in December 2014, and we plan to take full advantage of the excellent support that is available to us as we continue to expand globally.”