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Why British businesses should pursue Royal recognition

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Advice, Assessors, Judges, Lord-Lieutenants, Recipients

Exterity is a Scottish-headquartered company. We were incredibly proud to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2020. Being recognised for outstanding achievement from one’s own country is a significant and coveted honour for companies such as ours, as we are selling our expertise, solutions, and trustworthiness to markets around the globe.

When Mr. Robert Balfour, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Fife, visited our Dalgety Bay offices in Fife this month to present our award, it meant a lot to the business, to the people that work at Exterity, to me as the company’s chief executive, and to many of our customers. It was a pleasure to welcome the Lord-Lieutenant to our HQ (regrettably mostly empty due to staff working from home), provide him with a tour and explain our business in more detail – and to also hear more about his exciting role and anecdotes from time spent with Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Who are Exterity?

Founded in 2001 to help organisations harness the power video to communicate, educate and entertain, Exterity specialises in internet protocol (IP) video and digital signage technology. We design, develop and manufacture our entire range of hardware and software solutions in the UK, so we have complete control over the entire process. This ensures our solutions meet a high standard of integration, robustness and reliability that cannot be matched by other players in the market who often rely on third-party products to complete their solution.

The success of our approach to manufacturing and development is reflected in our roster of clients; we work with some of the most recognisable brands in the world including Bayer, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Lord’s Cricket Ground and Parliament of Victoria. Additionally, the success of our products has underpinned our international expansion. While we have been keen to maintain our Scottish roots by keeping our headquarters and over 70 of our staff in Fife, we have a truly international workforce. With regional sales offices in London, New York, Paris, Dubai, Riyadh, Johannesburg, Singapore and Sydney, all providing local multilingual sales and technical support for customers, we are also proud of our multi-cultural diversity and the richness this brings to the Exterity family.

Why did you apply for a Queen's Awards for Enterprise?

In 2018, we reached a new milestone in our international expansion with the creation of a new division of Exterity, Accommtec. We created Accommtec because hospitality had become a major source of revenue and we decided to focus business development resource on this highly lucrative industry.  Accommtec added £3 million to the Group company’s revenue in its first year alone, with the majority of this coming from sales into major cruise operators and hotel groups in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Our revenue projections for 2019 were also strong and this is what enabled us to apply for the Queen’s Award. It is the most prestigious business awards program in the UK and provides significant immediate and long-term business benefits. One of the main reasons our customers choose our solutions is because they are manufactured and developed in the UK, so being able to also say that we have royal recognition of our growth and success will give greater confidence to our current and future customers. Being presented with a Queen’s Award has also helped boost morale for staff during an incredibly difficult year. It was a real highlight to be able to share with our team that we’d won the Queen’s Award and provide some good news in a year of constant bad news.

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

Businesses wanting to further elevate their reputation in the international market should consider entering the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. The best advice I can give is to take the time to think about the application and each question. We spent a lot of time making sure that every answer we provided was an accurate reflection of our company. If you go on to win a Queen’s Award, take advantage of all the promotional opportunities that are offered to you to help spread the news. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an awards ceremony this year due to COVID-19, but we did enjoy three opportunities to celebrate and publicise our achievement – when we announced our win, when we received the official Queen’s Awards 2020 magazine, and again when the Lord-Lieutenant presented the award!

The entire process – from completing the application form to winning the award – has been a truly rewarding experience and I would urge anyone considering entering to do it!

By Colin Farquhar, CEO of Exterity

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