Benoy targets new markets on back of China success

Posted on: 1/6/2016 3
Benoy targets new markets on back of China success

THE best shopping centre in the whole of Asia was designed by a firm of architects based in Nottinghamshire

Benoy, which has its headquarters in Newark, drew up IFC Shanghai, a luxury retail destination in China which has since been voted the best of its kind in the fastest-growing part of the global economy.

The award has been picked out as one of the highlights of 2016 by Benoy's chairman, Graham Cartledge CBE.

But while China has become a major money-spinner for the firm, with a major chunk of its annual revenue coming from the country, Benoy also has eyes on new markets.

Mr Cartledge said the next target on Benoy's expanding global map is South America.

"This year we will be exploring the South American markets because we believe there are some real opportunities there," he told the Post.

Benoy grew out of a rural land agency and began to take off after Mr Cartledge bought it out of an unsuccessful marriage with the quoted design business Fitch in 1992.

It proved its credentials as a designer of major retail and leisure projects with Bluewater in Kent and the Bullring in Birmingham – landmark schemes which enabled it to successfully pitch for business in growing economies abroad.

Last year saw the firm bring in nearly 80 per cent of its revenue from abroad, with half of that coming from the massive Chinese market.

Mr Cartledge is a prominent member of British government trade delegations, accompanying Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to China.

He said he believes there remain significant opportunities for British business abroad at a time when the UK economy is still subdued.

"There are huge opportunities are they are not confined to my kind of business," said Mr Cartledge.

"Manufacturing and service industries – anything which involves expertise – can do well overseas, and I think people don't always realise the level of respect that there is in these markets for British goods and services.

"Clearly you have to familiarise yourself with these markets and results will not come overnight.

"The East Midlands has done quite well at exporting. One of the reasons why the region has a strong presence in China is the University of Nottingham, where David Greenaway [the vice chancellor] has made a brilliant contribution.

"Business can use this, and examine whether engaging with the university and its student base could offer some help and some value."

As well as offices in Newark and London, Benoy also has operations in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and offices in Mumbai, Singapore, Beijing and Abu Dhabi – where its designed the Ferrari World theme park.

Mr Cartledge said: "We have a clear strategy for Benoy in the years to come and I am full of optimism and ambition."

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