Belfast Telegraph

Firm wins Asia training deal

Full Circle consultants to aid Sri Lanka's sales and exports

By Heather McGarrigle

A Belfast management consultancy has won its first business in Asia, providing training to business people in Sri Lanka.

Full Circle recently took part in an Invest NI trade mission to Sri Lanka and India, following which it signed a collaboration deal with McQuire, Rens and Jones, a management development firm in Colombo.

The firm, which employs 11 people, will deliver a sales and export training programme led by managing director Simon Devlin, beginning in November.

The company, formed by Mr Devlin in 2005, has also undertaken sales and export training programmes in the US and European markets such as the Czech Republic and Republic of Ireland.

Mr Devlin said: "Winning the business in Sri Lanka came as a bit of a surprise because I decided to take part in the mission to explore opportunities in the much larger market in India.

"To be honest, I did not really know much about Sri Lanka and didn't expect to do business there, particularly on a first visit.

"While Sri Lanka is a relatively small market, businesses there are keen to increase exports throughout the region and in particular, with neighbouring India.

"Most companies in Sri Lanka also have good contacts in India and these relationships may be of benefit to us as we seek to develop opportunities that we have already identified in what is among the world's most dynamic marketplaces.

"There is business even in smaller markets for companies prepared to make the effort to explore and seize export opportunities.

"Around 20% of our business is now outside Northern Ireland."

Invest NI's trade director Dr Vicky Kell added: "Assisting more local companies specialising in business services to market their knowledge and expertise abroad has long been a priority for Invest NI.

"We recognise the importance and potential of this sector for the Northern Ireland economy.

"It is immensely encouraging therefore to see Full Circle developing a strategic alliance in Sri Lanka, a market we included for the first time in our 2011/2012 trade programme," said Dr Kell.