In the ESBC meeting on June 21, Tony gave an introduction to the HSBC/SUNDAY TIMES INTERNATIONAL TRACK 100 -2011 before it is placed on the blog.

The most interesting outcome of the Track 100 is that it is the small and “small medium” enterprises who are generally becoming most successful in the international market. It is not surprising to note the growth of online companies but the range of services now on offer is. For full article open this file – Fast Track.Ranking


The recession has galvanised UK firms with innovative technology or powerful brands into exploring new markets overseas – even in Japan.  And the Majority are SMEs.

 The bold floral designs of Cath Kidston will be familiar to many from Britain’s high streets, but less well known is that the company has eight stores in Japan.

Similarly, it may come as a surprise that the Oscar-winning visual effects of Avatar were achieved with the help of software from the London-based firm The Foundry. The threat of British companies losing out to lower-priced, faster-moving foreign competition has not gone away, but a new breed of businesses with global ambition is breaking down national trade boundaries.

 This year’s Sunday Times HSBC International Track 100 identifies private firms that have at least doubled their non-UK sales over their latest two years of accounts. The average annual growth rate is 91%, while the top-ranked company, SMS Electronics, racked up an annualised sales increase of 418% to £19m in 2010, buoyed by sales of its video-conferencing equipment.

Staff numbers at the 100 companies have swelled from 14,000 to 21,000 over two years, partly due to acquisitions.

 The reasons for expansion vary. In the consumer-goods sector, which is the best represented in the league table with 17 firms, strong brands are crucial to international success.

Cath Kidston (No 33), for example, is a prized label among teenage girls in Japan and also counts South Korea and the Philippines among its key markets. Similarly, kitchenware maker Joseph Joseph (No 28) has particular appeal in Japan, where it scales down products to fit tiny Tokyo apartments, and the US, where they are supersized to suit American tastes.

Other strong sectors in the league table, compiled by the Oxford research and networking-events company Fast Track, include engineering (12 firms) and computers and electronics (11). Technical expertise and innovation are driving growth for them:

for example, RSK (No 29) advises oiland-gas firms on the environmental effects of laying pipelines, while Ioko (No 20) is behind the technology for the BBC iPlayer and helping the American media giant AT&T to develop a new internet TV service. For full article open this file –  Fast Track.Ranking

 Summary: Of the 100 companies on the index

25 companies employ less than 50 people

21 companies employ between 50 and 100 people

Only 4 companies employ more than 1,000 people

 SME Size Definitions:

 USA/EU Micro/Soho = 10

EU: Small = Less than 50: USA Less than 100:

 Canada: Less than 100 (goods producing) 50 (service based)

  EU: Medium = less than 250: USA Less than 500: (Wikipedia)


                     Tony introducing the UK FastTrack100                                 

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