Click here to read our Q&A session with Ana Maria Sagra-Smith, International Sales & Marketing Director

Interview with GJD's International Sales and Marketing Director

Q. Ana, congratulations on your new role as GJD’s International Sales & Marketing Director.  What does your new role involve?

Thank you.  I have been working with GJD for almost 3 years in a Consultancy role, helping them to expand their international distribution network and to market their products worldwide.  My appointment as International Sales & Marketing Director will effectively be an extension of this role, with a real focus on developing existing and new international customer relationships, growing the business internationally and making GJD a global brand, through targeted marketing campaigns around the world.

Q. What attracted you to the role with GJD Ltd?

GJD is a fantastic company to work with, both for employees and customers.  There is a real focus on excellence in customer service and quality products, with a real can-do attitude throughout the business.  I relish the challenge of helping to grow the company and making it more well-known at a global level.

Q. The global Intruder Surveillance market must be flooded with detector and CCTV products, what in your opinion differentiates GJD’s product offering from the competition?

You are correct, there are many detector and CCTV products on the global intruder surveillance market, but what I feel differentiates GJD’s products is the quality, innovation and attention to detail at both the product development and production stages.  For example, GJD’s D-TECT range of external detectors have a unique feature in that they are covert in the sense that once they are installed with their front cover, it is impossible to tell where the detector is pointing.  We are not aware of any other detector on the market that has this feature.  GJD products are also manufactured in the U.K. which allows us to maintain excellent quality control.

Q. How important is it for GJD to establish good relationships with your international distributors?

Establishing good relationships with our international distributors is paramount, as without them we appreciate that we would not have a business.  We really regard our distributors as an extension of the GJD family, as they are ‘on the ground’ in countries around the world, promoting the GJD brand name and products. They are key to our success and are our partners in every sense of the word, collaborating with us in joint promotional and marketing campaigns worldwide.

Q. GJD is now exporting world wide, have you experienced any barriers to entry in certain markets and how have you overcome these barriers as a business?

That is a very good question and one to which I could give a very extensive answer, but I shall try to keep it brief!  Every market is different and each brings its own challenges.  In some countries pricing may be an issue, in other markets our competitors’ brands may be very well established, and this is always a challenge.  Some countries require our products to be specifically adapted for the ambient conditions in that part of the world.  We try to work closely with our partners in each country and to listen to their market requirements and help them overcome the challenges that they are experiencing, by adapting our sales, marketing and product development strategies for each market.

Q. You recently exhibited at MIPS in Russia, how was it? 

The MIPS exhibition is a very well established show which has been running for 21 years.  I met GJD’s Russian distribution partner, Ronix, at the very first exhibition in Moscow, all those years ago, and they have become an excellent partner for GJD in Russia.  MIPS was an opportunity for GJD to promote the sale of their products through Ronix and to create brand awareness of the GJD name in Russia.

Q. How important is it for GJD to exhibit internationally and have you any plans to attend future shows?

Exhibiting internationally is key to launching and promoting the GJD brand and extending our overseas distribution network.  Nothing really beats getting in front of your customer, or prospective customers.  With this in mind, GJD will be exhibiting at IFSEC International in London this June, at IFSEC Malaysia in September and at Security Essen in Germany, also in September.  In  addition to this, we will also be visiting both the Expoprotection  and Sicurezza shows in Paris and Milan respectively, in November.  In 2015 we plan to start our sales & marketing campaign in the Americas by exhibiting at the ISC West exhibition in Las Vegas, USA.

Q. Finally Ana, as you travel extensively around the world, can you tell us your favourite country and why?

That is a very difficult question and one that I cannot really give a definitive answer to.  I find international travel really interesting and generally enjoy travelling to most destinations.  The Far East is always fascinating, because of the cultural differences between there and the UK, but the same can also be said of the Middle East and Latin America.  Certainly, international travel provides you with a wealth of new experiences and some interesting tales.