Agri-tech firm best exporter
The best Kiwi exporters have been named by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's International Business Awards.
The Supreme Award went to agri-tech firm Tru-Test Group, exporter of milk meters and the electric fencing brands Hayes, Speedrite and Patriot, which are sold in more than 100 countries.
The winner took home $100,000 in cash for gaining first prize.
The judges commended its deep customer relationships and market entry strategies.
"Its broad and diverse geographic presence and strategic outlook, together with its active and ongoing merger and acquisition activities, are equally valuable assets," said the judging panel
The Auckland-based company earlier took out the ANZ Best Business Operating Internationally (Over $50 million) award.
The agri-tech company has launched an aggressive international strategy over the past three years, releasing 20 new products.
Tru-test Group chief executive Greg Muir said the wins confirm that its commitment to becoming a design-led manufacturer that "lives with its customers" is paying off.
"Agriculture by its very nature is regionalised. We have to build local knowledge and to fully understand customer needs. With the support of NZTE we have built strong, on the ground relationships that are the foundation of our international success."
The chief executive said being a niche player in a global market meant the company had to remain flexible.
"Our greatest challenge is that our markets are small, and there are several small niches within them. We have to be extraordinarily nimble, forward looking and detail focused."
Christchurch-based geological modelling software company ARANZ-Geo won a Special Commendation Award along with Best Business Operating Internationally (under $10m).
ARANZ-Geo supplies all of the top 10 mining companies globally with geological, hydro and geothermal mapping software and technology support.
ARANZ-Geo chief financial controller Jane Catley said she was "absolutely delighted" with the awards.
"It's the recognition for long, hard work, where we grew 40 per cent growth year-on-year for the past three years.
"It's all due to fantastic distribution channels in Africa, the Americas and Europe. Without them our innovative product wouldn't have seen this growth."
Catley put down the success to ditching the original distributors for ones geared towards reactive customer service.
"Even with our distance, we had to get our head around the fact that as a global business we needed to get closer to our customers and offer software-as-a-service."
Catley said ARANZ-Geo's contract list, although confidential, showed Kiwi companies could punch above their weight.
"We may not be well known in New Zealand, but ask any geologist and they have heard of us, because we make a real difference for our clients."
Tourist transport company JUCY shared the Most Innovative Business Model with the NZ Merino Company.
JUCY was one of the few winners that did not have an intensive research and development background.
Callaghan Innovation chief Mary Quin said the results demonstrate the key role investment in innovation plays in achieving business success.
"The results of this year's awards show a clear link between investing in technological innovation and retaining or developing the kind of competitive edge that leads to international business success," Quin said.
New Zealand International Business Award winners
* Supreme award:
* Special commendation:
* ANZ Best Business operating internationally
Revenue over $50 million:
* Revenue $10m - $50m:
* Revenue under $10m:
* Callaghan Innovation international success through the application of innovation:
* James & Wells best commercialisation of intellectual property in international business:
* AUT Business School most innovative business model in international business:
Joint winners: JUCY and The New Zealand Merino Company
* Best use of design in international business:
* KPMG outstanding international business leader:
Brett Hewlett, CEO, Comvita
* KPMG outstanding contribution to international business:
John Brackenridge, CEO, The New Zealand Merino Company
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