We speak to Khalid Talukder and find out why he wishes he’d starting The Last Slug sooner
What do you currently do?
I am the MD of The Last Slug, one of the UK’s fastest growing international trade advisors. We specialise in helping companies to manage complex import and export processes, including guaranteeing that large multinational FMCG liabilities are honoured. We work with SMEs across Europe and in emerging markets to ensure they have peace of mind to release goods to their clients on time.
The Covid-19 crisis has caused huge problems for businesses, delaying transport and logistics and preventing many businesses from shipping goods to new markets. Our team is actively helping companies adapt to this new world of work, ensuring that products and goods are successfully deployed on a global scale.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Having worked in international trade for a number of years, I observed that companies, particularly SMEs, were having trouble understanding and meeting the regulatory requirements and compliances needed to launch in a different country, or to enhance global trade.
Thus, a lot of businesses were being stung by expensive external support, or were neglecting international expenditure of their business altogether.
With The Last Slug, we set out to offer a reliable support package to aid companies seeking to enter new markets with a free upfront consultation, including a summary of the logistics, regulation and compliance needs for improving global trade, or expanding internationally.
Of course, the Covid-19 crisis has caused severe strain for businesses, disrupting supply chains, derailing export strategies, and preventing many companies from trading altogether. With The Last Slug, we hope to aid businesses looking to enter new markets which can, in turn, benefit otherwise struggling businesses as well as a deflating economy.
Who do you admire?
I admire selfless businesses and individuals who aren’t afraid to champion a cause greater than their own needs.
The world of trade, business and finance has been marred by corruption, distrust and dishonesty, and changing this perception has, and perhaps always will be, an uphill battle.
Those individuals and organisations who aren’t afraid to roll the dice on an unproven start-up, or make decisions that put the needs of their workforce first, for example, are highly admirable to me.
Looking Back is there anything you would have done differently?
In hindsight, possibly starting The Last Slug sooner – there’s a real gap in the market for affordable, reliable advisory services of this nature, and for many years plenty of companies have struggled to adapt to new markets, and many more have not endeavoured to expand at all.
What defines your way of doing business?
We offer very honest and informed insight into a range of administration and legal issues associated with an expansion into new markets. For example, our team offers specialist advice around transportation of goods, logistics, customs policies, and insurance measures required to move items efficiently.
We have an honest discussion about regulation issues and geo-political tensions which could impact expansion into any given nation, and always keep an open dialogue with all of our clients during their journey into new markets.
We also specialise in food and beverage providers, and already work with some of the world’s biggest brands in this sector. With plenty of experience in expanding fast-moving consumer goods between country borders, we are experts on both import and export strategies.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
In terms of advice to a company or individual looking to expand globally or internationally, my advice would be to research your options and get in touch with us. Don’t be daunted by your options or future, and vice versa, don’t underestimate how difficult it is to expand into new territories.
Even in this post-pandemic, there are ample opportunities available to organisations of all sizes, expanding and developing operations often just requires a good strategy, informed insight and expert advice.