Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear


Winner of the National Languages for Export Award

Local company wins prestigious national award Nikwax ® Waterproofing wins the National Languages for Export Awards, 2003 hosted by

The Rt Hon. David Mellor PC, QC

Nikwax ® Waterproofing, based in Wadhurst, East Sussex, has been awarded the prestigious accolade of the National Languages for Export Awards 2003. Just four weeks earlier the company had celebrated its win in the London and South East Languages for Export Awards; today it celebrates a National win presented The Rt Hon. David Mellor PC, QC and Alex Williams MBE at Manchester City Football Club.

The company, which produces a range of aftercare cleaning and waterproofing solutions for clothing, footwear and equipment is delighted to have won the National Award. Corine Aitouares, Export Manager at Nikwax® , explains, “Our market is a world-wide market and our sales reflect that because of our Language Policy. The market for waterproofing clothing, footwear and equipment is international.” Corine went on to say, “We recognise that understanding different cultures, customs and traditions will improve our relationships with distributors, retailers and consumers. Language and culture have always been part of everyday life at Nikwax® ; we are very aware of how integral they are to the company's export development programme.”

The National Languages for Export campaign celebrates the rich diversity of culture and communication around the world and pays respect to organisations from the UK that demonstrate success in forging links with non-English speaking countries. The National Languages for Export Award is presented to the company who best recognises that building relationships with new cultures and countries is not about shouting a little louder in English but about understanding traditions and customs. At a time when mutual respect is crucial in business as well as international diplomacy, Nikwax® have proved once again that investment in cross-cultural relations has paid off.

Whilst many companies compromise by trying to put half a dozen languages on one package, Nikwax® has concentrated on getting the right message in the language appropriate to the region where Nikwax® products are sold. Product literature is dedicated to each language area with the full range of benefits clearly presented to each target market.

Marketing Manager at Nikwax® , Jason Knights commented, “This award recognises our on-going commitment for local and regional marketing activity in any of our 41 countries we service. We are totally committed to enhancing people's understanding of what Nikwax® offers and the benefits our aftercare cleaning and waterproofing products bring to those people who enjoy outdoor life, even when its raining.”

Nikwax® has an 'Export Sales Team  that organises, co-ordinates and masterminds all aspects of the company's world-wide activity. Most of Nikwax® 's export customers have distributorships that sell Nikwax® products to retail markets. To support distributors, the company exhibits at Trade fairs in USA, Germany, France, Canada, Australia and Denmark along with product training and market awareness seminars held at different times of the year for distributors. The company's export team are truly international with French, German, Spanish and Arabic native speakers. They recognise some of the difficulties of cross language and cross culture business and are able to utilise their talents to great effect.

The company has come a long way in its 26th year of business. Nikwax® exported its first tin of waterproofing wax to France in 1977 when Nick Brown, it's Managing Director, went on a backpacking tour to promote his product to French outdoor retailers. As he was able to speak French he managed to introduce his product successfully to a French wholesaler that became his largest importer.