Their winning of this year’s award for international trade is the fifth time Nasco has been recognised by the crown in this category, the previous four coming consecutively between 2013 and 2016.
On top of that Nasco won Sunday Times Fast Track awards in 2013 and 2014 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the UK and the International Track 200 in 2015.
Nasco is a family business which was established around the kitchen table in 2003 and has now grown to occupy a 17,000 square feet premises in Southall, London. It is an export and wholesale company supplying Fast Moving Consumer Goods to 60 countries worldwide, sourcing, stocking and supplying more than 8,000 food, drink, toiletries and household items.
Nisha Vidani is the company’s Chief Financial Officer and daughter of the founder. She said:
“Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise more than once has definitely had a huge impact. We’re an export company and the majority of our customers are from around the world, so while it means a lot to us it means something to them as well.
“For them it brings confidence to see that the company that they are doing business with is doing so well. This kind of recognition is great publicity for us and helps to generate trust.”
It’s a rare achievement indeed to win five awards, but it has also helped to supercharge the business: “There aren’t many companies that have won five Queen’s Awards, and each one is really special”, she said, “and each of them shows that we are doing something right and continuing to move in the right direction.
“With each award we have seen both growth in sales and improvement in what we do as a business and having another award will help propel us further.”
Nasco’s growth has been remarkable. In the three years to December 2020 its overseas sales have grown by 63 per cent and now make up 91 per cent of all sales. In 2020, its top five overseas markets were UAE, Nigeria, USA, Saudi Arabia, and India.
There’s no chance that this consistent success and growth will usher in any complacency or blunt the company’s ambition either. In recent years Nasco has expanded its service by increasing its product portfolio including a private label range; in-house freight forwarding; investing in technology including new ERP software, warehouse management and an online ordering portal; as well as recently launching a retail club, which is a department dedicated to growing its UK retail business.
Nisha said: “We’ve had a lot of growth since we started and have managed to continue that every year as well as finding new ways to grow the business. Obviously there’s been a lot of hard work and we always cope with whatever challenge comes our way, most recently that’s been Brexit and Covid-19.
“But we’ve diversified carefully and been adaptable. When we first started trading we tried lots of different products and over the years we’ve found out what works and what doesn’t and that helps us concentrate our efforts accordingly.
“We also put a great deal of emphasis on our customer relations and ensure a very personalised service and coupled with very competitive pricing, it’s helped us stand out and ensure a very low customer turnover. Most importantly though we have a great team who have been instrumental in driving our growth.
In 2019 Nasco started its own branded products – tinned food, drinks, including coffee, biscuits and honey – which is where its future focus lies.
Nisha added: “We started small 19 years ago and now we are in more than 60 countries and having our own products hopefully will see us break into new markets – we’d love to have a customer in every country.”
World domination beckons – and maybe another award or two more on the way.