Paul Andrews, CEO of Lancashire-based engineering firm OakTec, travelled with the Prime Minister Theresa May on the recent UK Trade Mission to India, her first international trade visit.
OakTec has developed the Pulse-R™ multi-gas and multi-fuel engine, which is ideal for use in various applications in India due to having low levels of emissions, high fuel efficiency, and because of its ability to be manufactured at low cost.
The event began with a briefing in Downing Street, setting out the overall objective of the visit, which was to promote British entrepreneurism and to develop international high-tech trade with India.
Soon after this Paul Andrews found himself on the plane to India with almost 40 other companies; Paul was from the only business operating in the automotive sector, and one of only two firms from the North West. The Prime Minister came round and talked to people during the flight to find out more about their businesses.
Once in India, Paul accompanied the Prime Minister to various venues and receptions including the India-UK Tech Summit in New Delhi. The Prime Minister used the visit to set out her ambitious vision for the UK to forge a new, global role for the UK as a country with the self-confidence and the freedom to look beyond the continent of Europe.
She also used the visit to deliver on her pledge to create an economy that truly works for all, by introducing new and emerging enterprises, as well as more established players, to the key Indian market.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “OakTec is a prime example of the sorts of innovative, outward-looking firms the UK is home to and I’m so pleased they are joining me on this important trade mission. The company is doing fantastic work developing cutting-edge engine technology and it is proof that regions like Lancashire are truly embracing industrial innovation. Firms like OakTec show that Britain is open for business and ready to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.’’
Paul was highly impressed with the three-day trip, saying: “This has been a truly amazing opportunity for us. Our Pulse-R engine technology is very relevant to many large global markets that rely on off-grid engine-powered generators for electricity supply. Pulse-R offers a clean, low cost alternative to the highly polluting diesel generators that are widely used, and provides an opportunity to produce power from clean burning, readily available, low cost gas fuels. India has a severe problem with air pollution, but it also has an existing gas fuel supply chain. This creates a fantastic market opportunity for us, and for the Indian industrial partners that we are engaging with that can help us manufacture in the large volumes that this market will consume.”
Paul added: “I met a number of excellent contacts on the trip, and the support provided by Government, such as the Department for International Trade, has been invaluable. OakTec now has a highly credible profile with Government, and this is a result of working with a range of effective support organisations over recent years such as the NAA, APC, NVN and Innovate UK.”
OakTec will now be using contacts gained on the trip to open doors to doing business with India, which is an ideal market for the company’s low cost, low emission Pulse-R engine.
OakTec has recently been successful with gaining further funding to develop its engine, in order to provide efficient energy to off-grid communities who can produce gas fuel from waste in order to power the engine. This will involve taking the single-cylinder Pulse-R concept and developing it into a larger engine.
Since the Indian Trade Mission, Theresa May gave a speech to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on 14 November 2016. She laid out her aim for Britain to be a global champion of free trade, and developing a new industrial strategy that “will seek to ensure working people in every part of the country can really benefit from the opportunities that trade brings. There are people with great new businesses, and brilliant new inventions in every part of this country. Huge untapped potential.” With this last comment Theresa May could have been talking about OakTec.