Q&A with Khalid Talukder, MD, The Last Slug

The Last Slug is one of the UK’s fastest growing international trade advisers. Put simply, we specialise in helping companies to manage import and export processes; assisting business with the logistics, complex processes and policies or legal issues that are associated with expansion into new markets and developments over country borders. We primarily work with SMEs across Europe and in emerging markets to ensure they have peace of mind to release goods to their clients on time, this includes guaranteeing that large multinational FMCG liabilities are honoured.

Tell Us About The Last Slug

Our objective is to create a sustainable and transparent trade ecosystem, matching local markets and SMEs to international manufacturers of food, beverage and FMCG products so that goods flow freely across borders and commerce in emerging markets and the developing world thrive.

What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing Companies During Covid-19

The Covid-19 crisis has caused huge problems for businesses, namely, delays to transport and logistics means that expansion into new markets has grown more complicated than ever. For SMEs, international trade is extremely difficult at this current time, and many companies will be waiting months for free-flowing trade routes to reopen at their pre-Covid capacity.

The economic downturn caused by Covid-19 also means that many international trade challenges will be here for the long-term. For example, many businesses will be so severely damaged from interrupted or stalled services during lockdown measures, that they will no longer have the funds, to launch into new markets. Also, until a vaccine is found, which could be years yet, there will always be the underlying fear of a second worldwide lockdown or trade disruption, which has stripped companies of their confidence to launch into new markets.

How Can The Last Slug Help?

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. As mentioned above, confidence and profitability are at an all time low for many businesses – it’s therefore our job to take all of the complications and logistical complexity out of international trade, so that companies can bounce back from this difficult time by hitting new markets, and delivering services on a grander scale than before.

Our dedicated team of industry professionals have over four decades of hands on experience with international trade dealing, and we are always one step ahead to ensure that you are able to trade globally with peace of mind.

Where Do You See The Company In Five Years Time?

Between now and 2025, I would hope that the world will have returned to at least some level of normality: reinstating a stronger economy and allowing SMEs, and indeed larger organisations, to reconsider their international expansion plans and ultimately bolster their own profits as well as the global economy by seeking new markets and travelling across country borders with their offering.

That being said, I believe The Last Slug will be instrumental in facilitating this journey for many businesses.

We currently specialise in food and beverage providers, and already work with some of the world’s biggest brands in this sector, leaving us with plenty of experience in expanding fast-moving consumer goods between country borders. In five years from now, I believe The Last Slug will have expanded operationally, and in terms of workforce size, allowing us to develop our current expertise and land major brand in new verticals such as luxury consumer goods and energy, for example.