Although she had worked as part of a bid team of consultants for a tender to another RIA member for six months prior to Altro, this was her first major role in the rail industry, with Rita being part of some significant changes to the business. “For the first three or four months, I interviewed everyone in the company to see how the various teams did business before. What was clear to me from the beginning was that we didn’t have enough opportunities to engage with all the key players in rail on a global scale”, Rita says.
Here, Rita says, is where RIA could help.
Boosting export opportunities
Joining RIA only a year into the role, in 2016, Rita still remembers doing the application, and very quickly saw the benefits. “My biggest motivation was the opportunity for networking for the global team. RIA does a lot of work, much of which is not just UK based. We had colleagues coming from our subsidiaries abroad and they’d be able to join a RIA event in the UK, or there were RIA events abroad that they could join.”
The focus on the international market quickly bore fruit, with key progress for Altro in Taiwan. Rita tells us: “One of the first events I attended from RIA was a supplier event with key players from Taiwan’s railways. Not only did we have presentations from Taiwan’s agencies, but we had British companies present on how they exported to Taiwan.
“One company said they had been trying to export to Taiwan for 10 years as they didn’t have a good partner in the country. At some point they found this partner, and they were suddenly very successful in Taiwan. So we thought: we can use this agent too! I got the contact details for the agent in Taiwan and, within a few weeks, they started sending us requests for proposals for rail opportunities in Taiwan.”