Spanish deal helps business get into the right position for growth

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Securing a listing with one of Spain’s largest distributors of pharmaceutical supplies, just a month after launching its first product, will net AAD Global Ltd a minimum £100k over the next six months. 

The Strathblane-based company, which has been helped by Business Gateway Stirling, signed the six-month exclusivity deal with Salud en Casa in October, providing the distributor with the rights to sell its innovative Squat Easy throughout Spain. 

The product, which has been developed at a cost of over £250k, is the first anti-bacterial toilet step designed to ensure users assume the correct posture to fully empty the bowel, helping to ease multiple bowel issues including constipation, IBS, and haemorrhoids. 

AAD Global’s founder, Graeme Smith, who set up the business last year with partners Ramsey McLellan and Doug Richards, is now in talks with potential distributors in Belgium, USA, India, Canada, and Germany. 

Mr Smith, a medical device and healthcare industry expert, believes the global interest in Squat Easy, which is supported by This Morning’s resident GP, Dr Chris Steele, will see the firm’s turnover reach seven figures by March 31st next year. 

He said: “Salud en Casa sell directly to nearly half of Spain’s pharmacies so securing a deal with them so early on is huge for a new business. The distributor will now promote Squat Easy to the 10,000 pharmacies on its books, giving us enormous reach in Spain. We now hope to secure similar deals with leading pharmacy chains and pharmaceutical distributors throughout Europe and further afield.

“Getting to this point has taken a lot of hard work and investment and the support we’ve had from Business Gateway Stirling along the way has been hugely beneficial. Our adviser successfully applied to add us to the growth pipeline programme which connected us to Intellectual Property, product development, and financial readiness experts. Being on the pipeline not only helped us secure funding to work with innovation specialists who made us question a lot of our initial assumptions, it allowed us to tap into finance that will help us exhibit at MEDICA 2017 in Germany, the largest gathering of medical technology and equipment suppliers in the world, and at Arab Health in Dubai.”

Louise Evison, Adviser, Business Gateway, said: “Graeme and his business partners have used their years of experience within the medical sector to develop a product that has the potential to have a significant impact on the health industry worldwide. By working with us we have connected them to the likes of Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International which has helped them take their product to market. Further support with growth in other areas of the business is now in the pipeline.”

The idea for the product arose after Mr Smith, who also owns Jag Worldwide Ltd, visited Digestive Disease Week in America, the world's largest gathering of physicians, researchers and industry in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery, last year. 

Walking around the show he spotted a toilet step that claimed to help ease bowel movements and after researching the sector he used his medical contacts to design a step that would appeal to the European market.

The product, which is manufactured in the UK and designed for clinical environments as well as for home use, is made from medical grade polypropylene with an anti-bacterial additive and is fully recyclable.

Mr Smith said: “Throughout the medical profession it is widely accepted that a knees above pelvis position is the most comfortable and natural position to fully eliminate bodily waste. Babies squat naturally and in countries where squatting is still the norm, there are generally fewer bowel issues. We are not claiming the Squat Easy is the only answer to bowel problems but along with the correct food, drink, and exercise, it is designed to help ease many of the most common including constipation, which a recent YouGov survey highlighted costs the NHS £175m each year.”

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