What is DP Global Limited?
It’s an international business development consultancy focused on helping Scottish companies enter new markets and succeed overseas. Founded in 2019, we work with Chambers of Commerce in Scotland and abroad, governments and private sector, developing valuable trade opportunities for Scottish businesses across borders.
That’s one side of my work, the other side is working with private companies entering new markets, especially in Latin America and Latin European countries like Spain and Portugal. I help them with their business development strategy, brand management and building key commercial relationships in the new market.
When did you start?
I started trading in March 2019 and opened my Mettle account in April 2020. My main customers are the chambers, there’s thirty local ones across Scotland and you’ll usually find me working with the smaller ones as many of them don’t have their own internal international trade team to do this sort of work.
In that way, I act as an outsourced contractor for them to be able to act on projects they might not otherwise get to. I can help them do this as I have the experience of working with chambers at local, national and international levels, most recently having worked as a consultant to the overarching Scottish Chambers of Commerce – the organisation that coordinates the 30 local Chambers in Scotland.
Diana Peralta with colleagues at UK Spain Awards
What motivated you to start your own business?
I actually worked as an employee at one of the biggest, local Chambers of Commerce in Scotland for a good number of years before launching DP Global. Since the initial idea, it took me about a year to decide to do it. I knew I had the contacts I needed, the expertise, the know-how in the industry and the ambition to help smaller chambers grow, so I decided to go out and do it for myself.
It’s scary to go out on your own and not know when you’ll next be earning but I knew that most of that fear was in my head and what really motivated me was the idea of being in control of my time, working only with clients I believe in, choosing the projects I want to work on and setting up my own schedule that allows me to travel when I want to.
I always thought to myself – why am I doing this and giving my expertise to someone else when I could be doing it myself and be better rewarded for it. That’s when I decided to go for it myself.
What would you say is your USP?
I’d say the unique selling point for my business is my focus on countries in which I have lived and worked, so I have the market experience and innate understanding. This includes Latin America and Latin Europe – that being particularly Spain and Portugal. The biggest barrier to trade with these markets has been identified as the lack of language skills and lack of cultural knowledge of the areas.
This can be an intimidating factor when looking to trade with these places but as a native (I’m originally from Colombia), I understand these markets well and can advise how to navigate them. I also speak Spanish and Portuguese, which added to my expertise, is invaluable.
How would you say Brexit has affected your business?
There are now more requirements for businesses in the UK wanting to trade overseas than ever before. Changes in regulations have made it a bit more difficult for businesses, but with a strong network of Chambers, local agencies, and logistic partners around me, I can help companies overcome these hurdles.
For DP Global Ltd, it means further opportunities for international trade with countries and regions, like Latin America, which were not previously considered a top priority. If anything, Brexit has opened more doors and our capacity to unlock previously unexplored opportunities.
What's been your biggest challenge?
Without a doubt it was COVID-19. All the events in my diary were cancelled practically overnight, I was working on a project in Spain that had to be completely scrapped.
Overnight my income plummeted to zero and stayed that way for a few months while all the companies I worked with were trying to figure out what was going on. As you’d expect, contractors tend to be cut first.
Diana Peralta with Nicola Sturgeon
What’s been your biggest achievement?
Two biggest achievements – initially, when I decided to launch DP Global, I went travelling for a couple of months to clear my head and plan how it was all going to go. My first big achievement was that within two weeks of getting home I already had my first contract as DP Global, which reinforced the belief that I could do this myself and that people were looking to make use of my specific skill set which instilled a sense of confidence in me.
The next big achievement has been leading the first Scottish Government-backed trade mission to South America on behalf of Inverclyde Chamber. Colombia (of course) was the destination, with 16 Scottish businesses in sectors including renewables, technology, food and drink, education and more taking part – and already many are starting to reap the benefits. This was also Inverclyde’s first international project and it was a resounding success, so two birds with one stone they say! See here and here.
What’s next for DP Global Ltd?
We have a full calendar of trade missions and international opportunities for the next 12 months, with in-market visits to places like Miami, New York and Colombia in 2022.
I am also launching the LATAC Scotland Network later this year – a network that will help bring the LATAC (Latin America & the Caribbean) region closer to Scotland and will unlock trade and investment opportunities at both ends. This is very exciting as we will provide support, expertise, and connectivity in a region where there are currently no Scottish Affairs offices.
Last, I’m excited about COP26 coming to Glasgow in November this year and I look forward to our planned activity involving Latin American delegations.
Want to know more about Diana or DP Global Ltd? You can find Diana over on LinkedIn.