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Family-owned Dundee Company Awarded Prestigious Queen’s Award For Enterprise

We are honoured to announce our parent company, Aydya Limited, has recevied the highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2021.

Aydya Group Ltd, which was founded by Dundee businessman Yusuf Okhai, exports its AnySharp knife sharpeners and ION8 eco-friendly water bottles to more than 50 countries worldwide. 

Announced today, 29th April 2021, the highly prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are presented to UK businesses in recognition of outstanding achievement in the categories of innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility, as well as international trade.

Aydya is one of 205 organisations nationally and one of only 13 in Scotland to be recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which comes as the company embarks on ambitious expansion plans to grow the business by 60% in new markets, including the USA, and build its brands in the UK and across Europe.

Exports already account for around 30% of Aydya’s turnover, with half its international sales coming from the EU. 

Aydya has grown its business ten-fold in the last four years and internationalisation is central to the firm’s future growth targets and goal of establishing a portfolio of globally recognised and recognisable products. 

Based at Dundee Technology Park, the team of 16 is committed to designing and selling reusable, long-lasting and high-quality products.

ION8 water bottles include a range made from Aydya’s own Recyclon solution, which uses organic materials from plants. 

Mr Okhai said Aydya’s Queen’s Award was testament to his team’s commitment to creating simple solutions to everyday problems. 

He said: “We are honoured to receive The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which recognises the global reach of business with exports to dozens of countries around the world,” he said.  

“Aydya wholly owns and operates brands that are sold globally and we have customers in the USA, Canada, South America, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe but we are also extremely proud to be based in Dundee. We are very committed to the city and all our employees live in the Dundee area.

ION8 Awarded Queen's Award for Enterprise 2021

“We pride ourselves on selling products of the highest quality and value, which are both brilliantly simple and simply brilliant – they look fantastic and work amazingly well.” he added.

Its products are sold through international distribution channels as well as on Amazon and directly through the brand’s own websites. 

Mr Okhai said: “We launched ION8 in 2016 with the aim of fixing design flaws in other products and we’ve created a one-touch, 100% leak-proof water bottles. 

“We are still evolving and innovating, and we are now looking at expanding into new countries as well as increasing our distribution networks in our newest territories, including the USA, Greece, Australia and Taiwan.”

“The company has developed a proactive exporting strategy to increase our customer base, and to mitigate the risk of being reliant on a single country. This fantastic award will help us to reach many new customers across the globe.” 

Mr Okhai’s father Ibrahim was a highly successful and well-respected Dundee businessman. Among numerous business interests, Mr Okhai senior owned the famous James Keiller marmalade company in the city. 

Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.

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