Page One Person: Founder and CEO of Ramsden International, Sean Ramsden

Upon graduating from Cambridge, Sean Ramsden rejected a City career to focus on transforming the underperforming export arm of his family’s business.


In 1995, he turned the division into a separate, independent company, Ramsden International, which quickly became an exciting and fast-growing venture. It has evolved into the UK’s leading international grocery wholesaler, exporting more than 23,000 British food and drink products to over 600 customers in more than 130 countries across six continents.


Ramsden International has had a real impact on the local area, where it is known as an employer of choice that pays competitive wages, attracts multi-lingual talent and has five overseas offices that employ workers of 18 nationalities.


The entrepreneurial ambition that drove Sean to build a world-leading export business out of a loss-making arm motivates him to keep learning. To that end, he’s completed executive programmes at Harvard Business School (2015), Stanford Business School (2016) and INSEAD Business School (2017). These rigorous, world-class programmes have given him confidence, knowledge, fresh ideas and renewed energy for his work and business.


In addition to his executive role at Ramsden International, Sean is a Non-Executive Director at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC); Trustee-Director of the Institute of Export and International Trade and Trustee of Borough Market. He sits on the Management Committee of the Food and Drink Exporters Association; the Council of the International Chamber of Commerce (London branch); the Lincoln Business School Advisory Board and the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce Council.


Among the company’s 80+ nationally and internationally recognised business and export awards are three Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, numerous Exporter of the Year Grocer Gold Awards and an abundance of Chamber Awards for Export Business of the Year, Exporter of the Year and International Business of the Year.


The scores of business honours that Sean’s leadership has brought to the company are also complemented by the many individual accolades he has received for his personal achievements. These include UK Entrepreneur of the Year at the European Business Awards; Entrepreneur of the Year at the UK Business Awards; Entrepreneur of the Year finalist at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards; East Midlands Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors Awards and Exporter of the Year at the Food and Drink Federation Awards, plus many more.


Ramsden International

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