Jul. 21, 2017
Usted puede encontrar la versión en español de este artículo aquí. 'HELM apunta a duplicar las ventas de insumos agrícolas en LATAM para el 2020'
German company HELM intends to double its market share and revenue in the Brazilian market to achieve sales of R$1 billion by 2020. AgroPages recently interviewed Mr. Nicholas Read, HELM's Executive Manager, to seek his views on HELM's successful philosophy, product series, business model, as well as future development planning etc.
Q1. Could you please briefly elaborate on the development history and successful philosophy of HELM in the Latin American (LATAM) agrochemical market?
HELM has been active in the LATAM market since 1981 when we initiated the first imports of technical materials in 2004; we commercialized our own brand portfolio in Brazil and Mexico and have subsequently rolled out this successful business approach through other countries in the region. We have a healthy pipeline of innovative products and expect to more than double our business in the next five years through these measures and organic growth in the market.
Success stems from our core family-company values—unwavering focus on our customers, quick decision processes, agility, transparency and providing confidence to our business partners—with the knowledge that HELM was in this business yesterday, is still today and will continue to operate in the region as a crop protection service provider. This long-term perspective, and our commitment to the future, enables relationships to develop into true partnerships that provide great benefits to both stakeholders.
We think and act in decades so we have the luxury of developing our business and that of our partners with no constraints on scope—we are able to use our network of researchers and access to the farmers to develop real-world solutions for issues that affect growers around the world.
We see success for our partners as success for us—and we are committed to providing as many tools to our partners to enable them to respond to the challenges in the market—in terms of resources, knowledge transfer, portfolio development and technology to name but a few.
Q2. Could you please also talk about HELM’s product series in LATAM?
Our focus is on both crop and indication—each country within the LATAM region has its own crop and pest profile and although we have an overarching company strategy, we are close to the customers and listen to their needs; as a result we are able to develop our portfolio together.
In the last five years, we have launched 20 products in the region, across various crops to help growers combat the most significant pest issues. We continue to develop our pipeline and will be launching numerous post-patent solutions every year.
A robust product development process within our global resources allows us to take advantage of rapid development and product introduction that can also simplify their use for farmers.
Q3. What about the business model and competitive advantages of HELM in LATAM?
Our business development model is to combine our agility and our relationships in the market with strong technical abilities in our global portfolio team; thus we can quickly respond to the changes in the market place and provide solutions to new problems.
We are a multi-national company and have offices all over the world; this allows us to think globally, but act locally. With our distribution focus, product knowledge, our commitment to providing quality products and our reliability in our approach to our partners, we have achieved substantial organic growth.
In this time of uncertainty with the mergers and acquisitions that are ongoing, the market is looking for reliability, and our continuity in approach, long-term commitment to our partners and the knowledge that the company will not change ownership, can help to provide this assurance.
Q4. What do you think of the high consolidation and fierce competition in today’s agricultural inputs market?
Consolidation has never stopped in our industry. The latest consolidations will make the biggest companies we have ever seen. These companies will take advantage of their scale and ability to invest in R&D efforts, offer complete portfolio solutions and access strong distribution channels already established in almost all markets. But these structures usually require different authorization levels, and have limitations in areas of development, which results in a more complex decision making process and creates a higher level of bureaucracy.
With a smaller company structure and family-company values, HELM can develop closer and deeper relationships with the distribution channel over multiple years; maintain flexibility and we have a fast decision making process to take advantage of the dynamics of this business. We live in a complex world, and simplicity in business is a valued commodity.
Competition around the world is increasing, in every market and every segment. This helps drive innovation and improves global productivity and the human ability to respond to dramatic changes in our environment. At HELM, we are completely focused on partners—distributors and growers—and work tirelessly to develop the right relationships and solutions to ensure success for us both.
We have the best people and products, a culture of providing German quality in everything we do and a constant drive for innovation through our team of world-class scientists. Through information sharing and our knowledge of running a family business, we are able to help our partners make the right decisions at the right time to minimize risk.
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