By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
Senior managing partner of Spark Strategic Intelligence
AgroPages exclusively interviewed André Dias, an agronomic engineer from Esalq-USP and a managing partner of Spark Strategic Intelligence. Recently, the company, which specializes in the development of studies for agribusiness, has joined the worldwide corporate network Esomar, a non-profit organization that brings together 550 companies and 6,000 market research professionals and service buyers in 130 countries.
Tell us a bit about Spark, its performance and differentials.
Spark emerged from the association of a group of professionals specializing in Brazilian agribusiness, including agronomists, statisticians and economists. The company was born focused on agribusiness, particularly in the areas of agricultural pesticides, seeds, machinery and implements, areas of origin of its partners and founders. It is based in Valinhos, in the region of Campinas, in the state of São Paulo, and has national coverage. Spark conducts market studies and sector analysis for large domestic and multinational companies operating in Brazil.
Spark's growth and consolidation comes from the union of a team of agricultural experts to a group of investors, a partnership that has provided financial and management support for the company to pursue excellence in quality and business strategy. In addition to studies on the behavior of different agribusiness markets, Spark constantly innovates by developing new products and services. Recently, Spark concluded the first survey conducted in Brazil on digital media habits of soy, coffee and sugar cane producers.
The study, quantitative and qualitative, investigated the relationship of these producers with social networks and digital media, as well as the use of applications, computers, tablets and smart phones in rural properties. Since its arrival in the market, Spark has completed more than 160 special studies and 300 quotas of panel studies linked to Brazilian agribusiness. The professionals of the company have conducted more than 130 thousand interviews and have traveled some 4.5 million kilometers throughout the country.
What does it mean for the company to become part of the global Esomar network?
Today, it is the only Brazilian company in the area of research and strategic intelligence to be among the corporate members of the Esomar network. We understand that we are starting a new stage in our trajectory, which will enter the fifth year with this endorsement of credibility conferred by Esomar. The presence of Spark in Esomar's select group of associates supports the company's reputation for leadership and motivates us to begin expansion studies in other markets in Latin America, where agribusiness is strong and sustainable.
What projects appear to be a trend for the information services sector on agribusiness, especially in relation to agricultural pesticides?
As in all sectors of the economy, the market for strategic intelligence also goes through innumerable transformations driven by technology. It is a segment in which the ability to innovate, invest in new tools and develop knowledge will define the competitiveness and sustainability of companies in the area. There is no room for strategic mistakes in the market, and companies that have not or will not keep up with the pace of change in the era of innovation have succumbed, or will soon fall apart. At the same time, Spark will remain focused on delivering services marked by reliability, high accuracy in samplings, extrapolation and checking, for example. Spark has been recognized by its customers for pursuing accuracy in fundamentals and statistical quality, and will continue to invest to add even more reliability and transparency to its relationship with the market.
What are Spark's plans for the next few years?
We will consolidate our reputation as a company anchored in business ethics and market relations, which are non-negotiable principles and values. In the view of Spark's management, this corporate culture played a central role in the growth registered by the company in recent years, and also helped us to receive the stamp of Esomar. Spark's goal in the coming years, in short, is to broaden its skills base and become an international information solutions provider for agribusiness, while maintaining sustainable growth.