Azelis: Develop Tailor-made Formulations for Customers, Drive Growth Through Innovation, Sustainability and Digitalization
Jun. 23, 2021
"Azelis is a global company that supports its partners by building cross-country coverage, while also maintaining local footprints in strategic locations. We have dedicated local sales teams in each country focused on specific market segments. What unites us are our three growth drivers: innovation, sustainability and digitalization. Our dedicated application laboratories are where we develop tailor-made formulations for our customers and create opportunities through innovation. We have recently announced our Action 2025 sustainability strategy, where we focus on the key pillars of people, products and innovation, governance and environment as we work to provide innovative sustainable solutions,"said Kimberly Chung, Azelis' Asia Pacific Business Development Director in a recent interview with AgroPages.
She also shared her views on Azelis' core competitiveness, product lines of Azelis Specialty Agri/Horti, development strategy in the Asia Pacific region, service initiatives, growth drivers and sustainability strategy etc.
Asia Pacific Business Development Director at Azelis
AgroPages: Please briefly introduce Azelis’ global presence and core competitiveness. What strategic initiatives have been taken to accelerate expansion in the Asia Pacific region and what significant performance has been achieved? What’s the overall development plan for the future in this region?
Azelis is a leading global innovative solutions provider and distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients. Azelis provides a comprehensive range of products and innovative services, and is present in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Asia Pacific.
Azelis has been present in Asia Pacific since 2005, and as part of our strategic group decision to accelerate growth in the region, we opened our Singapore headquarters in 2016, which was the beginning of a period of exponential growth for us! We are now present in 12 countries across Asia Pacific, have established more than 20 application laboratories, and now have over 20 offices in the region.
Our growth within Asia Pacific has been driven by both organic growth – through strong sales performance and growing with our key principals throughout the region – and complementary strategic acquisitions in crucial countries and market segments.
What sets us apart is the dedication and passion of our people, our greatest asset. Azelis is a global company that supports its partners by building cross-country coverage, while also maintaining local footprints in strategic locations. We have dedicated local sales teams in each country focused on specific market segments. What unites us are our three growth drivers: innovation, sustainability and digitalization. Our dedicated application laboratories are where we develop tailor-made formulations for our customers and create opportunities through innovation. We have recently announced our Action 2025 sustainability strategy, where we focus on the key pillars of people, products and innovation, governance and environment as we work to provide innovative sustainable solutions. Our digitalization initiatives include digital platforms such as our customer portal that has both eCommerce capabilities and the ability to deliver technical and marketing insights, as well as our e-Lab for virtual collaboration to develop inspiring formulations.
AgroPages: Please introduce the product lines/portfolio of Azelis Specialty Agri/Horti. How does Azelis combine products with services?
Azelis Specialty Agri/Horti offers a comprehensive range of products from renowned worldwide principals for the agriculture, horticulture, amenity and farm care markets. Our portfolio includes seed treatment, fertilizers, pesticide, adjuvant, eco-friendly solutions, and more!
Azelis’ three technical laboratories, located across the region, assist our customers in developing tailor-made formulations, troubleshooting, and testing of their products. We also help them choose the right ingredient combination for their formulations to achieve superior results, allowing them to reach their targets in terms of performance, cost-effectiveness, and environmental protection for PPPs (Plant Protection Products), crop nutrition, and seed coatings applications. As PPP’s dedicated ingredients, for both crop and non-crop (turf, ornamentals, IVM, forestry) applications, we offer all types of co-formulants and solvents. For crop nutrition markets, we offer a wide range of macro and micro nutrition, fertilizers, and dedicated additives to optimize their release processes, which results in both better crop yield and quality optimization.
Azelis is continuously looking into eco-friendly alternatives due to the increase in warnings regarding the effects of pesticides on general health. Together with our partners, we are continually reviewing the requirements of our customers, and how we can integrate those requirements into a more sustainable product, for the benefit of our environment, our health, and in line with our sustainability strategy.
AgroPages: Could you talk about Azelis’ strategic suppliers? What are the strategic considerations behind these partnerships? What are Azelis’ criteria and elements in choosing partners?
Here at Azelis, we analyze our customers’ demands, market trends and regulatory requirements to evaluate how to improve our product offerings. We strategically select partners that offer an attractive product range that will complement our current portfolio, also focus on innovation, and respectfully follow sustainable and ethical practices. We believe that a successful partnership is based on efficiency and trust.
With our partners, we aim to reduce business complexity, across various areas such as sales, supply chain and logistics and technical and marketing. In essence, we are an extension of our partners’ organization, where we can demonstrate our sales excellence, technical product expertise and formulation know-how. This is how we have been able to grow with our principals across countries, and even across regions.
AgroPages: What’s the Azelis business model in Asia Pacific? What challenges did your company encounter during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our regional and local teams collaborate seamlessly to ensure supplier satisfaction, assist with supply chain management and logistics, and ensure that local teams have dedicated sales representatives with regulatory expertise. At Azelis, we consider having a local footprint as key for our strategy, as every market is unique, agricultural environments vary, and regulations differ from region to region.
As a distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients, COVID-19 has shown us supply chain challenges that impact the region, with borders closing and shipments being stuck in ports. Thanks to our team, we have been able to emerge stronger from this experience! We did our utmost to deliver orders on time to our customers to ensure minimum impact to their manufacturing chain. We realized during COVID-19 how critical supply chain is to business survival. We were able to provide safety stock for different ingredients and demonstrate how integral we are in helping our partners secure their production lines.
AgroPages: Azelis continuously improves its lateral value chain by integrating related products and aims to be the partner in innovation for customers, from formulation to production. Could you share some successful cases of how Azelis helps clients develop innovation formulations suited to different market needs and application scenarios?
Azelis works together with our partners on regional or more locally-targeted opportunities. With one of our strategic partners, we have collaborated on joint innovation and application developments, sharing resources and laboratories when needed. Our partnership started in EMEA, and expanded to Asia Pacific, thanks to the strength of our lateral value chain and technical laboratories.
For instance, as China and Southeast Asian countries are concentrating on efficacy improvements via in-can or tank mix adjuvant solutions, together we have access to a broad portfolio and can work to define the best solution to screen effective chemicals specifically for fungicides and insecticides to improve their functionalities.
Additionally, for agrochemicals, in Malaysia we are initiating a field trial plan to execute tank mix adjuvant/fruit shading agent tests, while in China we are piloting a trial local technical team that provides on-site support. We embarked on these initiatives to ensure customers receive the best of what our combined partnership can bring to the table.
This interview has been published in AgroPages '2021 Formulation & Adjuvant Technology' magazine published this May.
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