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Azelis: Continues investing in development to become the leading provider of innovative solutionsqrcode

Jun. 30, 2022

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Jun. 30, 2022

Belgium  Belgium

Editor's Note: ″With a clear focus on our technical expertise, strong partnerships and deep customer intimacy, we have been growing remarkably in Asia Pacific. We aim to continue investing in our development to become the leading provider of innovative solutions,″said Antonius Prihantono, Asia Pacific Market Segment Director, Specialty Agri/Horti at Azelis in a recent interview with AgroPages.

He also shared his views on Azelis' core competitiveness and its strategic growth drivers, digital initiatives, sustainability strategy, and innovation services.


Antonius Prihantono
Asia Pacific Market Segment Director, Specialty Agri/Horti at Azelis

Could you share more about Azelis and your Specialty Agri/Horti business in the Asia Pacific region? What are the strategic measures to improve core competitiveness?

Azelis is a leading provider of innovative solutions for the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry, and we are also one of the leading companies active in the Specialty Agri/Horti market. We offer a comprehensive range of products from first-class principals for the agriculture and horticulture, market segments. Our portfolio includes seed treatments, fertilizers, pesticides, adjuvants, and eco-friendly solutions, which along with our knowledgeable team with years of experience in the industry, allows us to support customers in choosing the right product combination to reach their targets in terms of performance, cost-effectiveness, and environmental protection for a variety of applications.

In 2021, I was appointed as Asia Pacific Market Segment Director, Specialty Agri/Horti, to guide the region and drive strategic initiatives to reinforce our Agrochemicals market segment presence and ensure we explore new and unique opportunities to further our partnerships with principals and customers. My years of experience, along with that of our growing Agri/Horti team, ensure we have the technical expertise and knowledge to support our customers’ requirements. In addition to our strong expertise in crop protection, we are scaling up our presence in crop nutrition and understanding the technology that can support organic farming, further growing our presence in agri & environmental services.

With a clear focus on our technical expertise, strong partnerships and deep customer intimacy, we have been growing remarkably in Asia Pacific. We aim to continue investing in our development to become the leading provider of innovative solutions.

In 2021, Azelis strengthened its presence in Korea by acquiring Coseal. Could you share more about your strategic initiatives to drive growth across Asia Pacific? What are the considerations behind these activities?

The acquisition of Coseal allowed Azelis to enter the Specialty Agri/Horti market in Korea, and expanded our footprint in the region. Since the acquisition, we have been able to leverage Coseal’s portfolio of surfactants, dedicated application laboratory, and strong technical expertise, bringing their products and knowledge to the rest of the region, and further globally, into EMEA for example.

Mergers and acquisitions are a part of our group strategy to accelerate growth in the region and complete our lateral value chain in each of our key markets. Acquisitions also help us reinforce our presence in the local market, providing us with wider access to customers and growth opportunities. We actively search for the ideal acquisition candidates in target geographies and industries. We look for companies that not only have the desired specialties and technical expertise, but are also a good fit with our organization culturally.

Besides acquisitions, we also aim to leverage our global network of principals to represent them in as many geographies and markets as possible. We have recently secured new mandate wins with key principals in the Specialty Agri/Horti industry, enhancing our lateral value chain with the addition of their high added-value specialized products.

In summary, 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 through inorganic growth via complementary, strategic acquisitions, all of which enables us to strengthen our offering to the market as an innovative solution provider with a portfolio that meets our stakeholders’ requirements.

Innovation, digitalization and sustainability are your strategic growth drivers. What are the digital initiatives you have developed to drive Azelis’ growth in that area?

Innovation, digitalization and sustainability are the three growth drivers of Azelis’ strategy globally, and define how we envision our growth and development. We have been investing significantly in digital platforms that allow us to become the leading provider of digital solutions in in the specialty chemical industry.

A key digital initiative is our Customer Portal and e-Lab. The Customer Portal is a powerful sales tool that enables new ways of connecting with the market and our customers to create value. Our portals cover a wide range of countries and market segments, including dedicated portals for the Specialty Agri/Horti industry. This new platform empowers customers through an advanced digital experience. Showcasing the best of our capabilities, each Customer Portal has dedicated sections where we share more about trends, formulations and products, and demonstrate our ingredient expertise and market trend knowledge, all of which allow us to deliver engaging and personalized content. In just a click, customers can find the right ingredient solution and request for samples, making business-life easier.

We are also rolling out the e-Lab, as a module within our Customer Portal, where customers now have 24/7 access to all our ingredient and formulation expertise, and can fix, improve or create new formulations in a virtual environment, allowing for new ways of innovating in a digital space.

Could you share more about Azelis’ sustainability strategy, ‘Action 2025’, and relevant achievements such as your EcoVadis Platinum rating?

In 2021, we launched our sustainability strategy ‘Action 2025’, building on our sustainability program which started in 2015. ‘Action 2025’ is key to our corporate identity and our business model, as sustainability is a critical aspect within all parts of our business, and drives many of our initiatives. As part of our ‘Action 2025’ plan, we have four pillars (People, Products & innovation, Governance, and Environment) with KPIs that we actively work to meet as an organization. For example, within the Products pillar, we review our portfolio to identify sustainable formulations and products from our principals. For Governance, we are part of Together for Sustainability, which enables us to conduct efficient supplier risk assessments. One of our goals within the People pillar is to have 30% of our senior management team be comprised of women, to encourage gender equality, which is a goal we have already achieved in Asia Pacific. Finally, for Environment, we are working on goals for the reduction of carbon emissions, waste management policies, and monthly environmental reporting to identify areas of improvement. These are only some of our KPIs and initiatives within our ‘Action 2025’ sustainability strategy, with many more that we strive to achieve.

Our sustainability goals are also linked to our innovation capabilities. We aim to advance the sustainability agendas of our stakeholders by leveraging our lateral value chain and technical expertise to develop new or alternative sustainable formulations, cascading sustainable solutions into the market and innovating for a better tomorrow.

In 2021 we were awarded the EcoVadis Platinum rating, which puts us in the top 1% of companies assessed by EcoVadis, and is a strong reflection of our commitment to sustainability, which we are proud to receive in acknowledgement of our sustainability efforts.

Could you talk about Azelis’ formulation services and share some cases of innovative or sustainable formulations? What are some of the challenges involved?

Our brand promise is ‘Innovation through formulation’, and that is where we go the extra mile and bring differentiating value to our partners. For example, to support customer challenges, we’ve been focusing on innovation, by combining our extensive portfolio of products and our deep technical expertise to provide innovative solutions. With our knowledge, we are able to offer complementary products for formulations or sustainable alternatives to ensure our customers’ needs are met.

To support our innovation, we have been investing in upgrading and opening new laboratories across the regions to meet demand from customers for new formulations and insights into market trends, while also incorporating digitalization such as our e-Lab and sustainable formulations into our innovation capabilities.

Challenges include taking into consideration the stringent regulations within the Specialty Agri/Horti industry, and our ability to anticipate and follow those rules and regulations, as we develop solutions to address customer requirements.

Customers are interested in developing environmentally-safe formulations that comply with regulations and are better for both the planet and people. To stay ahead of evolving customer demands, we are actively looking into formulating more sustainable solutions and clean technology, such as green solvents and sustainable alternatives. Some of our innovative solutions that are also environmentally-friendly include formulations that are more efficient and reduce the number of crop treatments, formulations for organic farming with safer ecology and toxicology profiles, and formulations that replace organic solvents with greener solutions such as green solvents, which have a better effect on the environment.

Our innovative and sustainable solutions help our customers break new ground, combining ideas with expertise and bringing the best of innovation to everything we do.

This interview was published in AgroPages '2022 Formulation & Adjuvant Technology ' magazine published this May.

If you'd like to share your company/ product/solution story, pls contact Grace Yuan via: grace@agropages.com



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