Adisseo: 3 pillars of growth to support diverse customer needs in APAC
Moving beyond just being a "methionine company", Adisseo has recently reorganised its business into three key Strategic Business Units (SBUs) - Rhodimet® (methionine), Microvit® (vitamins) and Specialties (innovative solutions) to better serve the needs of its clients. And since January 1, 2018, the company has regrouped its Asia Pacific business region into four sub-zones to similarly better meet diverse customer needs. Adisseo's new regional managing director for APAC, Adrian Ng, speaks to LIVESTOCK & FEED Business about the changing dynamics within the company and in the market place.
LFB: We understand that since 2009, you were with Adisseo, moving across different business regions - Asia Pacific, Global (Paris HQ), China - and are now back in Asia Pacific (Singapore). How would you leverage your past experiences in your current role?
Adisseo is a lot more dynamic today and this is indeed a testimony of success - business growth, innovation and talent development preparing the company for the long haul. In a niche market like ours, talent retention and development are key to ensure we keep the best people. Hence, talent mobility although a big investment on the company's part is an extremely valuable experience to fuel a sustainable pipeline of leaders to prepare the company to meet ever-changing and fast-paced business challenges while placing internal resources at where they are best suited to succeed and pick up new skills.
I see the mobility experience enriching in both the personal and professional arena, as I gained invaluable competencies, gathered a more global professional network, and saw things from varied perspectives while working with diversity. In a more intertwined and connected world, I hope to infuse this experience in our team, empower and encourage them to think out of the box, and take calculated risks to succeed. It often takes a lot of mettle to walk out of the comfort zone, try new ideas, challenge the status quo and stand up during difficult times.
What do you think are today some of the biggest concerns of your feed mill and farm customers? How is Adisseo helping to address their concerns?
With the world's population slated to increase to 10 billion by 2050, increasing disposable income and consumers' demand to eat better and safer, there is an ever-growing demand for the feed and livestock industry to think of innovative solutions to fill the gut of the world and this is an ambitious target! It is often not just about having food available but how to ensure it reaches the table of people in a high quality, affordable, safe and sustainable way. The biggest challenges of our clients include exploring solutions to improve in terms of modernising their distribution channels, tackling food safety, managing livestock diseases while solving concerns related to human health and how to more efficiently utilise Earth's limited resources.
Adisseo relentlessly invests in research and development to spearhead its growth by designing, producing and marketing nutritional solutions for sustainable animal feed. In the last few years, Adisseo has added several new innovative solutions in our product range which we strongly believe will position ourselves to assist our clients tackle the move away from AGPs alternatives for poultry such as Alterion®, improving feed digestibility for all species and all ingredients using Rovabio®, and improving antioxidative and fertility performance of animals using Selisseo®, while reinforcing our market position of methionine, an essential amino acid (Rhodimet®), and supplementing a full range of high quality feed-grade vitamins (Microvit®) to meet basic nutritional needs of our clients.
Asia Pacific is a diverse and fragmented region with feed milling and production at different levels of development and growth. Please share with our readers your opinion of these markets and Adisseo's approach to business in this region.
Asia Pacific will continue to be the key region of growth for most feed and livestock companies due to its sheer population and growth potential. We have seen all major feed companies invest heavily in this region and Adisseo wants to accompany our clients in this growth.
Nevertheless, Asia Pacific has also one of the most diverse geographical, political and economic markets with varying customer needs from basic food sustenance in emerging markets like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to emerging affluence in Southeast Asia where food is a social need to developed economies like Japan, Korea and Australia where consumers are looking for well-being and antibiotic-free alternatives. Hence, to be able to better serve our clients, we have regrouped the region since January 1, 2018 into four sub-zones to better answer the diverse needs of our clients. We invested heavily and will continue to invest more in commercial, technical and after-sales engineers including species experts to help educate our clients to move towards more sustainable solutions and accompany them through different development phases and customised solutions.
What are the opportunities from Adisseo's acquisition of Nutriad in December 2017?
Adisseo has been actively looking for suitable M&A targets over the years and this successful acquisition of Nutriad is in line with company's growth ambition and more importantly will aid in advancing the strategic vision of improving complementary product portfolio and innovative solutions for our clients. Nutriad has a long history in areas of palatability, mycotoxin management and performance products and in terms of species has sizable outreach into the swine and aqua sectors which will further boost our presence in these areas. It is still in early stages of the reconciliation and we need to figure out in the coming months how to organise ourselves but I am fully excited with this new growth option and this merger is totally in line with our 2020 business growth trajectory.
As the product range of Adisseo expands, many of our readers are keen to know where would methionine and vitamins fit in the business of the company?
As discussed earlier, we want to move away from a product-focussed to a more solution-based and client-centric organisation which means we need to operate and think differently to ensure that we can answer the needs of clients more appropriately. As such, Adisseo has recently reorganised our business into three key Strategic Business Units (SBUs), namely Rhodimet® (methionine), Microvit® (vitamins) and Specialties (innovative solutions) to better serve the needs of our clients. The SBUs will continue to be future pillars of growth for Adisseo.
Methionine volumes, especially liquid methionine's (HMTBA) will continue to grow strongly due to robust demand from poultry production, and we want to continue to reinforce our global number one liquid methionine position in the market with our European and Chinese platforms while we continue to invest on new capacities as organic growth would warrant the need for a new plant every two to three years. Therefore, Adisseo will be investing $490 million on a new 180kT/year liquid methionine plant in Nanjing, China slated to commence operations by mid-2021 to cater to the needs of our clients. We still have a strong turnover based on methionine albeit having a more balanced revenue portfolio than four years ago but this does not mean that we are putting less focus on methionine but the contrary.
For vitamins, we want to grow organically and continue to offer a complete range of high quality feed grade vitamins leveraging on our European platform and our position amongst the top B vitamins buyers of the world.
For Specialities, we have experienced strong 30% growth in the past year and want to continue to spearhead growth in this manner. Our acquisition of Nutriad is an illustration of the diversification of our portfolio and the strengthening of Specialties and we hope that we can find more meaningful alliances or partnerships in the near future via organic and/or synergistic means.
The talk in the industry today is about 'antibiotic-free' farming. In this changing landscape, in your opinion, what would be the role of the traditional animal drug companies? How is Adisseo responding to this development?
AGP-free farming and its alternatives are no longer fashionable words but represent an irreversible trend of the future and the answer to feed and food sustainability. In the United Sates, McDonalds and KFC are moving towards antibiotic-free meat protein by 2020. The rampant use of antibiotics as growth promoters and therapeutics has over the years increased the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains especially in human applications which is of grave global concern. More and more empirical studies have demonstrated diminishing returns of livestock yields from growth promoter usages and hence the need to look out for alternative farming methods. Traditional animal drug companies should join forces with the industry in educating the feed clients about the eradication of growth promoters and the responsible use of therapeutic drugs.
Adisseo, partnering with Novozymes, is a responsible and sustainable supplier already acting on this trend as we are actively promoting Alterion® (probiotics) as one of the solution to improve gut health and FCR of birds by 2 - 4% which will more than pay back the investment. We believe strongly in this solution after screening more than 900 B. subtilis strains, one of the most extensive in the industry, that we have the unique probiotic solution that is non-toxic (soon to be registered in the EU), non-pathogenic, with no antibiotic-resistance (which works complementarily in therapeutic applications), and survives in the digestive tract with beneficial effects on the microbiota.
In your role as the regional managing director for APAC, what are your plans for Adisseo?
We have big ambitions to grow and want to grow the business in a sustainable manner in tandem with our most important clients of the region, accompanying them through this exciting growth phase into the next decade. This means we need to be more customer-centric and provide them with more solutions to tackle their daily challenges while developing our ground presence to be able to understand and respond appropriately to these needs. We need to continue to develop good internal talents, differentiating services and programmes, and endeavour to bring at least one solution or product to the market every year! There is a lot of work to accomplish and I am confident that we have a strong team to hit the ground from day one.
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