A conversation with Fidelis Fru at the inauguration of DSM's 2nd Animal Nutrition and Health premix plant in India

On October 15, 2018, DSM officially opened its second Animal Nutrition & Health premix plant in India in Jadcherla, near Hyderabad, an area well-known for its laying hen and breeder industries. At the inauguration, eFeedLink spoke with Fidelis Fru, Director, Marketing and Nutritional Solutions at DSM.
eFeedLink: What were the selection criteria for the site location of the second premix plant?

We go where the livestock production is. The Southern part of India is an egg production powerhouse. In India we already had a premix production plant in the western region, but it took about two to three weeks of transportation time to the South. With this second premix plant, located near Hyderabad, a centre well known for laying hens and breeders, transportation time is now reduced to less than five days. It is all about being close to the customers.

Could you tell us more about DSM's animal nutrition business in India since its establishment?

In India, DSM began its vitamin business in the mid-60s under the Roche brand before its acquisition (in 2002). We started off selling straight vitamins through distributors, but as the Indian market developed, we moved into life stage nutrition in the form of sustainable customized micronutrient solutions and other innovative feed additives. Now we have a big team present in India to provide technical support to our customers on nutrition and husbandry.

Apart from India, does the second premix plant serve other markets?

Currently it is mainly serving the Indian market. Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh are also potential markets that could all be served out of India. At the moment we service these markets from other facilities. DSM now operates a network of ten premix plants (and growing) throughout Asia.

Could you share with us more insights from DSM's operations in India?

As a purpose led company that has sustainability as a business driver, be it in people planet or profit, we at DSM understand the value of local for local. We know that local producers often understand local customer needs better. That is why DSM has chosen to also be local producer. By this I mean leveraging our global products, technologies and nutritional know-how, apply them locally to address the specific needs of the customer or market. We gain insights from working with local markets and local operators. For example, to determine an appropriate eggshell quality for the Indian market, we study the conditions of handling and transportation, and then decide what will be the appropriate solution.

In addition, DSM has a reputation of being a science-based reliable company that produces and supplies high quality products. During the recent volatilities in the vitamin markets, DSM was out there with our customers making sure that we fulfilled their demands.

As mentioned earlier, we go to markets where the need is. This second premix plant is close to our customers, enabling us to promptly attend to their needs, providing them not only with products and solutions but also technical support they may need.

We see that it is our responsibility to educate the Indian market on micronutrition. Eggs could be a conveyor of micronutrients, which will help to solve hunger as well as malnutrition. We know how to, and can enrich eggs with vitamins, minerals and Omega FA. DSM can help take care of hidden hunger in the Indian population.

DSM has local expertise across our broad portfolio offering of vitamins, enzymes, eubiotics, and carotenoids. We continue to build our team of species experts that nourish deep collaboration for new insights with our customers.

India is well-known to be at the forefront of digital technologies. Could you share with us some initiatives in digital technologies which DSM might have, such as to better engage your customers?

India is a large and highly-fragmented market, and to 'tailor-educate' and 'tailor-advise' customers in the traditional way we need a lot of ground staff. This is resource intensive and time-consuming. DSM believes that digital technology can be a tremendous enabler to increase the speed and quality of reach to such a fragmented customer base. There is a Dell IOT advertisement that talks about the Connected Cow, it is not just a fanciful add, it is our current reality. We see how some developed markets have successfully implemented digital technologies in sustainably optimized production of milk (also applicable to beef). I will say that DSM certainly is also in this space.
News item on the inauguration of DSM's second premix plant in India: DSM expands India operations with second Animal Nutrition and Health premix plant

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