2 years ago

The Partnership no. 12

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Partnership
  • Zaden
  • Vegetables
  • Cauliflower
  • Products
  • Varieties
  • Japan
  • Seeds
  • Breeding

technology, even though these are more expensive to begin with. They see this with colleagues who are a step ahead of them, or for themselves when they put one or a few hybrid varieties to the test. Then the order often follows automatically the next season.” for retaining their trust in us. That was in fact also the case the other way around. Now fortunately we find ourselves in better times, and we’ve got the wind in our sails.” Partnership as a way of life Column Peaks and troughs Despite the steady sales growth, the collaboration between the two countries has also been through difficult times. Although the mutual relationship has always been good, that doesn’t always apply to the official relationship between Iran and the western world. The country suffered for a long time under economic sanctions by the European Union and the United States. “This complicated both the international payment traffic and the import of seeds,” recalls the Deputy Manager. “Fortunately with a lot of effort we were able to continue doing our work. We are extremely grateful to Enza Zaden Challenges Vaziri suggests that Iran still has huge growth potential. “There are still plenty of areas where the share of hybrid varieties can rise. That also applies to our market share. In some regions Behta has long been an established name, while in others we still have to work on it. Consequently we are investing in strengthening our field service and in knowledge development. Fortunately rising numbers of growers are open to more modern working methods and technology.” A transnational company such as Enza Zaden has some great advantages. With colleagues in all corners of the world, specific expertise is often at hand. This internal partnering is a great way to tackle challenges quickly and easily, but other local challenges need to be dealt with differently, with local partnerships. Asia is a large continent representing 44% of the worlds’ total arable land. Moreover, it’s home to over 60% of the worlds’ inhabitants. Due to the huge diversity this entails, it’s obviously naïve to think that we can do it all ourselves. Local expertise through partnering is needed to move ahead and it blends well with the multi-local approach Enza Zaden applies worldwide. The entrepreneur from Teheran foresees even better times once the region becomes calmer. In real terms Iran is actually an oasis of peace and stability in an environment which has suffered for years from war, other violence and endless flows of refugees. Whenever the violence increases, it puts immediate pressure on the export of fruit and vegetables to the neighbouring countries. This badly affects the prices the farmers and horticulturists get for their products and their scope for investing in modernisation. Incorporated in strategy Let’s take a look at India, where partnering is not an option but the way of life. A ‘we can do it ourselves’ approach is not viable! India is a large country with a huge diversity. We cater and cover large geographical areas with many different climatic conditions. Also, the product requirements are extremely diverse, may often change fast and consumers look for value pricing. It’s our job to develop the best quality product for the best price. And of course, we cannot be present everywhere and simultaneously work on all the crop and segments. Therefore, partnering is incorporated in the strategy nowadays and this turns out to be very successful. Research and Development Over the longer term there are also other challenges, like erosion, water scarcity and the silting-up of arable land. “We must arm ourselves as fully as possible against this as a company, as a sector and as a country. Ongoing modernisation is also vital in these respects. Our farmers and our rising population will benefit from more efficient, more sustainable growing methods, and from disease-resistant highly productive varieties. One of the reasons we count ourselves fortunate to have a partner like Enza Zaden, is the responsible way in which it reinvests profits in research and development. The breeders long ago foresaw the challenges I have just sketched out. Thanks to their efforts, each year again we can select varieties which meet the needs of our customers even better, no matter how diverse they may be. That gives us enormous confidence in the future.” Enza Zaden shares that confidence and supports Behta with its own team, led by Lahsaeizadeh. This team is being expanded substantially in 2017 and 2018, to be able to serve both Behta and hundreds of thousands of professional vegetable growers even better. Long-lasting relationships Fellow seed companies are key in partnering and we have built relationships with companies to strengthen, for instance, our portfolios in okra, hot pepper, cabbage and marigold. In India, despite launching our own brand, we still respect and continue our business with all our partners in institutional sales. Our partnership principles are based on fair process and principle. Distributors are key Enza Zaden India has also invested hugely in a nationwide distributor network. These distributors in turn cater the market through retailers. This has improved our overall market penetration in India and strengthened the Enza Zaden brand in the different regions. In the span of two years’ time we already have around 100 distributors and within a year an additional 200 will be added to our network. Distributors are our partners in business, not just a distribution point. Apart from distributing they participate and enrich the complete range of service regarding our product. For instance, they present our product, support in presales meetings, increase literacy of product, solve raised issues about the product, and serve the retail network and any other post-sales service. We therefore respect and value them as extended employees, resulting in long-lasting relationships with many of them. Sanjay Bisht has worked for Enza Zaden as Country Head in India since May 2012. He believes that in such a large country as India, with its enormous diversity, partnering is to be incorporated in the strategy nowadays. This approach has proven to be very successful. Ali Vaziri, Deputy Manager of Behta International Ltd. (left) & Amir Lahsaeizadeh, Area Manager of Enza Zaden Export 14 | The Partnership The Partnership | 15

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