Supply-demand of animal protein in the Indian sub-continent is reviving

Dr. Nagpal, would you please share on the global scenario of animal protein consumption? How do you predict the market movement?
Dr. Vaibhav Nagpal: Global meat consumption continues to grow at a 2% increase annual (not considering short term COVID impact) with nearly half of this growth coming from China. Published reports indicate India is expected to trail only China and the U.S. in its contribution to incremental demand for poultry by 2025, accounting for 5% to 10% of global growth. Growth will continue to be influenced by local protein preferences. Indonesia, The Philippines, and Vietnam are other Asia markets expected to account for another 10% poultry demand increase, according to reports.
The recent announcement of Project Destiny aims to make Novus global leader in the gut-health solution category, please share brief details about its phases.
Dr. Vaibhav Nagpal: Project Destiny is Novus’s multi-phase strategic plan aimed to establish the company as “a leader in gut-health solutions for the sustainable production of protein through nutrition.”
The first step was creating our new Executive Leadership Team, which was established in April. From there we reorganized our teams into three regions – the Americas, EMEA, and ASIA. Each of the regions has a chief commercial officer and each sub-region (we call them our world areas) has a managing director to oversee operations. Americas is comprised of two sub-regions – North and Central America, and South America. We consolidated our services in Europe and the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa to create EMEA. Asia is comprised of three sub-regions: Northeast Asia, headquartered at Shanghai; Southeast Asia Pacific, headquartered at Bangkok; and South-Central Asia, headquartered at Chennai.
We have also established strategic marketing and technical teams at the global and regional levels that will allow us to better understand our customers’ needs and industry trends. We also decentralized corporate functions to support more agility within our regional offices.
Through Project Destiny, our customers should experience a heightened level of service and responsiveness from their Novus representatives. Our plan through this change is to bring us closer to the customer by thinking the way they think. We are also exploring new differentiated products and solutions that we can bring to our customers.
How Novus is aligned with UN sustainability goals?
Dr. Vaibhav Nagpal: Environment, social and economic are key sustainability pillars for Novus. The products we sell, the way in which we conduct business with stakeholders, and our stewardship of Earth’s natural resources are all interconnected, integrated and equally important to the company.
There are five segments of Novus’s Sustainability Priorities, which were outlined by our stakeholders a few years ago as top priorities: Customer Productivity & Profitability, Engaged & Empowered Employees, Supply Chain Efficiency, Human Health & Nutrition and Sustainable Animal Agriculture. It’s through this “Sustainability Compass” that we navigate how we operate as we help our customers provide animal protein in a manner that is safe, accessible, and economical as well as socially and environmentally responsible.
Novus is looking at the opportunities in India for its antibiotic-free solutions as well as our Eubiotics products, while the customer feels this is very soon so introduce such a concept in the Indian market. How would you like to respond to that?
Dr. Vaibhav Nagpal: Gut health is a very broad topic as is antibiotic-free production. Even when people use antibiotics they are still concerned about gut health. When we look at gut health through nutrition, we see four different aspects:

  • Instigators of poor gut health because of oversupply of nutrients in the lumen
  • Presence of nutritional factors that causes disbalance and shift in microbiota·
  • Inflammation/oxidative stress, which causes morphological and functional alterations in the gut
  • Poor digestion of feed and nutrients leading to a less functional gut

These are challenges that customers around the world face. Our job at Novus is to ensure we can provide customers comprehensive gut health solutions, regardless of where they are globally, ultimately improving their financial outcomes.
Mr. Neeraj Srivastava, could you please update our readers about the present supply-demand of animal protein in the Indian sub-continent?
Neeraj Srivastava: With the lockdown easing, the market has started improving and currently broiler production is up to 70%, and the layer is close to 80%. There is no shortage of milk whereas prices are under pressure because of low demand, mainly from the HORECA sector. The situation in Indian subcontinents is also similar. The aquaculture industry is also suffering because of restrictions on exports and low international demand; 94% of shrimp production in the region is for export.
What supply chain issues have you faced during the lockdown period and what do you predict in next year?
Neeraj Srivastava: It was tough to manage things for the first two months of the lockdown. We have proactively moved our products to various locations throughout the country to better serve our customers without any delay, regardless of supply chain challenges. We’ve taken the same proactive approach and shipped additional products from the U.S. and Europe to build enough inventory locally to ensure our customers should not suffer because of product unavailability due to pandemic-related delays.
Fortunately, things are now moving normally globally. Operations in China have resumed to 100% and we do not foresee any major hurdles in the next year for India and the subcontinents.
Enzymes enhance the value of crops or raw feed material produced in India. Can you please elaborate on that?
Neeraj Srivastava: In India there are mainly corn-soy-based diets used for poultry production. Any change in the prices of these ingredients impacts the final cost of feed production. Apart from that, there are many opportunities to include alternative raw materials in feed formulations. Novus is helping farmers to mitigate the impact of increased fluctuating raw material prices in two ways:

  1. Reformulating diets by using enzymes like phytase and protease, which can help to reduce the use of costly feed ingredients and thereby reduce the feed cost while maintaining the same level of nutrients.
  2. Offering technical services from our technical experts for feed and farm management and helping farmers to improve the quality and quantity of their end product.

In a previous interview in November 2019, one of your customers said, Novus has a good portfolio of the product but needs to further market penetration. How would you respond to that today? Any new products in the pipeline to reach the Indian market.

Neeraj Srivastava: Under Project Destiny, we have a newly established strategic marketing and technical services team as well as created a strategic innovation and product management team to drive product innovation and differentiation to increase market penetration and reach to our customers.
We have an outstanding opportunity in the HMTBa molecule, which is the methionine source for our ALIMET® feed additive. The molecule is surprisingly versatile and has allowed us to create our line of bis-chelated MINTREX® trace minerals and a powerful acidifier that has the added benefit of methionine, ACTIVATE® nutritional feed acid, to name a few of our current HMTBa-based products.
We are certainly exploring new differentiated products and solutions that we can bring to our customers.
Feed safety and traceability is an important area for animal nutrition, what Novus is doing to deliver on that aspect?
Neeraj Srivastava: Novus is committed and following all laws of the lands. Feed safety and traceability is a global concern today. Novus offers its unique products to produce safe feed and protein for human consumption. All products of Novus are being produced in a highly safe environment, our manufacturing facilities are equipped with world-class certification like GMP & FAMI-QS. All the produced batch undergo with strict quality check and analysis both internal and external before it reaches to the market.