Vaibhav Nagpal, VP, Asia
Can you please throw some light on lessons that India can learn from other Asian countries for sustainable growth?
Asia is a very diverse region comprised of developed and emerging economies. There are many countries in Asia that have advanced in terms of branding and marketing, food safety, the use of artificial intelligence in the production process to make better decisions, advances in the supply chain from farm to fork, use of sustainable raw materials, concerns around animal welfare, environmental impacts of our production systems, and while working to keep animal protein very affordable for sustainable growth.
R&D is the backbone of sustainability, how Novus is progressing in this regard?
Yes, innovation is key to success and a sustainable business. In 2020, Novus announced its aspiration to become the leader in gut health solutions through nutrition. To that goal, we’re investing in applied research for existing products, internal pipelines for new product development, and looking at technology companies in the area of gut health to see how we may partner with them. In December 2020, Novus signed a strategic partnership agreement with the innovative crop biotech company Agrivida. For those not familiar with Agrivida, their novel and innovative technology focus on delivering additives in a completely unique and sustainable way – directly inside the grain. By placing the active molecules within the grain, itself, the additives are delivered as part of the main feed and can be more efficiently absorbed. That level of efficiency improves both animal performance and our customers’ bottom line. It is a technology like this that will help drive our company and our industry into the future.
Neeraj Kumar Srivastava, Managing Director, South Asia & South-East Asia
Why is Novus moving to Bangalore while the company recently opened its office in Chennai?
Having a corporate office in Bangalore has the advantage of being in proximity to many customers. While a large city that is home to more than 8 million people, Bangalore is centrally located among major livestock and poultry hubs like Coimbatore, Namakkal, Hospet, Hyderabad, Pune, etc. These areas contribute more than 60% to the poultry and dairy markets. The location also allows us to have frequent engagement with customers. Our aim is that this proximity will enhance customer intimacy, improve services, and ultimately promote the growth of our business.
India has grown by leaps and bounds in the poultry sector but now other sectors like dairy, aqua, and swine are also catching up. Would you please share your observations (which region is growing in which segment)?
We are seeing sustainable growth trends in dairy and aquaculture throughout India. For shrimp farming, coastal areas are preferred, however, the freshwater culture is growing very fast in the south, east, and northeast regions. The inland fisheries are also growing, with the help of many government schemes, and have become one of the most preferred farming practices in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, etc. The increase in cattle feed is the highest among total feed produced last year in India, which clearly demonstrates the opportunities and focus on the dairy segment.
Increasing feed raw material prices is the biggest concern for the poultry and livestock industry, what tips you would like to give to the farming and feed community?
Yes, this is one of the biggest challenges currently for the industry across all sectors. Although the industry does not have an exact replacement for soybean meal and maize, the industry can look at using alternate raw materials up to a certain level without affecting the overall performance of the feed. Precision nutrition and some specific feed additives can be an option to reduce feed costs and reduce the burden on our producers. It is high time the government intervenes and allows imports of competitive raw materials from other countries to be available in India.
Would you please share comparative facts and figures of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries?
The challenges are quite similar for south Asia and Southeast Asian countries; the differentiating factor is in the support these areas receive from policymakers and government bodies of the respective countries. Recently, the Indonesian State Logistic Agency (BULOG) supply 50,000 tons of corn at a lower price for layer farmers to support farmers’ production costs. BULOG in Indonesia sells four cents lower than the market price. In the same way, Thailand has approved a measure to import up to 600,000 tons of corn with zero tariffs from May to July 2022 to ease the shortage of feed ingredients resulting from the supply disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. In Southeast Asian countries, the government has been very proactive and empathetic in supporting the prices of livestock products and supporting farmers and the industry.
I really appreciate the support from the Indian ministry to allow the import of soybean meal of 5.5 lac MT.
Abishek Shingote, Sr. Director, Global Strategic Marketing
India is a unique market with various consumer behaviors, how does it differ from other Asian countries? What different marketing strategies are you adapting to cater to the Indian market?
Yes, India is a complex market with different challenges in each region. The major difference is the absence of the swine market in India, whereas other Asian countries are balanced with poultry, dairy, aqua, and swine. Except for aqua, India has been lower in exports than other places. The other big challenge is India doesn’t allow imports of genetically modified grains to be used in livestock feeding.
We recently created one global marketing team to roll out one Novus strategy worldwide. Going forward, our focus is to speak a common language across geographies and add value to our customers globally. Looking at the specific requirements of individual countries, we also plan to roll out regional marketing strategies to address those specific needs.
Would you please share how Novus’s journey in the last 5 years and where you see the company going in the next 5 years?
In 2020, Novus began a multi-phase strategic plan aimed at establishing the company as a leader in gut health solutions for sustainable production of protein through nutrition. Some of the focus areas included a new business structure, a strategy focused on customer challenges and desires, strengthening the R&D pipeline to develop unique technologies, and investing in technologies aligned with our strategic goals.
Over the course of the next five years, Novus will continue to grow, develop, and bring state-of-the-art technology and research to our customers globally.
Novus International, Inc. is a leader in scientifically developing, manufacturing, and commercializing animal health and nutrition solutions for the agriculture industry. Novus’s portfolio includes ALIMET® and MHA® feed supplements, MINTREX® chelated trace minerals, CIBENZA® enzyme feed additives, NEXT ENHANCE® feed additive, ACTIVATE® nutritional feed acid, and other specialty ingredients. Novus is privately owned by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Nippon Soda Co., Ltd. Headquartered in Saint Charles, Missouri, U.S.A., Novus servescustomers around the world. For more information, visit www.novusint.com.