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Azelis confident about Indonesia

Source:Food Bev Asia

Date Published:1/14/2019 06:01:47 PM

The global distributor of speciality chemicals and food ingredients is optimistic about growth in Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia.  

AZELIS predicts rosy prospects for 2019 and beyond. The global distributor of speciality chemicals and food ingredients is pinning its optimism on the burgeoning food market in Indonesia and the company’s ability to provide award-winning, unique formulations.

Azelis only established a presence in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, in 2017. Since then, the company has kept itself busy investing in not just human capital but also an application laboratory. Its three major segments are in food, agro-chemical and personal care.

“We anticipate to grow in the next three to five years with the bulk of business coming from small and medium enterprises,” reveals Antonius Utomo Prihantono, managing director of Azelis Indonesia. “SMEs often require support from us, which makes our food application lab a valuable infrastructure as it enables us to help our customers embrace new technologies and innovations. On the other hand, working in close collaboration with our principals and actively promoting their ingredients, we can provide tailor-made solutions that fit market requirements.”

Mr. Prihantono is also certain the ASEAN free movement of goods, services, investment and skilled labour that is expected to gain more momentum in the coming years, will further spur opportunities for the food sector.

Antonius Utomo Prihantono, Managing Director, Azelis Indonesia

“We foresee the annual growth rate to remain consistent in the next three to five years, especially since the encouragement from the Indonesian government for increased milk consumption. This will also lead to higher demand for speciality ingredients such as hydrocolloid products,” says Antonius Utomo Prihantono, Managing Director, Azelis Indonesia.

“I do believe the free movement can open up economic opportunities for member countries in the next couple of years. When we look at the current situation in the food industry, the trend is almost similar. The demand for healthy food in Thailand or Vietnam is the same in Indonesia. For example, if one of our customers launches new products in Thailand, they can also launch the products in Indonesia. As a global company, our presence in the region offers good collaboration opportunities not just for Azelis but also our customers.”

Innovation through formulation

Azelis operates 55 laboratories across the globe in nine markets. “Each market is very unique with its own demands, particularly for food,” adds Andy Sutanto of Azelis’ marketing and product manager for Southeast Asia during an interview with Azelis at Fi Asia 2918 in Jakarta.  “We want to be close to our customers. We know the market, we know the trends, and we want to be able to serve the customer in the market where it all happens. That is why we invest in laboratories locally.”

Mr. Prihantono is confident that the international collaboration among the laboratories and the innovations that come from each of them, will help boost the Indonesian market.

“We offer excellent local technical support. Our food team in particular possesses expertise gained in the food and beverage sectors. It is also backed by our network of laboratories. We are a distribution company, but our laboratories generate a great deal of innovation. We invest in application development and this has not gone unnoticed by our partners or the industries where we operate. Not only do we have well equipped laboratories, suited to the needs of local markets, but we also make sure that the vast internal knowledge is shared adequately so that we can replicate successes from one region to another.”

According to Mr. Sutanto, Azelis often receives industry awards and independent awards from external bodies because of the innovation that comes from their laboratories. “Although we don't launch the consumer product, it is often formulated in a novel way that our customer could not have achieved without our assistance - you could say we are a silent winner.”

A bronze award from the Ingredient Innovation Awards at Cfia Morocco, is one of the 2018 recognitions Azelis earned in the food category.

Andy Sutanto, Marketing and Product Manager for Southeast Asia, Azelis

“Our current focus is on countries with a considerable market size and existing demand which is why in Southeast Asia (SEA) we are starting with Indonesia,” says Andy Sutanto, Marketing and Product Manager for Southeast Asia, Azelis.

Emphasis on core food products

Azelis Indonesia currently focuses on three major food lines: yoghurt drinks, sausages and meatballs.

Mr. Sutanto is also confident of the business growth.  “We may be a newcomer in Indonesia, but we have a strong business plan. Our current focus is on countries with a considerable market size and existing demand which is why in Southeast Asia (SEA) we are starting with Indonesia.” He says the company hopes to be present in other markets in the region where a growing middle class and spending capability is keeping the food industry buoyant. “This is the region that we really want to grow in, particularly in the food business because it is one of our strategic market segments.”

Indonesia has the highest population among SEA countries with close to 267 million, followed by the Philippines with 106.5 million, Vietnam at 96.4 million, Thailand at 69 million and Myanmar at 53.8 million.

In Indonesia, Azelis anticipates a stronger performance for yoghurt drinks. “We expect demand for healthy food to be much higher, including that of acidified protein drinks such as yoghurt,” shares Mr. Prihantono. “We foresee the annual growth rate to remain consistent in the next three to five years, especially since the encouragement from the Indonesian government for increased milk consumption. This will also lead to higher demand for speciality ingredients such as hydrocolloid products.”

Smoke flavours – the healthier alternative

Knowing the growing demand in meat industries, Azelis Indonesia is also stepping up activities to promote its distinctive smoke flavourings.

“It is a unique line that we want to bring to the Indonesian market, targeted at the meat and fish industries. From the blind test we’ve conducted, majority of our customers favoured this as well as its performance attributes. In a nutshell, our business approach is innovation through formulation, and in Indonesia we want to improve the existing formulation. It’s about healthy intake for healthy life.”        

Producing responsibly

As Azelis casts its eyes on 2019 business growth, it does so with equal zeal on sustainability.

“Azelis is committed to working with its partners to create value and grow together in a sustainable way,” says CEO Dr. Hans Joachim Müller after the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance was recognised with an EcoVadis Gold rating. EcoVadis is an independent rating agency that provides Supplier Sustainability Ratings for global supply chains using a CSR assessment methodology that covers 180 purchasing categories, 150 countries, and 21 CSR indicators.

“As a global business, with operations across America, Asia Pacific and EMEA, Azelis takes its responsibilities very seriously, always looking for new ways to make a positive impact on society and minimise its footprint, whilst delivering the best possible products and services. A positive rating from EcoVadis is not only essential to us but also to our partners, who often expect an independent and external review of our CSR performance. The EcoVadis Gold rating further encourages us to be a transparent and sustainable partner for our employees, customers and suppliers. This fantastic score for our CSR performance is yet another proof of how we strive for excellence in all we undertake and how the passion and dedication of the Azelis community makes us stand out.”

The EcoVadis overall score (0-100) reflects the quality of a company’s CSR performance at the time of the assessment. To obtain the Gold rating, a company must score between 62 and 100. Azelis achieved 68 points, an 8-point increase in a year’s time with improvements noted in all four categories: business practices, labour practices, environment and sustainable procurement. Azelis is now in the top 1% of distributors assessed by EcoVadis and top 2% of suppliers in all categories.

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