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Agrimarketing : July August 2008
62 AgriMarketing ¦ July/August 2008 AM: What is the history of Arysta LifeScience? BL: Arysta LifeScience was created in February 2001 through the spin-off and merger of the agrochemical inter- ests of Tomen (now owned by Toyota Tsusho ) Corporation and Nichimen (now part of Sojitz Corporation). Since that time, Arysta LifeScience has evolved into the world’s tenth largest agrochemical company and is considered one of the most agile, high-performance com- panies in the global agrochemical industry. Also the world’s largest pri- vately held agrochemical company, Arysta LifeScience was acquired ear- lier this year by Industrial Equity Investments Limited (IEIL) , an inter- national investment company located in Ireland. IEIL is owned by the Permira Funds. This was the largest private equity transaction in Japan in more than one year. Arysta LifeScience globally employs more than 2,300 employees and markets more than 150 products in more than 125 countries. AM: What are its current products and markets served in North America? BL: Our products are marketed to cereals, cotton, fruit and vegetable growers while our turf and ornamen- tal products offer effective solutions for golf courses, commercial and resi- dential landscapes, commercial sod- production, sports turf and public recreational facilities. Familiar brands include EVEREST, BANVEL, SELECT, CAPTAN, PIX PLUS, new brands like MIDAS and PRE-PARE, and several others. AM: What gives Arysta an advantage? BL: The Arysta LifeScience business model is demand-driven and highly customer centric with a primary focus on high-margin specialty crops. By focusing on customer needs and the most profitable functions in the value chain — from new product development to distribution of propri- etary patented and off-patent prod- ucts to our North American channel partners — we can maintain a nimble, asset-light, low capital investment business model, which is highly scal- able. This approach also allows us to expand our business without signifi- cant additional fixed costs and to quickly capitalize on new dynamics and industry opportunities. AM: What are its successes? BL: We have established a broad global presence through the acquisi- tion and development of important products including EVEREST Herbi- cide for cereal crops. The acquisition of Micro Flo Company in 2006 and Grupo Bioquimico Mexicano, S.A. de C.V. (GBM) in 2007, further expanded our ability to provide high- quality crop protection and enhance- ment products to growers in North America and around the world. Also, in October 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted commercial registra- tion to MIDAS, a broad-spectrum soil fumigant that effectively controls a broad range of soil-borne diseases, nematodes, weed seeds and insects that threaten high-value crops such as strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, stone fruit, nuts and vines, as well as turf and ornamentals. AM: How is its sales force organized? BL: The Arysta LifeScience North American sales organization is com- prised of experienced sales profes- sionals representing the row crop, horticulture, and turf and ornamen- tal sectors. Our dedication to exclu- sively hiring experienced ag chem sales professionals allows us to main- tain exceptional customer service with a small, highly agile and pro- ductive sales organization, which is focused on our distribution partners. AM: What is the role of marketing communications at Arysta? BL: Marketing communications plays a major role in the strategic product marketing process at Arysta LifeScience. Because our business is focused on customers in high-poten- tial niche markets, we must work hard to develop approaches that employ a variety of communications disciplines to effectively target our customers within those segments. AM: Is there anything else that Arysta Life- Science would like agri-marketers to know? BL: We live in an extremely interest- ing and exciting time in the agricul- ture industry. As we move forward, continuing down the “business as usual” path won’t necessarily address tomorrow’s challenges. As a result, marketers must be willing to embrace new ways of con- necting with and appealing to cus- tomers. We believe the companies who are willing to try innovative new approaches and technologies that help them more closely align with their customers’ needs will have a bright future. AM Name: Bill Lewis Title: Business Unit Head, N.A. Career: Prior to joining Arysta LifeScience in 2006, served as head of NAFTA Professional Products and Canada/Mexico Crop Protection at Syngenta. Co-led the integration of the Zeneca and Novartis North American commercial and functional operations during the creation of Syngenta. At Zeneca, led the Horticulture Business in the U.S. and Canada and held numerous international and other management roles. Education: B.S., entomology, with minor in business administration, Clemson University. FOCUS ON SPECIALTY CROPS : Arysta LifeScience
CAMA 2008 Canada