INSPIRED BY NATURE, BUPO ANIMAL HEALTH KEEPS GROWING . . .
BAH is a South African Company well entrenched in Animal Health since 1988. We met with founder and CEO, Mr Oscar H Bupo, Argentine born and South African at heart, herewith the excerpts:
1. WE HAVE NOTICED YOUR PRESENCE IN SEVERAL AFRICAN COUNTRIES, CAN YOU ELABORATE A BIT MORE ABOUT THE REASONS FOR EXPANSION?
We are growing at a steady pace in the whole of the African continent with a business model fully adaptable to African conditions and needs. We aim at growing organically and strategically. For instance, we provide training and technical support as well as financing to our own branches throughout Africa, keeping in close touch with the markets. As you know, Africa has a young population with basic needs, with food safety being one of the key essential needs.
2. HOW DID THE RECENT SOUTH AFRICAN POULTRY CRISIS AFFECTED YOUR COMPANY?
Precisely, as a result of our vision and implementation, we have managed to ameliorate the crisis that affected the South African poultry industry over the last 3 years. Our next strategic branch in the continent is Nigeria where we are very close to open, in early 2015. I have been accepted and attended a rigorous course for CEO’s in emerging markets at Harvard Business School this year which was a catalyst for the way we move forward in emerging economies.
3. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT YOUR EXPANSION?
We evaluate the key parameters of the emerging economy with a rigorous approach and will only land in strategic markets after an appraisal of the country is fully concluded. This applies not only to the opening of a new branch but also for servicing many more countries with well-established distributors. Currently we are operating in over 25 African countries.
4. WHAT IS IN VIEW THE PILLARS OF YOUR SUCCESS?
We could list them in three main steps, namely:
We have a comprehensive range of products that cater for Poultry, Swine and Ruminants currently under registration and/or development, suitable for each region. In total we have well over 200 products in our camp ideal for African conditions of animal production.
4.2. INNOVATION AND ECO-FRIENDLY APPROACH
We regard ourselves as an innovative Company and have been pioneers in development of unique concepts, well documented worldwide. We have safe and efficacious products, designed to enhance production parameters, giving preference to the natural way or green technology in line with our corporate responsibility in protecting our environment. We have developed formulations that make use of phytobiotics and other natural products with 0 days withdrawal period, ideal for egg and meat producers as there are no residues or less residues that are harmless to the animal and hence apt for human consumption. We believe in one health for both humans and animals, after all an ancient greek philosopher Hippocrates said…"Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food". We are of the opinion that as human beings we cannot be “green” and safe with ourselves and “chemically-minded” with the health of the animals that will later consume.
4.3. PRINCIPLED BASE
Our values are the engine of the Company, since good values are universal and should come from the top of the organization, leading by example. These are amongst others, hard work, responsibility, humility, integrity and honesty.
5. CHALLENGES AHEAD
In the current world a CEO should be innovative, resourceful and most importantlyadapt to the changing environment. This initiative must be followed by the entire organization.
The pace must be fast for innovation but also fast for implementation. When you increase the product range and the markets you get a fast growth that has to be managed more efficiently. Imagine changing from hundreds to thousands of clients in different markets, languages, cultures and expectations. That pressure actually exposes your weaknesses and a rapid response is essential.
Our challenge is to prepare the company internally so that the other departments can roll out the sales and adapt quicker to the needs of this continent.
6.HAVE YOU GOT ANY INVESTMENT PLANS?
Our main investments at the moment are in our new manufacturing plant in Pretoria and in the financing of our own operations in Africa. In addition, we believe that the world is interacting in a very dynamic way and we are all part of the global village. We have invested in a Feed mill operation in Argentina, producing 10,000 tonnes a month with two production lines in one shift, which caters for dairy and feedlots destined for exports (dairy and meat products to the EU). We don’t anticipate any need capital for our growth for the time being, due to our cash reserves and business model.
7. HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF YOUR COMPANY?
We see the future as a great opportunity as long as the model is a sustainable business. But we have to take care of our environment to secure our survival and the survival of future generations. Africa is young and vibrant. It needs safe food and hence good practices of livestock rising. A continent with such possibilities offers a vast world of options and we want to be part of it. We believe in Mother Nature and what it offers in abundance, the secret is to harness that potential in a sustainable way. In the long term successful companies will be the ones that adapt and protect theenvironment, the rewards will be abundantly generous. It is the right thing to do for the future generations and it bodes well with our view of what a good legacy should be.