MAK­ING IN­ROADS INTO IN­DIA

Christchurch-based Qual­ity New Zealand has put some early runs on the board in its quest to con­quer the In­dian mar­ket.

Exporter - - CONTENTS - By Peter Owens. Peter Owens is a South Is­land-based free­lance writer.

Christchurch-based Qual­ity New Zealand has put some early runs on the board in its quest to con­quer the In­dian mar­ket.

It’s not that long ago when almost all of the lambs pro­cessed in New Zealand went as car­casses in stock­inet to the United King­dom.

For many rea­sons this is no longer the case and an in­creas­ing amount of ex­port lamb is be­ing fur­ther pro­cessed into cuts in this coun­try and ex­ported as chilled prod­uct.

Ge­off Al­lott, a for­mer top New Zealand crick­eter, has forged strong links with the In­dian sub-con­ti­nent. He noted that although In­dia now has a rapidly ex­pand­ing mid­dle class with high dis­pos­able in­come, very few ex­ports from New Zealand sup­ply this emerg­ing mar­ket.

En­cour­aged and sup­ported by Daniel Vet­tori, Bren­don McCul­lum and Stephen Flem­ing, all of whom have strong cricket re­la­tion­ships in In­dia, Al­lott and business part­ner Ge­off Thin spent three years re­search­ing the de­mands of the In­dian mar­ket and pre­par­ing a business model for en­try into that mar­ket.

Stephen Flem­ing has had 20 years in In­dia as a player and coach. His role as head coach of the Chen­nai Su­per Kings has pro­vided great ex­pe­ri­ence and net­works and he adds sig­nif­i­cant value as a di­rec­tor of Qual­ity New Zealand.

Sir Richard Hadlee has re­cently be­come pa­tron and a share­holder of Qual­ity New Zealand. This is a sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tion to the company, given how well he is re­spected in In­dia.

There have al­ways been risks in ex­port­ing to In­dia as the wool trade knows only too well. How­ever, Al­lott and his ad­vis­ers have found a way to re­tain con­trol of prod­uct from when it leaves New Zealand un­til it is de­liv­ered to the In­dian cus­tomer.

Al­lott com­pares the pos­si­bil­i­ties of the In­dian mar­ket with China’s, which has rapidly ex­panded over the past ten years. He says that in re­search­ing

the In­dian mar­ket, his company is tar­get­ing up­mar­ket ho­tels and restau­rants, as well as the or­gan­ised re­tail and food ser­vice sec­tors. The company has de­vised a dif­fer­ent mar­ket­ing strat­egy for each sec­tor.

Al­lott ex­plains this is not only be­cause of the rapidly ex­pand­ing mid­dle class with dis­cre­tionary spend­ing but be­cause there is a de­mand for qual­ity food, for which New Zealand has an ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion. The In­dian mid­dle class sees an in­crease in pro­tein con­sump­tion as im­por­tant and sheep meat is recog­nised uni­ver­sally as be­ing an ex­cel­lent source of pro­tein.

Qual­ity New Zealand has also taken the un­usual step of set­ting up an In­dian company that has the pro­to­cols and ca­pac­ity to im­port from New Zealand. This company is man­aged by Ge­off Thin from an of­fice in Ban­ga­lore.

Al­lott says he has de­vel­oped business re­la­tion­ships with some of In­dia’s top In­dian restau­rants and ho­tels, all of which were ea­ger to add New Zealand lamb to their menus.

After con­sid­er­able re­search in New Zealand, Qual­ity New Zealand ap­proached the Al­liance Group with a part­ner­ship pro­posal to mar­ket the meat in In­dia. The first ma­jor ship­ment of frozen New Zealand lamb has been sent and it con­sisted of cuts such as French racks, legs of lamb and lamb shanks. All of this ex­ported meat is be­ing sold un­der the Al­liance Group’s Pure South brand, launched in Oc­to­ber last year to the In­dian food and ho­tel in­dus­try at a func­tion held at the New Zealand High Com­mis­sion in New Delhi. Or­ders were quickly forth­com­ing.

CEO Ge­off Thin says his company is well aware that it will take some time to es­tab­lish a firm mar­ket for sheep meat in In­dia but the New Dehli func­tion was an ex­tremely im­por­tant first step.

Al­liance Group mar­ket­ing man­ager John Rabbitt says his company is well aware that the high stan­dard of the ini­tial ship­ment must be main­tained if Qual­ity New Zealand is to sus­tain an In­dian mar­ket. He be­lieves the Al­liance Group has a ma­jor ad­van­tage in ex­port­ing; it has the global ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge through ex­port­ing to 65 coun­tries.

More prod­ucts

“Apart from our sheep meat per­mits, we also have In­dian im­port per­mits for New Zealand King Sal­mon,” says Al­lot. “We are cur­rently look­ing at ex­port­ing a range of other prod­ucts in­clud­ing fruit and vegetables, wine, seafood, honey, and dairy prod­ucts.

“Qual­ity New Zealand has al­ready been ap­proached by a range of com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in de­vel­op­ing the In­dian mar­ket. We’re tak­ing a con­ser­va­tive ap­proach to how we in­tro­duce th­ese prod­ucts, as we be­lieve it is im­per­a­tive to live the val­ues as­so­ci­ated with deal­ing in qual­ity.

“Nat­u­rally, as we gain re­spect for th­ese pro­cesses and prod­ucts, the de­mand for quan­tity and va­ri­ety will in­crease from our cus­tomers.

We be­lieve In­dia rep­re­sents a mar­ket big enough and di­verse enough to fo­cus our com­plete at­ten­tion to. While that comes with risk, it also al­lows us to fo­cus our re­sources, utilise our con­nec­tions, and build strong long last­ing re­la­tion­ships. We’re of­fer­ing a long term com­mit­ment to the In­dian mar­ket, which is some­thing that many in the cor­po­rate world are not will­ing to do for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons”.

Daniel Vet­tori, Bren­don McCul­lum and Stephen Flem­ing with car­tons of Al­liance lamb im­ported into In­dia by Qual­ity New Zealand.

Pa­tron, share­holder and cricket legend Sir Richard Hadlee.

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