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‘India is a different market’ – Thomas Ulbricht, MD-Buzil Werk

Thomas[box type=”shadow” ] Buzil in the last few years has successfully penetrated the Indian market with its JV Buzil Rossari India Pvt. Ltd. Asserting his views of India being a different market, Thomas Ulbricht, the new Managing Director of BUZIL-WERK Wagner GmbH & Co. KG, speaks of spices and stains in an exclusive interview with Clean India Journal.[/box]

Is India a difficult market? How different is it from other Asian and European countries?

I consider the Indian market as different and not difficult. Difficulty only comes when one is not open for differences. Of course, the market in India is different to other markets we are operating in. For example, the size of the country, long hours of travelling, route planning or for that matter the food… I don’t mean the challenges of spices that I regularly encounter on my trips to India but the challenge of stain removal which is different. We have an excellent textile treatment and laundry chemicals range to deal with such stains.

Now heading the realms of Buzil, what are your short term and long term plans for India?

Our plan is to establish Buzil Rossari Pvt. Ltd not only as a top quality chemical supplier but also as a service provider. Service, mostly in terms of training, to enable the cleaning staff to better understand our concept and get trained on our chemicals for its application and dosing. Buzil has learnt a lot in its 110-year-old experience in Germany.

In the last six years, one of the major successes has been the Buzil and Rossari Biotech joint venture. How do you perceive this relationship in terms of India adding to the Buzil global business?

We feel very fortunate that we found the right partner and have a very reliable and strong partnership with Rossari Biotech. As we took our decision to enter India, the “Clean India” and “Make in India” initiatives were also announced. We knew it was the right time. Being in India also enabled our entry into the Asian market, where Buzil was not present earlier.

What are the technological advancements made through this joint venture?

The technological advancements mainly result from an open sharing and exchange of know-how between Buzil and Rossari. Even though we did not have to adapt our product formulations, we learnt from each other in terms of challenges and procedures. Giving you an example, in Germany, we have a standard stability test for all our products in terms of exposure to temperature which needs six weeks at 40o Celsius. This is totally sufficient for European countries. However, in India, it needed adaptation because of the special climate conditions. Another example is establishing standard procedures of performance testing with different types of dirt, etc.

What kind of demand do you see for Buzil Rossari products both in the cleaning and laundry segments?

We see an increasing demand for our products for the following reasons. On the one hand, we see an increasing demand for ecologically friendly products in India. On the other hand the requirements of the market are economically driven. Now this point needs explanation because it is not only related to the price of the chemicals. It needs to be understood that in Europe we are faced with incredibly high labour costs, whereas the cost for cleaning chemicals for a cleaning company is only 2.5-4% of their total costs.

That is the reason why, we have developed very effective cleaning chemicals which help save cleaning staff’s time. How? They are mostly produced as concentrates and many of them only have a recommended dilution of 20-50ml per 10 litres of water! After considering the dilution, it becomes very cost efficient and it also saves cleaning time in comparison to other products.

What are the expansion plans of Buzil Rossari in the next two years and the target segments being focussed?

Within the next two years, we expect a steady growth, but we are very cautious about our organisation’s ability to cope with such a growth. This means the Buzil Rossari organisation also needs to grow. Within the mentioned time frame, I do not see Buzil Rossari abroad, as we have a clear focus in India with HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants, Catering), cleaning companies and industry businesses. When the time comes, we will also have a look at neighbouring countries.

In a country like India, where other international brands are still trying to make a strong foothold, what has been the success strategy with Buzil Rossari?

In my opinion our success story is mainly based on finding the right partner in India. Together we developed our market approach – Rossari having all the knowledge about the local market and Buzil with a very long standing experience in Europe, Middle East and other countries. In India, our chemicals are produced according to German quality standards. The reason for opting for “Make in India” approach is twofold: First, our JV partner has the necessary manufacturing and laboratory competence, and second, sending products from Germany to India takes 8-10 weeks, which no customer will accept.

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