Exhibitor Interview: Neofyton
As one of the most prominent names in Packaging, Neofyton's General Manager, Mr Zoran Tadic unveils their plans for Propak West Africa 2018 and his take on why Neofyton should be the supplier of choice in Nigeria's expanding market.
Q1. What is the reason you have chosen to exhibit your products/ services at Propak West Africa 2018?
Last year I visited Propak West Africa and saw some of our customers there; both exhibiting or visiting the Fair. In addition, our supplier Piovan was already exhibiting in 2017. so we agreed to join forces this year and have common stand together with our Austrian supplier of high-class Injection Molding Machines – company ENGEL.
Q2. Can you highlight any particularly exciting products/ services you’ll be showcasing this year? I.e. any new launches, top selling products, new partnerships etc.
This year we will exhibit top class all-electric injection moulding machine - ENGEL “e-motion 160”- producing food container using 4 cavity mould from high-class Swiss mould-maker OTTO HOFSTETTER in a cycle time of 3,5 seconds. That is 30 million pieces per year in 24/7 production run. This machine could use as low as 9kW per hour. Taking into account the Nigerian problems in getting stable electricity supply, this machine concept is the best solution for WA plastic producers.
This will be the first time ever, somebody is exhibiting a running injection machine at Nigerian Fair. It is a sign of real dedication and trust of Engel and Neofyton in Nigerian and whole West African market.
Q3. Will you be offering any special exhibition promotional discounts for visitors?
Not really. We have decided to penetrate the African market with very attractive price policy. That strategy is leaving almost no room for further Fair discounts.
Q4. What makes you stand out from your competitors? Why should a visitor pick your brand over another?
We have actually two questions here. First one is regarding our Fair presentation and our stand. Neofyton has always had a straightforward strategy during Fair presentations – meaning if we are at the Fair, we have to exhibit a machine in running conditions. Combining running high-class equipment with attractive stand design and professional staff, we are confident our presentation will “steal the show” this year.
Talking about brand quality, we as Neofyton have a lot of experience in running operations in foreign markets. Starting from our home market in Serbia back in 1998, then expanding into Bosnia and Hercegovina and Macedonia in 2001, starting our operations in Croatia in 2009, we learned how to operate at foreign markets. Opening our operations in Nigeria and Cameroon in 2016 were a continuation of our expansion plans, this time not only into another country but to another continent as well. This should put trust into our respected customers in Nigeria, that we are here to stay, and that we carefully planned our activities that includes not only sales and promotion but (even more importantly) after sales support and service.
Coming to Nigeria without proper offering would be a huge mistake, and therefore we are presenting ENGEL and PIOVAN equipment from machine side, but we are also offering OTTO HOFSTETTER moulds for food IML and medical packaging and CORVAGLIA moulds for caps and closures for PET bottles. All those brands have one thing in common – top class quality -. We are confident that the only strategy for sustainable development is an investment into top class equipment. Since CAPEX costs represent only 10% to 15% of the final production costs of the plastic part, it is obvious that production capacity per year and energy costs are much more important factors than CAPEX. Only with very fast and energy efficient equipment, companies could expect long-term development and profitability.
Just as a small example, a difference of only 0,5 seconds in cycle time, let’s say from 3,5 sec. to 4,0 sec. would result in 2 million parts less produced per year. What if your final customer needs this 2-million part this year, and you are running your plant at 99% productivity? You would have to buy one more machine, one more mould and one more robot in case of IML, and employ 4 more persons to produce this extra capacity. You see, sometimes 15% more production capacity means 100% more CAPEX.
Q5. Are you planning to meet existing clients as well as potential new ones?
Generally, 80% of the Fair time is used to meet existing customers, and show them respect for the trust they put in you and your company; but nobody knows the complete market, and that additional 20% is a very important factor in fair presentations.
Q6. Why do you believe industry events such as Propak West Africa are crucial to the industry?
Fairs are bringing industry leaders into the same place where they can meet, exchange ideas, rumours, and of course see new equipment that will disrupt current rules of the game, and accelerate future development and competitiveness of existing market.
Q7. In your opinion, are there any specific challenges you foresee for the global packaging market?
Not really. If there would be an industry segment that is “stress-free” packaging market would be one of few. During the previous economic downturn back in 2008-2009, only food packaging and the medical segment of plastic industry were growing. The number of people in the world, and especially in Nigeria is rising at 2,5% pace per year. That means 2,5 million “new customers” are born in Nigeria every year. Almost half of the Nigerian population is living in cities, where food products have to be prepacked and delivered to supermarkets. That is a strong indication of future growth potential not only in Nigeria but in the global market as well.
Q8. And more locally, what kind of potential do you see in the West African packaging market specifically?
I think most of the answer is already presented in Q7, but I would like to share one more idea. I strongly believe in WA packaging market, not only due to WA growth potentials but even more for global market potentials. Thinking about Lagos as “Capital of Africa” is fine, but thinking of Lagos as the biggest city in the world in 25 years time, is something totally different. In addition, if WA producers would consider USA and Europe as potential export markets, it would change mindset, strategy targets, and open new ideas for future development.
Q9. Sustainability and Recyclable packaging are extremely popular in the market at the moment, what do you think about this apparent trend and have you seen it personally affecting your audience?
It should be carefully considered, but advocating glass or paper as alternatives to plastic packaging is not really reasonable. That brings us to the point of recycling plastic waste. Mindful plastic waste recycling management policy would be beneficial for all market participants. For local communities would mean cleaner and healthier environment where we all will live, for local governments it would mean new jobs and higher employment rates, and for plastic converters would mean more business with higher profitability since recycled raw materials are typically 25% to 30% cheaper than virgin materials. All that is achievable in Nigeria as well, but not in next 30 years, but rather in the next 3 to 5 years.
Q10. Is there anything else you’d like to highlight about your brand or products to our exhibitors ahead of their visit in September?
Exhibiting for the first time at an exhibition is an exciting event, and we are investing a lot of time and energy into Propak 2018. I would like to invite all Nigerian and other WA business participants to join us at our booth and share this positive spirit with us.
See Neofyton's products and technology on stand B5 at Propak West Africa 2018 this September, you can register to attend for FREE here.