A Whole New Range of New Services
Dr. Andrea Missio, Business Development Director at WeylChem, Talks About Current Market Trends
The WeylChem Group of Companies is part of the International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG). Thanks to the combination of the large scale essential chemical production units WeylChem provides developing know-how in chemical synthesis and processing for the agrochemical, pharmaceutical, polymer, personal care, specialties and detergent chemicals industry. CHEManager spoke with Dr. Andrea Missio, Business Development Director for Agro, Pharma and Personal Care at Weylchem, about the trends that shape the markets within his responsibility.
CHEManager International: What are the main responsibilities of the Business Development Unit at WeylChem?
A. Missio: The largest responsibility for our unit is to grow the business. It can be grown in two main directions: you work with existing customers and you keep close contact to them, so that they approach you whenever they have a new opportunity and a new project. But we also do work a lot with new customers to present our technologies, our companies and what we can offer to them and hopefully this activity will lead to new programs.
Once you get a project, and this is a large part of the activity carried out by the Business Development team, you do a lot of project management, which means you take care that the new programs are initiated, are staffed properly, follow-up activities are undertaken and finally that the customer gets what he was looking for.
Speaking about customers; which are the main customer industries or markets your unit is working with?
A. Missio: I would say that the majority of companies in our group still work in the agrochemical sector, as it is an important part in our business. Other industries we work closely with are for example, the polymer industry, where we can sell additives, chemicals that enter into the polymerization process or a monomer, the basic unit which is then transformed into the full-length polymer.
Another business segment is broadly defined as speciality chemicals, which includes many different markets. We work with companies that are producing cosmetic ingredients and they need special chemicals to formulate them, with the personal care industry that is developing among others soaps, detergents, and shampoos. We also work with industries which do not operate in the chemical market but require chemicals to obtain their products. Finally, we work with the pharmaceutical industry, where we sell advanced intermediates.
What are the key trends in these markets that have an impact on how your unit operates?
A. Missio: A clear trend in pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals or, broadly speaking, in the life sciences, is the increase in the complexity of the molecules that are brought to the market. To deliver this complexity you need building blocks, small fragments displaying a broad diversity. The WeylChem group has now grown to the point that we have many different technologies available to deliver the required chemical diversity.
Another clear trend is in plastics, mostly led by the automotive industry, which requires lighter, but stronger materials. Yet another trend, which kind of slowed down in this year, are the bio-based chemicals: chemicals derived from sources other than crude oil. These are the industrial trends. Within the custom manufacturing industry there is another strong direction. Beside the offer of a chemical product, the leaders in our industry offer a whole range of additional services. For example, large corporations may run the same process in different locations, each one requiring the delivery of the starting materials in different packages. We can offer that. Another example comes from customers buying our brominated chemicals. They are informed of the possibility to recover valuable brominated products which would otherwise be lost with their side streams.