By Leonardo Gottems, Brazilian journalist
Sao Paulo, Brazil. June 18th. Agropages* has exclusively interviewed Daniel Bachner, an executive with a prominent presence by the multinational agrochemical company Syngenta and who now acts as a successful consultant. He brought to Brazil none other than Indigo, considered one of the most valuable agribusiness startups in the world. Today it works in the consolidation of InstaAgro – the first Brazilian online store of agricultural inputs.
Journalist: Please, share some of your trajectory in agribusiness.
Daniel Bachner: I started in agribusiness through ICI in 1985 (renamed Zeneca) in 1993 I went to the pharmaceutical sector at Zeneca and AstaZeneca, returning to Syngenta (SYT) in 2004. I went through several functions as Chief Financial Officer for Brazil and Latin America, I was the director of marketing services at the pharmacist and later became Global responsible for the business of sugarcane. In Brazil, I was responsible for the sugar cane business, which came out of 7th place in the market for the 2nd place during my management. I have worked strongly on innovations for agribusiness as the launch of the Plene platform, which will revolutionize cane planting very soon and in finance, with financial tools such as Barter models. My last year at Syngenta I was in the Integrated Solutions area, responsible for Financial Solutions, NuTrade (a commodity trading company we had) and ICS Integrated Crop Solutions, responsible for creating integrated offerings for producers. I disconnected from Syngenta in early 2018, when I was invited to join a Startup called Indigo do Brasil, responsible for business in that country.
J: What are the trends pointing to technology for the industry?
D.B. Numerous platforms are being created that will add a lot of value to producers focusing on increasing productivity. An example of this is the SmartBio platform and the recent acquisition of the Strider platform by SYT. In addition, other technologies such as satellite imagery associated with artificial intelligence will contribute greatly to the producer.
J: How did you come to participate in InstaAgro?
D.B.: In 2016, while working at Syngenta, we decided that it would be very important to participate in the evolution of e-commerce and create a sales channel for SYT in Brazil. As the head of the Integrated Solutions area, we are looking for several suppliers and we have reached InstaAgro. I was the sponsor of this project at SYT and ended up incubating the startup at our offices to speed up the development of the project. Unfortunately, I left in March 2018 of Syngenta and could not follow the launch of the platform. In December 2018 InstaAgro executives came to me and made an investment proposal for Startup. As I already knew the project (and I always believed in this idea), and since they managed to demonstrate a significant evolution of the platform with the adhesion of several suppliers, like Albaugh, Rotam, Sipcam, Koppert, NaanDanJain and others, I decided to participate again in the project as an investor.
J: How can this startup revolutionize the purchase of inputs in Brazil?
D.B.; The InstaAgro platform will be the shopping portal of the small and medium producer, where he will find everything he needs for his farm from pesticides, seeds, fertilizers and other items that he uses regularly on his farm. It offers the producer a simple, easy and secure business model with product origin certification as it is purchased directly from the Industry, payment security and customer data storage reliability. Today most of the small producers are completely unassisted and cannot get technical support, besides buying small retail products at much higher prices and without the security of the origin of the inputs. The platform took a long time to get into the air because it was concerned with all regulatory and safety aspects, such as guaranteeing the agronomic prescription. In addition to not selling to people who are not producers and who have a record of operation. The producer will have the freedom to choose the best brand of its active ingredient and not be forced to buy from a single brand.
J: How do you project the future of agribusiness in Brazil?
D.B.: Agribusiness will continue to grow exponentially. We will see significant productivity growth through better use of both production and management technologies. Tools such as e-learning machines and use of GPS and Images will be decisive in the decision-making process in farms. New forms of financing and risk mitigation are being created and a new generation of producers will come in full force to move businesses to other levels of profitability. Biotechnology, and natural products, will grow quite strongly, significantly improving food security.
*This interview was originally published at www.agropages.com