“We build our business on long-term relationships and happy customers.”

VikingGenetics opened a new subsidiary, this time in Germany. Rex A. Clausager, CEO of VikingGenetics explains more about VikingGenetics’ plan with the settlement of VikingGenetics Deutschland (VGDE) from mid-September 2018.
Why is VikingGenetics interested in Germany?
Germany has the largest dairy cow population in Europe with more than four million dairy cows. Germany has a strong tradition for supporting local breeding cooperatives like those that we experience in our three homemarkets: Sweden, Denmark and Finland. However, in every market, some farmers are looking for something else to improve their dairies. We see that our solid combination of strong health and high production is a good fit for this group of German dairy farmers.
Which breeds do we want to promote more and Why?
We believe that every dairy farmer makes her or his own choice based on his or her specific conditions. Therefore, we are proud to have VikingHolstein, VikingRed, and the documented ProCROSS crossbreeding concept in our product portfolio. Besides, we will continue to supply VikingJersey in Germany through our current distributor.
How will VikingGenetics approach farmers in Germany?
Through a local team of highly motivated salespeople.
What does a farmer in Germany win from choosing VGDE?
A German farmer can expect to meet a breeding company that will focus on helping her or him to take the right decision concerning the choice of genetics. If they choose us, they will have a company that builds long-term business relationships and happy customers.
How is this new subsidiary going to operate? How many people will work on VGDE?
The team has been established starting with our Sales Manager in Germany, Udo Carstensen. In close cooperation and support from our Export Manager Jan Andresen, Udo is responsible for the operation and building up a team of highly motivated salespeople. Right now, we are expecting to have about eight people in three years’ time, but this will be adjusted as we learn more about our possibilities in Germany. 
Udo Carstensen
How much does VG want to increase regarding market share?
The German market is enormous, so I think we are modest enough to say, that our market share will not be the focus for the first couple of years. We want a solid base with satisfied customers – and then build on from there. In three years from now, we want to be the obvious choice for farmers seeking an alternative to locally established coops, in the regions where we have our people on the ground.
How are we going to guarantee that the VG philosophy from the Nordic countries will remain through the subsidiaries?
The VG philosophy is a global philosophy. The Nordic farmers were very early brave enough to pay sufficient respect to health traits and have built up an impressive number of phenotypic registrations to support both genomic and traditional reliable breeding values. This courage pays off today, where it is obvious, that a healthy and strong dairy cow is a high producing cow with low maintenance costs.

What’s the best about planting a subsidiary abroad vs. having distributors?
For us, there is no difference. We have very close and fruitful relationships with distributors across the globe. However, in some markets, it can be more challenging to find the right distributor to match – and there we will always consider establishing a subsidiary if the market is attractive enough for us.
Which other countries are attractive to settle down a subsidiary in the future?
We have no current plans. Now and then opportunities arise. An example is our subsidiary in the United Kingdom, where we took over a well-establish and long-time distributor. We are an ambitious company, so we will, of course, always be open for new opportunities.

Read more about Udo Carstensen here. 

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