“The specialty markets which Nexeo Solutions brought to Univar Solutions are an important addition to our portfolio, in markets such as personal care, food, pharma, and coatings. [Besides], the Nexeo acquisition has also added a large number of laboratories to our assets.”
How is the integration of Nexeo progressing for the newly created Univar Solutions?
The integration of Nexeo Solutions into Univar Solutions started immediately after the transaction was finalized. Our aim is to run and grow the business, and to change the culture. This means integrating people, processes and systems. We have an entire team dedicated to the integration of the two companies, making sure we bring together the best of both. In November 2019, we completed the first wave of SAP implementation, which is a big step in the integration process. We also realigned territories and we have increased the number of salespeople so that we have a stronger team to address the market. We also have an integration strategy in Mexico and Canada. So far, the transition and integration process has been going extremely well.
What are the challenges of building a technical team to adequately serve the specialty market?
The specialty markets which Nexeo Solutions brought to Univar Solutions are an important addition to our portfolio. Today, a significant portion of our business is dedicated to specialty markets such as personal care, food, pharma, and coatings. Both legacy Univar and legacy Nexeo have expert teams that are dedicated to specific segments. The acquisition has also added a large number of laboratories, which we call Solutions Centers, to our assets.
As part of this process, we have an HR strategy to attract and retain the best talent so that they can further develop in Univar Solutions. We provide both in-class and online training programs which cover various areas such as sales skills and negotiation skills training. We have also provided leadership training to reinforce communication, initiative and transparency across the entire organization, and so that our people adapt faster to the new company culture.
How does Univar see in the industry transforming with regards to sustainable and environmentally friendly products?
Several players in the market are moving in the direction of more natural and environmentally friendly products. They have made significant investments into R&D in this regard. Univar Solutions is also working with its strategic partners, especially in the food industry, on more sustainable products, and we are bringing these to market.
What are the main Latin American markets for Univar Solutions, and where do you see opportunity for growth?
Univar Solutions has warehouses and laboratories in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, as these are the largest economies. Through indent sales the company covers all the countries in Latin America. We have the opportunity to expand our footprint regionally, which will allow for business growth, either organically or through M&A. Indeed, M&A is part of Univar Solutions’ strategy and we will continue to look for good opportunities. However, we are being more specific on what we want, and which markets we want to invest in. Any M&A move has to be aligned with our long-term strategy and priority markets.
How do you think the Brazilian economy can evolve after the pension reform?
We look at Brazil’s potential with cautious optimism. We believe that the reforms will eventually have a positive impact on the economy, as we are seeing already. We do believe that Univar Solutions will grow beyond GDP expansion of the country as we are focused on the right markets and have the right strategic partners.