“For the paints, resins and adhesives industries, which are mature markets, we are making a conscious effort to boost exports to neighboring countries, as Argentina is more competitive now due to the devaluation of its currency."
Can you explain the evolution of Copsa in the past 12 months?
GC: Due to the ongoing pandemic, the last year and a half has been particularly different. Consequently, a number of projects have been on standby, which is why our focus has been on adapting to the current changes and challenges the world is going through, primarily, the shortage of raw materials key to our development, and the increase in freight costs from Asia. All of this leads us to the need for restructuring our business and coming up with new strategies.
Given the shortage of products and the significant increase in local demand, prices rose exponentially. For instance, the value of some commodities doubled. However, the demand level then plateaued and has been falling gradually, so we hope that the price of raw materials goes back to what they were two years ago.
MC: In Argentina we have been lagging behind the introduction of new technologies, which is why there has been a stall in the transition towards green products. Nonetheless, this area of the business is picking up again, and it should reach its expected levels within four years.
Can you tell us about Copsa’s own line of retail products, and what the benefits of these products are for B2B customers?
MC: Copsa has an ample range of products for various industries. Over the last year, these products have been undergoing alterations and adaptations as a result of the changes in the demand as well as our clients’ needs. The strategy is to add value to B2B products and provide the best client service possible in order to differentiate our company from the competition by means of mixtures, and become a more integral part of our clients’ businesses.
GC: Another equally important strategy we have been deploying is providing technical assessment to our clients, to offer a more personalized service.
Which of the industries Copsa supplies products to have remained strong in 2021, and which do you see as having good potential for the future?
GC: Home and personal care is the industry that has stayed the strongest, since the consumption of sanitary products has escalated due to disinfection. This is precisely the industry where we have had the highest influx of new clients. Prior to the pandemic, we were not a major player in the field of home and personal care products, however, Copsa is now a principal company in this area offering a larger quantity of products and services than before.
MC: The government agenda is focused on recovering oil and gas production, so we see this as an area of growth potential. In terms of market demand, there is more concern about availability in the first place, followed by price and quality. We expect this dynamic to continue for at least another six months.
How have considerations surrounding sustainability impacted the way Copsa works?
MC: We have invariably been conscious of sustainability issues. The Implementation of eco-friendly technology has suffered severe delay. As the aim is to be ever greener, we have been working towards achieving greater sustainability to produce products that are ever more environmentally-friendly and reducing waste.
In terms of business sustainability, we have been establishing closer ties to Argentina's neighboring countries, such as Bolivia and Paraguay. Creating these business synergies is also important from the perspective of obtaining raw materials locally, so we can reach the paints and thinners markets more efficiently.
What would Copsa like to achieve in the different markets it works in by the end of 2022?
GC: It depends on the industry. Regarding the oil and gas industry, our main goal is to increase Copsa’s existing client portfolio and provide better service. Secondly, as for the paints, resins and adhesives industries which are mature markets, we are making a conscious effort to boost exports to neighboring countries, as Argentina is more competitive now due to the devaluation of our currency. Thirdly, in the context of agrochemicals, we need to enhance their formulas and, similar to our objective in the oil and gas industry, we have to attract more clients. Finally, in relation to home and personal care, our aim is to keep adding value and offering the best services possible.