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Exclusive interview with Michael Petzmann at VICTAM Asia 2022

The company caters to the grain industry, often providing storage solutions with silos, material handling equipment and cleaning equipment. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Michael Petzmann, Manager of Grain & Seeds Sales at GSI Group, AGCO, speaks with Far Eastern Agriculture about storage solutions for the grain industry and plans for future expansion into the Asia region

Could you tell me a bit about your company?

Michael Petzmann: We are a core agriculture company providing solutions to the grain seed and food industry. This time, we are representing GSI and Kimbra, which was recently acquired by AGCO in 2016. We were running through a transformation process during the last few years, and this is actually the first time we are together on an exhibition, the VICTAM show. 

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business and what are the overall post-COVID market trends?

Michael Petzmann: Of course, COVID has affected businesses everywhere. We still managed to do good business. However, the clients were quite particular about making a purchase, due to their concern about the situation, thus resulting in delayed investments. But again, while some are still waiting, others are back, rethinking about the strategy and readiness to invest. On this show, we have managed to pick up some investment-related discussions and it looks like we are quite near to closing some deals in the coming weeks.

What are the latest products developed by your company?

Michael Petzmann: We have the latest product for grain and also some remaining product ranges from the past. We are doing a lot in automation electronics. For example, we have developed a colour sorter with new detection methods, better cameras, better resolution, higher efficiency, and higher throughput, both for the feed and food industry.

Which are the sectors that you usually cater to?

Michael Petzmann: We generally cater to the grain industry for storage, often providing storage solutions with silos, material handling equipment and cleaning equipment. For example, when it comes to the feed mill, we provide everything from storage solutions to claiming your material. 

What makes your products sustainable and unique? 

Michael Petzmann: We have manufacturing facilities around the world, with most of our equipment being imported from either the US or Europe. This means we have high quality products and great production technologies with a lot of automation. This is one factor for sustainable, reliable equipment which lasts for quite a long time, giving you security and process guarantee.

And in which countries does your product sell the most?

Michael Petzmann: If we consider the Asian market, we are currently doing a lot of business in India. We are also working on a peak project in Bangladesh. Other regions like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines are also picking up.

What level of competition do you face from other companies that also manufacture similar products? 

Michael Petzmann: Competition is always there. It is necessary for growing the market. First of all, we see a big difference in the quality we supply. Also, we not only provide reliable equipment and products, but also provide turnkey solutions to our clients, putting in the expertise and knowledge that our worldwide operating team has.

Do you have any plans of expansion?

Michael Petzmann: Yes, there is quite a big focus from the company on the Asian area. We are currently working on a strategy to improve our business in this region and support our existing local clients. In general, the demand in Asia to secure food safety and security is very high and very demanding, which explains why we are so focused on this region.