Unprecedented growth, unlimited possibilities
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case study

April 2018

Unprecedented growth, unlimited possibilities

How Alura managed to transform its India business with Sapience

By Somu Kumar Ambat and Ashok Arur

In 2016, when Alura’s 5-year old presence in India indicated ROIs that were far from expected, the company brought Sapience on board to help them understand why.

Alura is a Colombian animal health company with a well-established presence in the Americas and looking to expand to the South East Asian markets, specifically India. In 2011, they initiated their expansion efforts by setting up distribution channels in India and marketing their products under Alura. The goal was to establish Alura as a brand and company with an advanced product line that would increase production and profitability of the poultry industry. And in the process, create a business model that would increase sales for Alura in India.

However, things didn’t go as expected. In 2016, when Alura looked at their distributor setup, they realised that their growth trajectory had steadily declined since their first year in India. Despite multiple channels of distribution, their own sub-distributors and direct clients, business in 2016 had dropped from USD 2 million to USD 300,000. Alura had no access to its customer base in India and absolutely no visibility in the Indian market.

The Challenge

Alura’s distributors held a closely guarded secret – the customer base. The Principal company was not allowed to interact with customers or penetrate the market, resulting in sales that relied solely on the distributor’s knowledge and network. Alura’s spends were high on the distributor and a consultant advisor who would facilitate the order acquisition and support distribution; the returns, though, were negligible.

Alura needed to re-formulate their strategies for India and re-evaluate their distribution channels. More importantly, they needed a partner who had experience in the field and in-depth knowledge of the local market, distributors, and customers. Sapience was brought on board in an advisory capacity.

Getting to the heart of the matter

When Sapience engaged with the distributor on behalf of Alura, they made a startling discovery: 70-80% of Alura’s business was coming from just two customers, one of whom was responsible for 60% of the total business. During the 5 years of Alura’s presence in India, customers had even stopped using the product in between and the business had plummeted. Needless to say, Alura had neither visibility nor access to any entry point into the Indian market, despite being a part of it.

The team at Sapience was clear about the way forward: rebuild the India business, create the brand, and build a customer service team in India. The strategic partnership evolved into much more than an advisory role – Sapience was entrusted with identifying resources and distributors, setting up a warehouse, importing the products, putting together a sales team, creating invoicing directly in front of customers, and connecting Alura sales representatives with the customers.

Charting the path forward for the distribution of Alpha D3 into the indian market.
Achieving two years’ worth of ROI in two months

In just the first 2 months of 2018, Sapience helped Alura achieve the targets set for the business for the years 2016 and 2017. Additionally, Alura is reaping the benefits of:

  • A flourishing business in India, with new processes in place to interact with, sell, and distribute to customers

  • A locally set-up manufacturing unit for its market-friendly version of the Alpha D3 product, making India a stronger market in terms of value

  • Introducing new products into the market, including the launch of a growth promoter for the first time ever; and re-launching existing products

The Alura launch event was held across 6 cities in India and witnessed participation from across the poultry fraternity.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate Sapience's approach to the problem, the solutions, and the delivery a 9.5. The service was very good. The way the team managed the entire situation and organised everything at the onset of the project was completely perfect. We have started to see the outcome of our work together and if we continue with this trend, we will manage to achieve the numbers that we want.”

Dr. David Sánchez Posada
Dr. David Sánchez Posada

Asia Sales Director, Alura Animal Health Nutrition SAS

Result Areas
  • Strategy PlanningStrategic Planning & Development
  • Market AccessMarket Access
  • Customer IntimacyCustomer Intimacy
  • Product LaunchProduct Launch

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More to come

Sapience and Alura continue work in a partnership, to ensure sustainability and a continuous improvement of the business, and meet their goals in the Indian market. This year alone, with Sapience as a partner, Alura hopes to double the business of their distributors’ peak business of 2013/14, and bring in 10x times the distributors’ business in 2016/17.

Sapience is also helping Alura expand into markets like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.