Established in 1992, today Prodimex group is one of the leading agribusinesses in Russia. Its operations spread over a full production cycle from growing the sugar beets to sugar distribution. In an interview for Manufacturing Journal the COO of the company Victor Aleksahin describes the company’s way to success.
The key factors that determined the company’s success
Back in 1992 Prodimex was a trading company specializing in the import of white sugar. However, the between 1996-1998 one of the key decisions was taken and Prodimex was transformed into a production company and the first sugar factories were acquired. Thus, began the formation of one of the leaders of the Russian agribusiness, which currently has a 25% market share of the Russian sugar market. In short, every fourth spoonful of sugar in the country is produced at the Prodimex factories. The company’s production outlets put out more than 1.5 million tons of sugar, more than 375 thousand tons of granulated pulp and other products. The second important factor that had a major influence on the company’s successful development was its decision to concentrate on one are only. The company focused on the production of sugar and crop production to provide the plants with raw materials. These solutions allowed the company to become the largest white sugar producer in Russia and allowed Prodimex group to create modern production facilities that provide it with competitive advantages in the market. Currently Prodimex Group employs over 17 thousand people. Today Prodimex has the largest land bank in the country. It covers more than 800 thousand hectares of land located in the eight best agricultural regions: Voronezh, Belgorod, Kursk, Tambov and Penza, Krasnodar and Stavropol regions and the Republic of Bashkortostan. Thanks to this, the company’s agricultural divisions grow over 4.7 million tons of sugar beet and over a million tons of grain, leguminous and oilseed crops annually. The holding’s plants process over 10 million tons of sugar beet. The Prodimex holding harmoniously combines almost two centuries of industrial traditions with cutting-edge technologies. Half of the 16 sugar factories that make up the holding are from the pre-revolutionary industrial founders. Today, the company’s factories are capable of processing more than 80 thousand tons of sugar beet per day. In 2017, the holding’s farms produced more than 4.7 million tons of sugar beet, and more than a million tons of grain legumes and oilseeds. A professional approach to the peculiarities of the natural and climatic conditions of each region, the optimal selection of seeds, the determination of the exact dosages of mineral fertilizers and plant protection products allows the company to achieve high yields of good quality. The holding uses the most modern agricultural machinery while computer and satellite technologies contribute to the increase in the efficiency. The people constitute the main strategic potential of the company. The holding pays a lot of attention to the selection of personnel, their training and the creation of favorable working conditions. Over the years it has become a tradition that two or three generations work for the holding. Prodimex takes pride in having kept many of the employees since the company was established in 1992. Today the company employs many unique specialists in the field of sugar production.
The Prodimex holding produces a wide range of crops that are grown in crop rotation with sugar beets. The processing enterprises of the agro-industrial holding specialize in the production of sugar (23% of the Russian sugar market), granulated pulp (40% of the Russian market), molasses (21% of the Russian market) and betaine. The factories of the company produce white sugar of any quality depending on customer needs, and in any packaging from big bags weighing one ton to one kilogram packaging both in the form of granulated sugar and in the pressed form of various shapes. Most of the production of sugar is carried out in the factories according to the classical technology. However, the company also produces part of the finished product by extracting additional sugar from molasses. This process is called de-sugaring. This technology allows to extract additional sugar from molasses which has always been considered a by-product of sugar production. Prodimex was the first to use this technology in the Russian market at its plant in the Olkhovatsky district of the Voronezh region. This plant also produces betaine which is one of the most important products in the company’s portfolio. Betaine is an amino acid that is widely used in various industries, from medicine to aviation.
Mission and further growth
The main goal of the company is to provide the products of world-class quality, produced in modern eco-friendly and efficient industries. Another important aspect is the creation of a production and economic model of the holding capable of providing leadership in its market segment in various conditions of market conditions and in any natural and climatic conditions. As for the plans, export of sugar is considered a potential new business opportunity. The company is looking into different export options. The company is planning to ensure small but stable export. First potential buyers are in the countries of the former CIS.