Interviews

Interview with Wiktor Sawosz, Owner of the Brand Distribution

Wednesday, 25 April, 2018 Food From Poland 31/2018
What is the most important factor when it comes to doing business right? Good relations, experience, knowledge of the global supply chain and cooperation with professional partners. Wiktor Sawosz, Owner of the Brand Distribution tells us about cooperation benefits and difference between Poland and others markets.
When was Brand Distribution established and what services does it offer?

Brand Distribution Group is a family business established in 1993 by me and my wife. This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the company’s existence. From the start, we were involved in the export of goods produced in Poland into foreign markets. In the ‘90s, countries such as: Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Baltic States and Kazakhstan were the natural sales markets for our products. We are still providing these markets with our merchandise, but after Poland joined the European Union the scope of our activity has significantly widened. Presently, we export FMCG products to 94 countries on the globe. We are constantly looking for new goods and developing our partnerships with manufacturers. Food products constitute about 60 percent of all of the provided goods. Formerly, this ratio was entirely different. In the ‘90s, we sold many more cosmetics and household chemicals. Since 2007, the sale of Polish food products have dominated our activity, which is a proof of the high quality of these goods. Numerous Polish companies focus on innovative production methods and modernize their facilities. Clients from all over the world appreciate this fact, since they are aware of the high quality and affordability of the Polish food products. From my experience, I can say that Polish entrepreneurs can be characterized as proactive, innovative and industrious, therefore they always find a way to win with an ever-growing competition. For a long time, our products have been very successful on British or American markets. Now, they are also appreciated by clients from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or  Mongolia. We are also starting export into Taiwan, Singapore and Australia. Additionally, we have many inquiries from African markets, and also countries such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Israel or United Arab Emirates. This is possible because of the dedication of our management staff and our experienced team of merchants. Brand Distribution employs 130 persons and has very ambitious, future development plans. Due to regular participation in trade fairs, our customer base is constantly growing and our high quality of service strengthens the loyalty of our clients. For us, this is crucial information, which inspires further development and conquest of subsequent markets.

Which Polish products are most wanted around the world?

Confectioneries, chocolate products and drinks have been at the top for many years. Recently we have noticed a big interest in ice cream, which constitute a gradually bigger part of our overall sales.  We would like to triple the sales of this product type. Polish ice cream are sought-after in the farthest parts of the world, e.g. African countries. In many foreign markets, Polish meat and dairy products, and fruit or vegetable preserves are objects of great interest.

What challenges do you encounter in your work? What obstacles are there for the Polish export?

Brand Distribution Group has its branches in Germany, Spain and Great Britain so there are numerous experiences I can share. Our department in London has been functioning for five years and during this time we have noticed that starting a partnership with British manufacturers is easier than with Polish ones. Even owners of brands known in the British market express the will to expand their sales into new markets and we manage to formulate very beneficial conditions of collaboration. I have noticed that such openness to cooperation among the manufacturers is not yet present in Poland. Brand Distribution Group has several hundred regular customers in various regions of the world and our clients utilize the whole package of services which we offer. Polish companies do so less willingly and it is hard to say what is the reason. I wish our domestic companies are able and not afraid to take advantage of the potential offered by entities such as Brand Distribution. A change of Polish manufacturers’ attitudes is precisely one of the challenges of this industry. We believe that because of the partnership with our company, Polish manufacturers can increase their export, as well as enter new markets more easily. We are a trading and service company and our mission is to „Help people and organizations all over the world regain time for important matters”. We realize that mission in the FMCG industry using complex commerce, marketing and logistic solutions based on partnership. Having such considerable experience we are able to quite precisely predict the prospects of a product in a given market. Good relations with our customers all over the world, which we have developed over the 25 years of our activity are critical to the functioning of our business. I also think it would be beneficial if the Polish government would increase its support for export. A more active promotion of Poland, our brands and manufacturers is necessary. We have many commendable products and therefore we should intensify actions aimed at increasing export of the Polish merchandise.

Do you support the manufacturing of private label products? Which export markets are the most prospective?

For many years, Brand Distribution Group has been developing partnerships with international and local commerce networks in Poland, and abroad, by supplying them with, among others, Polish brand products. We receive requests from such networks to recommend Polish manufacturers which could be interested in producing for particular own-brands. This is another opportunity to grow for the Polish food manufacturers.

When it comes to the most prospective export markets, there are many, but firstly they should be thoroughly researched before starting a business there. Brand Distribution Group focuses on developing sales in countries such as: Brazil, Peru, Ukraine, USA, Great Britain, Nigeria, Egypt, China, Taiwan and Singapore. The aforementioned markets are characterized by big competition from around the world, e.g. China, USA, Great Britain and Germany, which are faster in prevailing on new markets. American and British products have been available for years in almost all markets. We, however, still have to pave the way. It is important to find reliable partners in the new markets and formulate rules facilitating a good partnership.

Which foreign trade fairs are the most important for you?

Brand Distribution Group sales team is present at almost all of the most important foreign trade fairs such as: ISM Cologne, ALIMENTARIA Barcelona, ANUGA Cologne, IFE London, GULFOOD Dubai, PLMA Amsterdam, PRODEXPO Moscow or SIAL Paris. Additionally, we participate in fairs in the United States, which we consider a prospective market. We are also present at fairs in Iran or Africa.

There are many more development topics on which we are working in our company. We care about expanding our portfolio with innovative Polish products which would interest our foreign contractors. There are many small and medium Polish manufacturers responsible for exceptional products. However, they are not sufficiently promoted or do not have experience in international sales required to arise on the foreign markets. Basing on our experience we are capable of helping them in these matters. The benefits will be mutual, so we invite to cooperation.

Thank you

tagi: Wiktor Sawosz, Brand Distribution,