March 09, 2022
Expoagro 2022: the experience of the energy industry that the CEO of Los Grobo would like to apply to agriculture
The group seeks to reach 350,000 hectares planted with associates and provide a comprehensive offer of services to producers.

Enrique Jorge Flaiban took over as CEO of Los Grobo in the middle of last year after serving in various executive positions in the energy industry.

In dialogue with Agrofy News, he shared his vision of what the agribusiness sector would need in order to reach its potential.

Flaiban commented that the energy sector, unlike agriculture, is an activity with long-term investments. "Every year you have to bet here (in agriculture), it's quite different. I think that Argentina can gain in competitiveness with lines of credit that are more long-term. Just like someone who invests in an oil or gas field In the long term, it would be good if there were international lines, which exist but Argentina is not capable of receiving them, in the long term," he commented. This would be "so that it is not necessary to be seeing in each campaign how it is going to be faced."

"If companies can receive long-term financing with competitive rates, the sector can be given a much greater dynamic. This is not available here and it is a challenge to put it together," he added, referring to Argentina being able to re-enter the international markets: "The market is full of money looking for projects to invest in. An institutional investor who can invest in the sector today does not have instruments at competitive rates, such as LIBOR +2%. Argentina has to lower the country risk."

This would allow Los Grobo, with its size, to issue debt to grow.

As CEO of a company that is very focused on Argentina, Flaiban considers that the country is full of opportunities: "The sector is super competitive. There is a huge possibility of growth. We want to promote that competitiveness and pass it on to the producers."

"Some policies should help to strengthen agriculture even more. We could produce 200 million tons of grains. The producer is reinvesting all the time. With a more favorable wind, the sector would be further strengthened. The objective is that some income can be return to the countryside so that it can invest. The more you produce, the more work you generate and the more taxes you pay," he said.

Flaiban added that the demand will continue to be present because the world continues to grow by leaps and bounds: "If Argentina had room to produce 200 million tons, we could cover more of the market."

The Los Grobo group is present in 250 thousand hectares of associated plantations. The plan is to reach 350 thousand in three years and market 3.5 million tons, against the current 2.5 million. In total they have 33 branches and seek to expand their presence with 45.

"We have 13 storage plants and we are looking to reach 15. We have a plan to reach areas where we are not, such as Córdoba, the west of the province of Buenos Aires and La Pampa. There is significant competition in the area," Flaiban said.

"We are starting with our own seeds. As we do not have the Seed Law, it is an incipient market", he commented and pointed out: "We seek to cover more services for the producer. A single supply point. The concept of 'One Stop Shop, I give everything you need.

From Los Grobo they point out that the final campaign was very good, with yields of 8 to 12% higher than the average. For the thick they expect yields 8% below the average due to the drought, with areas with a 40% loss and other areas that are doing better. "The price increase advantage ends up being positive," says Flaiban.

There is also a lot of caution regarding supplies: "There is more uncertainty than certainty, probably a generalized increase will come due to the rise in oil and energy. The concern is the reliability of the supply. There are some things that do not directly have a price. begin to need is an issue to take into account".

The history of Los Grobo is very long and has many successes: "The entry of Victoria Capital Partners gave the company a very professional imprint. The team is very identified with Los Grobo. I come to repower all that, to order some and repower others, with orderly and intelligent growth".

"There are several lines of business, one is digital. We have to enter into digital contact with customers, speed up business. Another issue is to see what other types of service we can provide to customers, with the entire palette of inputs that the agriculture needs. We have to look for a strength that allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition," he concluded. →

Automatic translation from spanish.

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