Interview: João Suss (Araunah Tech) at Hortitec 2018
Hortitec is the largest horticulture trade fair in Latin America, held annually in Holambra, São Paulo. Holambra itself is the horticultural epicentre of Brazil and is especially known for flowers – thanks in no small part to its origins as a Dutch colony. Aqua-4D’s Patrick Rosat was at Hortitec and took some time out to speak with João Suss, Managing Director of the influential Araunah Tech group.
PR (Patrick Rosat): Hi João, what are your thoughts on this year’s event?
JS (João Suss): “Well, this is the main event in Brazil for the irrigation sector, and the most important of the year. It has been a pleasure to be able to share our results that we’ve had with the Aqua-4D system and also the results from various validation studies involving various crops.”
PR: Brazil is facing political and economic upheavals at present; does this impact your business and how do you overcome the challenges of the current time?
JS: Yes indeed, the country is passing through a difficult time as we have elections this year and also the US dollar is gaining in value, meaning that currencies in Latin America including ours are decreasing. However, this makes us even more keen to develop new business models and think outside the box. With Aqua-4D we have developed a new business model based on renting and leasing. This helps in our efforts to bypass the economic problems and the market is responding very well.
PR: How is 2018 looking for you?
JS: This year is the third year of working in developing Aqua-4D in our market and our expectations are very high, based mainly on tomato, banana and coffee crops. We expect to have sold a significant number of systems by the end of the year.
PR: What makes you unique as a company – you have been in business for several decades, what are some of your USPs?
JS: Our core values are based on relationships with the customer, so we always focus on technical assistance and close relations with customers and market, I would say that is the key element of our success in Brazil.
PR: What kind of solutions and products are you looking for when choosing which brands to distribute in Brazil?
JS: Our focus is on innovative technologies that nobody else sells. Of course, this brings its own challenges but also a competitive advantage over competitors as we’re always on the front line and we gain respect and trust from customers with this as they look to us for the most innovative technologies.
PR: What new projects do you currently have on the go?
JS: In the second half of this year we’re working on a new project based on irrigation of central pivots. Central pivots are very different from drip irrigation systems; they use much more water but we’re focussing on central pivots which have problems with nematodes, so there is a huge potential and opportunity for using Aqua-4D with this system, also in terms of economic viability. It’s very exciting and we expect to have success very soon.
João Suss, thanks for your time.