How to find a good importer in Asia?
Interview of Alexandre Petit, CEO of Innovative Importers, a major import group covering all of Asia.
The Innovative Importers group works with the largest Asian distributors, including the 7-Eleven group and more than 15,000 stores or again major distributors in hospitality services, catering and other distributors of very qualitative wines.
Discover exclusively the secrets of this importer!
AIN: First of all, what are your developmental prospects for the year 2018?
AP: In 2018 we will continue to enter new brands of very qualitative wines, coming from all over the world. We differentiate ourselves from the competition by our very high-end positioning: the quality of the wines and their manufacturing process are always a priority over the price at Innovative Importers.
Wine consumption in Asia is still growing strongly, both on the volumes as on the desired quality. Our job is to find new highly qualitative suppliers from around the world.
AIN: What is your job as a wine importer in Asia? Your specificities?
AP: The Asian population always consumes more wine and less strong alcohols, wine being perceived as better for the health. Our role as importer is above all to inform them about the characteristics of each imported wine. Consumers are eager for genuine and detailed explanations in order to test the product and then become loyal customers. Each new consumer is a new ambassador of the brand.
Some importers simply look for a ‘low’ price, and to sell a price. These importers are the most numerous, but equally those who have the least good results and who disappear very quickly from the market. Wine is a complex product: expertise must be omnipresent from production to distribution to the final customer.
The leading importers in Asia devote a very important time to their sourcing: finding the best wines of the world in each appellation.
They communicate with precision on the brands they import.
Each brand is very difficult to place in distribution, whatever its price, without a specific communication and a daily work in Asia by expert marketing and sales teams.
Conversely, when work is done in a professional and continuous manner, the results are positive in the short, medium and long term.
At INNOVATIVE IMPORTERS, we are specialized in a very deep sourcing and an accompaniment of much supported new brands. This presents a significant cost compared to importers who only seek price. The cost is reinstated in the purchase prices and equally shared between the suppliers and our company.
AIN: Could you just precise to us how you allocate those costs?
AP: The EXW purchase price is generally slightly higher than importers seeking only for price, since our absolute priority is the quality of the products.
Each supplier has an entry fee to pay to enter INNOVATIVE IMPORTERS. This entry fee has been greatly reduced in 2017 and it is valid for life. No entry fee is required in subsequent years.
AIN: What results do you guarantee to your suppliers?
AP: Based on our experience and the demands of our distribution networks we establish volume forecasts. Then, distributors and final consumers decide on the volumes year after year. We work to constantly optimize volumes and to retain the end customers over the very long term.
Regarding our work, we guarantee both a serious daily work and distribution as soon as in the first year:
A brand manager works daily at the brand service at INNOVATIVE IMPORTERS. He is the link between the suppliers and the marketing and sales teams. Regular points are organized with our suppliers during the year and the brand manager can be contacted daily.
Distribution entries are spread over the first year. We try to optimize the speed of introduction of the brands at each distributor, while adapting ourselves to the schedules of entrances of each distribution network. Our close relationship with Asian distributors helps us to get very good results quickly.
AIN: What procedure should suppliers take to enter INNOVATIVE IMPORTERS?
AP: The procedure is very simple. Simply send an email with a quick description of your wines to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will transfer your email to our Innovative Importers Office. If the answer is positive, you will be able to meet a selections manager in order to present to him your offer and your objectives. Once the final validation by our selection team, your brand enters us immediately and for a long time.
AIN: What types of wines are you currently looking for?
AP: We are looking for new, highly qualitative brands from all regions of the world. Red wines remain the majority, but white and rosé wines are growing and are fashionable in Asia. Sparkling wines are also increasingly sought after by distributors for parties, gifts and weddings. These markets represent very good annual volumes.
Highly qualitative beers and liquor are also highly sought after.
We are interested by all regions; we treat the countries of provenance identically at INNOVATIVE IMPORTERS and respect all the territories. You can present your brand by contacting us directly we will answer you and take the time to study your file with interest.
To contact INNOVATIVE IMPORTERS you can visit their official website www.innovative-importers.com or directly contact their purchase department at the following address: email@example.com . A Innovative Importers Office will contact you after receiving your email to propose you a entry form and explain you the complete entry process.
Thank you very much Mr. Alexandre Petit for sharing with us some insides, also for your time!
This interview was conducted exclusively for AsiaImportNews in January 2017.