Jebsen & Jessen Chemicals Maintains Local, Cultural Pulse throughout Growth

Jebsen & Jessen Chemicals Maintains Local, Cultural Pulse throughout Growth

The Jebsen & Jessen Group of Companies South East Asia, a member of the Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise, dates its origins to a trading partnership formed in Hong Kong in 1895. The Group, incorporated in the early 1960s, is today a highly diversified entity engaged in eight core businesses: Cable Technology, Chemicals and NutriLife Ingredients, Communications, Life Sciences, Material Handling, Offshore, Packaging and Technology.


Jebsen & Jessen Chemicals distributes Coatings & Resins, Plastic and Rubber Chemicals, Performance Chemicals, Food Ingredients, Animal Feed and Health Ingredients, Personal and Home Care, Pharma and Agrochemicals.


In its July 2014 issue, ICIS Chemical Business magazine, the top source of market intelligence and analysis of the global chemical markets, announced the annual global ranking of the Top 100 Chemical Distributors, based on 2013 sales. The Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise for chemical distribution activities in three locations – South East Asia, China and Europe – recorded total sales of EUR 1.01 billion in 2013. With this outstanding performance, they remain the World’s 8th largest Chemical Distributor in the ranking of Top 100.


Apart from the global listings, ICIS also break out leaders by sales in the key geographic regions of North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East Africa. Jebsen & Jessen Chemicals, with its leading position in South East Asia, maintains its rank number eight in Asia Pacific .  


With a focus on South East Asia, the Group has established a firm foothold in the region through more than 50 subsidiaries and associate companies in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, employing approximately 4,300 people.


“One of the things that makes us unique is that we're not only working throughout Southeast Asia, but we're also working in a very Western frame of mind, too,” says Regional Managing Director/CEO Marc Deschamps. “As part of this mindset, the Company represents high technology suppliers who do not wish to set up their own sales force in Southeast Asian countries,” says Deschamps. “We do that for them with our extensive technical sales force and they are very happy we do.”


Building Value through Cultural Respect


The core values upheld by the Company are executed through the development and nurturing of premier technology partners, value creation and solution focus for the customers in the region, characterized also through a mindset towards Quality and Excellence, Initiative and a proactive can-do attitude, Change and Learning ability,  as well as knowledge sharing and Teamwork.


“We are committed to working respectfully within cultural boundaries throughout our business operations,” says Deschamps. “We are not the biggest, nor do we want to be the biggest either. Sustaining the right size for our Company helps us develop, nurture and maintain long-term relationships with our suppliers and customers.” In addition, maintaining their current size helps the Company maintain strict compliance measures throughout the course of doing business.


Deschamps also commented that, “Beyond capturing organic growth in the region, we are also very interested in M&A and inorganic growth where this makes strategic sense. Such M&A activities and growth projects are constantly on our agenda. 50:50 Joint Ventures are a good example where JJ has been both active and successful in the past. Partnership is the relevant word, not dominance, to make a venture successful.”


New Joint Venture: JJ-Muntons


This past March, Jebsen & Jessen and Muntons formed a new Thailand-based joint venture: JJ-Muntons.  The 50:50 joint venture agreement to manufacture specialty malted food ingredients in Thailand positions the new Company, JJ-Muntons (Thailand) Ltd, to become Asia's preferred supplier of premium specialty malted ingredients to the food & beverage industries. The new venture is committed to a US$17.5 million plant to be built in Chonburi, Thailand by the end of 2015.


This partnership brings together two companies with shared core values across the areas of customer focus, sustainability, food safety, ethical behaviour and environmental responsibility. “We are teaming up for success and growth in Asia. Muntons’ technology and production know-how paired with Jebsen & Jessen’s distribution capability in South East Asia is a winning formula for this joint venture of equal partnership,” says Deschamps.


Key growth projects such as the JJ-Muntons joint venture promote the diversification of Jebsen & Jessen’s base capabilities, supporting their strategic shift away from pure distribution. “We invest in production but with a strong consumer focus and branded products. Another example of this strategic shift is our new animal nutrition farm pack, where convenient ready mixed functional ingredients are packed in branded consumer or end-user packs.” explains Deschamps.


Key Success-supporting Elements


Jebsen & Jessen Chemicals places strong emphasis on human resource development (HRD) to achieve the full potential from its employees. The HRD programme has been designed to develop staff competence, knowledge and motivation, so as to inculcate values of service, fulfill our strategy and deliver results.


The Company is also committed to forging dynamic partnerships with customers through personalised service, key account management and innovative solutions while practising responsible care through the execution of our strategic service intent (SSI).


Deschamps went on to explain a vital component that helps them stay in touch with how to provide the best services and products possible: “Business management should be done from within an office, but I also plan on being out there with my team, regularly traveling to different countries, keeping a pulse. You have to engage with local cultures. From this, you can derive new projects and find local opportunities and offers for our valued customers in the region.”

Marc Deschamps