Netherlands Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine

Best Practice: Zeelandia

Every month, the Embassy presents an example of succesful Ukrainian and Dutch cooperation in business. This month features SC Zeelandia.

Introduction to the company

SC Zeelandia is 100% subsidiary of Zeelandia H.J. Doeleman b.v. (the Netherlands), one of the world leading producer of ingredients for bread and confectionary industries. Acting in more than 70 countries of the world, Zeelandia develops and offers to customers innovative products that help bakers and confectioners to produce high quality competitive and added value products.

Entering Ukrainian market was part of the global Zeelandia strategy about the expansion its presence worldwide. This was first time in Zeelandia history, when local office was established without local partners or agents. Instead team of young and motivated specialists created the company. This became possible due to cooperation with one of the established Dutch consulting companies and consultations with the Embassy in Kiev.

Acting on the Ukrainian market since 2003 SC Zeelandia produces and delivers its products for industrial bread and confectionary factories, supermarket chains as well as to SME companies and even HORECA.

Activities of Zeelandia in Ukraine go far beyond borders of business. It is our passion and believe, that we can make much more by investing part of our profit in development of society. Charity and social projects are initiated by the company for improving lives of people next to us and for those who need our help.

According to the preliminary business plan, SC Zeelandia in Ukraine had to reach its breakeven in two years and to pay back initial investments within 5 years after establishment. In fact, the breakeven was achieved at the end of the first year of operations on the local market. Since that moment, the company shows stabile development and sound profitability.

Keys to success

The main factors that determine the success of Zeelandia in Ukraine are sharp business principles, enthusiastic and committed team, high level of trust between Dutch and Ukrainian offices.

Speaking about differences between Ukrainian and Dutch companies doing their business we can mention short term thinking of many local companies. It is also fact that despite large number of papers and documents produced in Ukraine they deserve very low level of rust and reliability. One should have proper controls of operations and support documentation with strong personal relations with both customers and suppliers.

Advice

As recommendation to the Dutch companies that are considering entering Ukrainian market we would strongly advice to go long term and full scale in the country, including investment in local production and reliable team of specialists. Keeping your principles despite circumstances is another important advice that is valid anywhere.

After DCFTA came in full power it opened us new opportunities both ways (import/export). It became easier and cheaper to import goods from EU but it is creating also unique possibilities of export products from Ukraine.

In spite of slow speed of reforms and rather high level of bureaucracy we pin our hopes on the improvement of the situation in the nearest future.