"Peers on the ground" by Metso Outotec - market expectations in light of Covid-19
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
As an integral part of the Green Denmark in Southeast Asia community, we aim to highlight the latest developments, insights and forecasts from leading Danish companies and solutions providers present on the Southeast Asian markets.
In our "Peers on the ground" article series we zoom in on market expectations in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the following, we share insights from Metso Outotec, a specialist in the design and manufacture of waste shredding equipment.
What are the immediate effects of COVID-19 on your activities in Southeast Asia?
The effects of COVID-19 depend on the market. In general, we have not seen a decline on inquiries though Indonesia, India and Philippines have been hit harder than average. Our projects in Indonesia and India have been silent with very little activity and we do not foresee any pickup on the activities until 2021. The uncertainty of the future landscape as a result of COVID-19 is affecting decisions but our industry is deemed an “essential service” on most markets and in some, we have witnessed allocation of funds to further the industry. So clearly, governments are pushing the support to the industry as a whole, but we still lack to see any direct result of these grant schemes and also understand the specific disbursement of funds.
How has the crisis affected the way you operate and act in Southeast Asia?
Our operating model is well developed for this situation as our model is based on agent / distributor sales. Having local partners on markets allowed us to continue a personal dialogue with customers, which is essential in technical sales. This close interaction has supported our position on many projects positively as we can engage in person and understand the immediate local impact of COVID-19. In addition, we have been pushed to incorporate video conferencing in much larger scale than before. This supports both direct project discussions and partner development.
Do you see immediate opportunities arising in light of the current crisis?
On some markets grants may push some relevant projects but as a whole I do not foresee any pickup of the market as a result of COVID-19.
Looking beyond COVID-19, which lasting change or new trends do you foresee within your commercial focus areas in Southeast Asia?
COVID-19 has amplified the need to be present locally. We will need to focus on manifesting our local presence through local partners, whom we provide adequate product training to support growing our business. As we still do not have a vaccine and any timing on “back to normal”, it is difficult to discuss with our customer base how they view the future. It may impact their operating model as they may want to incorporate more agile and flexible setups. At this stage it is difficult to predict.
What is your best advice for new players eyeing markets in Southeast Asia at this stage?
This is dependent on market, industry and offering - so very difficult to say. For our product, our business growth is achievable through local presence. Networking and understanding the culture in order to navigate properly has been essential in our success. Where we have either direct or strong partners with access to market intelligence and networks, we have clearly seen our strongest success. So to review the setup carefully to have best access to the market is essential. Review partners diligently and provide adequate support to grow the partner alongside you.
Get in touch for more information about Metso Outotec:
General Sales Manager Waste Recycling, Asia Pacific