2022/12/22 - Press
Virbac Colombia: 20 years already!
In February 2022, Virbac Colombia celebrated its 20 years of commitment to animal health with all its employees and then, on November 4th, with the partners of its Colombian subsidiary and the Andean region, Sandrine Brunel as representative of the head office, the LatAm committee and the entire management team of Virbac Colombia & Andes.
The event, punctuated by speeches, videos, retrospectives and awards, was an opportunity to pay tribute to all those who have made the history of Virbac Colombia by recalling the evolution of the subsidiary over the past two decades.
Two winning acquisitions
The story of Virbac Colombia began in the year 2000, in Bogota, at a time when the pet market was booming. At that time, we were present with the brands Canigen, Rabigen and Feligen, distributed by a company of the sector, Novartis, through a commercial agreement (the subsidiary did not exist yet).
Two years later, at the beginning of 2002, under the leadership of Erik Martinez in Mexico, we acquired the Vetipharma laboratories: this was the birth of Virbac Colombia ltd. and the beginning of a great adventure.
With the support of the sales force, we gradually penetrate the Colombian pet and production market with innovative products from the Virbac portfolio (Zoletil, Endogard, Rilexine, Citius, Virbamec F...), quickly replacing all Vetipharma products.
Ten years later, we acquire the veterinary business of Synthesis in Colombia and, thanks to this strategic acquisition, Virbac Colombia doubles its size and enters the top 10 of the animal health market, 4th largest market in Latin America, becoming a key player in the veterinary segment.
A subsidiary in constant growth
Over the past twenty years, we have continued to expand our product portfolio with successful product launches that are now part of Virbac Colombia's offering for the pet and production animal lines, contributing to significant growth in these segments.
The arrival of our CEO, Georges Letessier, in 2019, allows us to resume the annual organization of the national convention that brings together all the commercial areas of the subsidiary. In the same year, we launch the HPM pet food line in the Colombian market.
During this period, Latin America grew by 7.1% thanks to a high level of activity in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. In these markets, our strength lies in our ability to deploy complete product lines that build customer loyalty.
Based on this observation, our subsidiary, whose sales force is a major asset, recorded growth of 28.9% at constant exchange rates last year, thanks to the dynamism of the two segments: pets and production.
In 2002, our sales revenues were 2 billion Colombian pesos. By 2023, the goal is to exceed 80 billion.
In 2002, we had a sales team of 10 people; today, we have more than 60 people traveling the roads of Colombia to conquer the ever-changing animal health market. Our goal? To build customer loyalty by increasing the rotation of our products from the distribution channel to the end users, thus strengthening the positioning of our brands.
A celebration shared by all
On the agenda for the anniversary event on November 4, 2022:
- screening of the corporate video "20 years building the future of animal health in Colombia" ;
- welcome speech by Georges Letessier, Director of Virbac Colombia and Andes;
- presentation of the commemorative statuette and speech by Sandrine Brunel, Director of Communications, representing the head office;
- video speech by Sébastien Huron, CEO of the Virbac Group;
- speech by Andrés Engelbreit, Director of LATAM;
- history of the subsidiary by Diego Buenaventura, Andes export manager;
- speech by Juan Camilo Mejía, National Sales Manager of Virbac Colombia.
The evening continued with music and the guests were invited to take pictures in the photobooth set up for the occasion.
The ceremony was a reminder that this success is an alchemy: the work of our teams is nothing without the support of professional veterinary organizations, our suppliers, our distributors and the public authorities.
Georges Letessier: "All together, with unwavering dedication, we are building the future of animal health in Colombia and in the countries of the Andean region."
Andres Engelbreit: "At Virbac we work to establish long-term business relationships with our customers and suppliers and that allows us to enjoy the good times and endure the more difficult moments."
Diego Buenaventura: "The Great Place to Work certification in Colombia is the recognition of 20 years of great history based on our values and corporate culture.".