Castor International looks back and looks ahead
Our lives have been turned upside down in recent months. And the world, and with it the business world, will continue to face challenges for years to come. We consciously use the word ‘challenge’ because, no matter how dire the situation, crises often present us with opportunities for the future. But before we look too far into the future, we would like to look back at the past period.
A little over 10 years ago, Castor International started a project aimed at building up a trading activity in raw materials. We wanted to grow one step at a time into a supply chain manager that the industry simply couldn't ignore. In recent years, Castor International has experienced growth beyond our expectations. We don't necessarily measure this growth in profit or turnover, but rather in an increase in the number of customers or product/customer combinations. And another success factor is, in our view, our participation in approval processes by sending test samples.
Castor International knew that 2020 was going to be a difficult year. Not due to the COVID-19 crisis of course, but because of the sharp fall in castor oil prices in the autumn of 2019. We knew the impact of this unexpected price drop would ripple through on our business results in 2020.
And then, early this year, came the coronavirus ...
Precisely in this crisis, Castor International has shown what managing the supply chain is all about. India was put in full lock down and shipping products from this country was virtually impossible. Despite this setback, we were able to avoid disappointment for our customers and even helped out where other suppliers failed. Of course, the spread of our sales across different industries played a major role in this. The knowledge and network of our sister company in logistics and our large stock position helped us through this period.
Positive effects of the crisis
- Even more intensive contact with suppliers: mutual understanding has strengthened the relationship.
- Contacts with new customers whose own suppliers were unable to deliver.
- The adverse effects of the earlier price drop were limited.
- Due to the scarcity of glycerine and its availability at Castor International, many users were helped and Castor International's customer base experienced an acceleration in growth.
- Castor International has also proven to be a reliable partner in times of crisis.
We can learn from the past, but our main focus is on the future. Castor International sees opportunities aplenty to grow and strengthen its position in the market. We are constantly looking for new raw materials that align nicely with our portfolio and that our customers need. For example, we see a great need for sustainable raw materials in the technical industry. Castor International very much wants to ride that ‘green wave’.
Today and into the future, we will continue to diversify in applications. Food and feed in particular are getting a lot of attention. With this in mind, Marc Junger joined the team as an extra sales manager in the last quarter of 2019. This has already borne fruit in terms of new customers and suppliers. It's a promising prelude to even more synergy with other companies within the Driessen Group.
It should come as no surprise: the Castor International team looks towards the future with lots of confidence. What remains, of course, is our no-nonsense approach and our ability to think in solutions in order to optimize the supply chain. Castor International's customers will remain number one, also in the future!
Arthur de Raad
Sales Manager for Castor