A great effort to provide the best service
The value of Dibaq brands translates into a prestige achieved over time, always based on reasons of experience, quality, innovation, and service. Our Editor, Priyanka Kaushal had an opportunity to interact with the Brand Head of Dibaq India, Ms. Mitu Paul where she discussed about the ideology and vision of Dibaq Petcare, and her journey as its brand head. Excerpts…
Dibaq group has over 60 years of experience in the field of nutrition, health, well-being, and services for animals; Give us a brief overview of Dibaq Pet Care and what is it that kept you going through all these years?
Dibaq has a beautiful story of evolution. Based in Segovia, Grupo Dibaq was set up in 1950s by Tejedor–La’zaro, a husband and wife team. It initially started as a family business in poultry sector. The production of animal feed that was initially for self-consumption, lead to subsequent specialization of the group in fish feed and pet food manufacturing. The business has since consolidated its position through a process of internalization and a firm commitment to research.
In 1980s, thanks to the initiative of our current president, Mr Carlos Tejedor, the company decided to bet on aquaculture. Dibaq aquaculture was set up in 1987 to focus on food and services for the fish breeding sector. Dibaq Pet care was set up in 1989 to focus on nutrition, health, and welfare of pets. The production of food began in 1990 with installation of two high technology and capacity extrusion lines.
Dibaq, today, is a 3rd generation family business and exports more than 45% of its production worldwide. We sell in more than 60 countries and have commercial offices and production houses set up in Mediterranean, Europe, Asia, and America. The Dibaq group did a turnover of about 402 million euros in activity reports of 2019.
What are your USPs that set you apart from your competitors?
At Dibaq, we work towards improving the happiness of pets, making holistic nutrition available and affordable.
One of the most important elements that separates us from the rest and helps us to grow is our research and development department – a place where over 100 vets, nutritionists, and technicians design new nutrition formulas. These new diets are tested, new manufacturing processes have trial runs, and all those results are compared on an industrial level. Technology and machinery are essential during the production of food and that is why we spend resources and time to obtain the best raw materials, reduce production costs, be sustainable, and improve animal health.
We make custom foods, and have separate functional lines, for breeders and competition. We make various foods adapted to suit different needs of a pet, based on age, weight, allergies or any other specifics. Currently, we serve over 200 varieties of wet and dry food for dogs and cats.
We work with sustainable proteins and other raw materials obtained in a respectful manner. This is why we have strengthened our relationships with partners certified by Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for our sea ingredients. We are also proud to have the Global GAP certification, an international recognition that rewards our efficient production and quality of what’s being produced.
Our facilities in Spain go through stringent annual IFS food audits for certifying the safety and quality of food products and production processes. We have been clearing this every year and that’s a proof of the quality of our work.
Dibaq factories are designed to operate uninterrupted and with the latest technology. We have been working for years now to reduce our environmental footprint by using optimized production processes, using 100% recycled packaging.
Dibaq offers altogether a separate category of nutritional supplements further divided in different subcategories like Sterilized, Digestive Care, Nutraceuticals, Weight Control, Dental Care etc. What has been the outlook of pet owners on this category and how has been their response?
We understand that in food there is “no one size fits all.” We are science driven, bursting all myths at every level.
To mention our diversity of work, Dibaq Petcare offers pathology and diagnostic services. We have been working with the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the School of Veterinary Science at the Computence University of Madrid for over 20 years to develop quality controls and other research projects.
All this information on our work is available in public domain and enhances the faith of our consumers. Dibaq’s revolutionary work in canine clinical care (particularly our Tumor Diet) has won the trust of many vets globally.
Dibaq is one of the principal international manufacturers of pet food. Tell us about the presence of Dibaq in International market.
At present, these are the two activities — aquaculture and pet food — they constitute core business of the group.
With the pet care division in particular, this effort is well documented by the intense activity of our R&D department, committed to designing new diet programs and solutions. Considerable budgets are invested in innovation projects every year, often conducted in cooperation with experts from recognized universities or research centres worldwide.
With our focus on natural products, continuous improvement and R&D, the Dibaq Group is quietly becoming a global powerhouse.
As of current scenario, do you feel Indian pet food brands are able to give a potential competition to international brands in the market?
Surely in recent times, the Indian brands have become noticeable but may be not yet competitive. In my view, this also has a lot to do with the psychology of an Indian consumer. They lay their faith more with the researches done abroad. Also the laws governing development of food or other essentials for pets are way more stringent offshores, hence it auto improves the final quality of products or services.
Unfortunately, the criteria of the produce in India is price and not quality I feel, the limitation of brands made and sold in India is the lack of deep research, so no matter whatever is claimed, the palatability and nutritional value cannot be matched. But as I said earlier, a lot is changing and in coming times, I feel the competition will get closer.
How do you think pet owner’s buying habits have evolved over time?
With the humanization of pets, it’s not about buying habits. It’s about consumerism, which is now deeply rooted in the Indian family setup. Having a pet at home is now a lifestyle hobby. Consumers are willing to spend on their pets; that’s because there is an emotional angle involved and they feel that they must keep doing something more for their pooches.
Shed some light on your views about future of the Indian Pet Industry.
Indian Pet Industry is still in its early stages and has the potential to grow exponentially. And this spike will continue for another 10–15 years. People have realized what all they can do and enjoy with the company of pets and so have the entrepreneurs who have realized what all can be brought into the markets and sold. Common example is earlier we wouldn’t find a single pet bakery or a pet salon and now we have plenty.
These concepts have mushroomed in last five years. And I feel that 5 years is no time for any business module to reach its peak and diversify. So, further diversification will happen as pet parents are getting more educated towards pros and cons of particular services or products.
Also merchants are evolving their products to be more animal and people friendly to meet demand of the market. So we will continue to see spike in the industry till it reaches its fullest potential of business profitability.
What lessons have you learnt along your journey as the Brand Head at Dibaq Petcare India?
My career over the last 13 years has been a very rewarding and fulfilling one! The learnings have been immense and the experiences have been well rounded spanning from being part of a sales team to heading one to ultimately heading a brand today. My long standing work in hospitality sector has immensely sharpened my soft skills to successfully manage sales teams, channel partners, influencers, and brand advocates.
My tenure at Dibaq India has been equally enriching. A people’s brand, Dibaq’s ethos is so well aligned with my own personal growth goals that work feels like pleasure indeed. I am also an integral part of the communication strategy in addition to my roles of business development and operations of Dibaq India, which completes the circle of my overall development.