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Douglas Pharmaceuticals joins PCNZ to boost China business


With their eyes on increasing sales in China, Douglas Pharmaceuticals and Rockit Global have become clients of Primary Collaboration New Zealand (PCNZ) Shanghai, joining other well known New Zealand brands including Mr Apple, Bostock and Anzco.

PCNZ was developed in 2012 after a “boot camp” at Stanford University where primary sector chief executives, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise head Peter Chrisp and former agriculture minister David Carter tried to find ways to double the sector’s exports.

It aims to gain a better understanding of the China market and to facilitate easier access to China.

The Shanghai office opened in 2015 and its six shareholders comprise seafood companies Sealord and Kono, meat processor Silver Fern Farms, dairy firm Synlait Milk, vintner Villa Maria Estate and horticulture collaboration Pacific Pace.

Douglas Pharmaceuticals already has $9 million annual sales in China for four Clinicians products, largely selling through the Alibaba online channel Tmall.

Chief commercial officer,Scott Sheriff hopes the new arrangement will lead to doubling its sales there this year.

The relationship with PCNZ is likely to be short to medium term, he says. It gives the company “trainer wheels” in China.

Companies can be a shareholder or a client of PCNZ, he says.

“We would aspire to being a shareholder in time. For now, we rent space, have staff on the books and PCNZ manages that. As you outgrow PCNZ, you then set up your wholly owned foreign entity.”

Rockit Global, based in Hawke’s Bay, has found a market in China for its miniature apples packaged in tubes.

PCNZ has recruited two people to provide the support to Douglas Pharmaceuticals and they will be responsible for managing the cross-border channel and implementing the marketing plans for Clinicians, he says.

Hawke’s Bay-based Rockit Global has found a market for its miniature apples packaged in tubes and sold as a healthy snack. Chief executive Austin Mortimer says the arrangement is helping the company make a structured approach to building the brand.

PCNZ has also announced that founding CEO Kevin Parish will leave in April to be replaced by David Boyle, who will arrive later this month.

Mr Boyle worked for Lion Nathan in Shanghai in the late 1990s and has remained there in executive and consultancy roles.

He says PCNZ sees opportunities to go wider than just primary industries with companies such as Douglas Pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, PCNZ is looking for niches in the big Chinese market.

“We can target those areas and help companies be quite specific about not trying to be a jack of all trades but to have a more focused approach,” he says.

NZPC advises on marketing, packaging, distribution and promotional displays. It represents 13 New Zealand brands in China and is likely to take on three companies this year with another three next year.

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