The 1979 film ‘Being There’, is the only screen performance for which actor Peter Sellers won an Oscar. Seller portrays a simple minded gardener turned from a sheltered existence into the harsh realities of life. Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, the gardener became a highly respected policy adviser to the president of United States.
The thinking on which the character builds his reputation and gains recognition as an authority is the simple philosophy that politics and business are very much like a garden-find or make the right sort of soil, plant it well, nurture it, feed it, and it will reward you well by providing for you year upon year.
And even in the world of commerce there is a reasonable analogy to be made.
As to how the film came by, its title you probably cannot do better than hazard guess that it was a reference to its main character ‘Being There’ in the right place in the right time.
And there can’t be many who would disagree with that theory. Not in the Flower business at any rate, where ‘Being There’, in the right place at the right time can be condensed into one word- ‘Marketing’.
‘Being There’ became very much the catchphrase when talking to Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk, the President of HPP Exhibitions Holland. End of may is time flower buyers should be packing their suitcases and Travelling to IFTEX, an international Floriculture Trade Fair. The fair to be held from 30th May-1st June is organized by HPP Exhibitions and will bring together all growers of cut flowers and their buyers under one roof.
During ana earlier interview, Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk said unashamedly that he believed ‘Being There’ was the main commercial advantage to every Kenyan grower. Adding, “Buyers love Kenya Flowers and Kenya is currently the most exciting supplier to the buyers. To Europe, Kenya is what Ecuador and Colombia is for USA”. He said Being There was the best way of meeting and networking with the right buyers.
Speaking exclusively to Floriculture Magazine, Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk said Kenya has the right quality and price for buyers. He said the market is big enough and this is the right time Kenyan growers can make themselves the global flower suppliers. “Kenyan growers have a business duty to present themselves in a big way in this year’s IFTEX. This will give them an opportunity to meet not only the buyers but also the consumers and get to understand what they need, he added.
“Do Kenyan growers want to market themselves?” he asked. Then ‘Being There’ will be the best decision one can make. Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk said that he had teamed up with the government institutions, flower organisations and growers to make the show very successful. Likening Kenya to a sleeping flower giant, Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk said It was only in Kenya where you can get all flower sizes, most promising production and the right quality from one country all year round. “This is a golden chance to market these products to the most promising flower market currently”, he said.
By no means the least of the reasons given and yet surprising not the first thought on every growers mind, this is an excellent way of meeting buyers. Kenyan growers will not only meet the right buyers but also keep their position as a leader in flower exports. It is near suicidal for any grower who ignores his market. “It is my dream to bring the most promising flower producer (Kenya) and the most promising flower market together”, he concluded.
Quality standards are always a top priority. And so everyone would like to share with the original breeder, grower, buyer and consumer. Those who will miss IFTEX will spend the next one year with the old technology, old contacts, old friends and business plus more aging mindset on how the market is evolving. Well the chance of ‘Being There’ is open you do not have to say when it’s too late. “BUT NO BODY TOLD ME”
Trade fairs, conferences, business events, economic forums and exhibitions can be defined in a unified manner as sophisticated platform for conducting business on a national and international scale. It is more than just a marketing tool as the entire marketplace is at your fingertips. As a source of market information they fulfill your needs in a centralized way said Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk.
IFTEX provide growers with an excellent opportunity to assess opinions from buyers and determine market potential, conduct research and evaluate competition, develop commercial structures by identifying new agents and distributors, and initiating joint ventures and project partnerships. “IFTEX provides a unique networking platform to both local and foreign participants. It helps in promotion, marketing and publicity efforts of participating companies. It leads to joint ventures, tie-ups and also help bring in investment in the Country”, says Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk.
As a reliable media for exchange of information, IFTEX is being globally recognized as the apt medium for doing flower business today. In the words of Dick Van Raamsdonk, “The current economic slowdown is the ideal time for the industry to showcase its presence on exhibition floor as the industry is very much in a position to reinforce its tenacity, strength and collaborative nature”.
In fact, in tough market conditions, it becomes all the more imperative for all growers to show greater visibility, strong fundamentals and continuation of businesses. The platform is ideal for growers to nurture the trust and confidence across the supply chain.”
Agrees Eliud Njenga of Credible Blooms, “IFTEX brings the potential buyers at a single platform wherein they have an access to entire gamut of varieties. The tools of the exhibition is like live demonstration, product launches, touch and feel of the product, networking opportunities, etc., all further foster sales.
What has followed was a number of buyers increasing every year. The advent has seen a new development to further enhance the productivity of IFTEX; suppliers into the industry have joined in and are increasing by year. The step has catapulted IFTEX to the new levels of excellence. It can now be counted among the major flower trade shows in the world.
Among other benefits, IFTEX provides growers and buyers a face to face meeting point, which is seen as a perfect cost effective means for achieving trade objectives. According to Mr. Shiraz of Agrichem Africa Ltd, “The scope of exhibition becomes more important as face to face meetings with target audience provide an opportunity for businesses to meet new buyers in person and also renew their contracts with existing buyers.”