„The European market expects a local presence“

In our BFT May issue we had already reported that C&G Pigment founded a European subsidiary. In a conversation with the BFT editor-in-chief, Axel Schneider, Managing Director C&G Pigment Europe, comments on the strategic orientation of C&G Pigment, important milestones and current trends.

BFT International: Mr. Schneider, we have known you for a long time personally, but not your new company environment. Please explain to us who C&G Pigment is.

Axel Schneider: C&G Pigment has been active in exporting pigments of well-known Chinese producers for almost 30 years. The product range comprises iron oxides, chrome oxide green, titanium dioxide and carbon black. The company is headquartered in Hangzhou, a city with 10 million inhabitants South-West of Shanghai. In the past, the company was not very active in Europe, more in America, Africa, South-East Asia and Australia. This is changing now as its strategic partner Zhejiang Huayuan Pigment Company, producer of iron oxide pigments and better known under their trade name Hyrox, has asked us to develop their European business together with them.

BFT International: And for this purpose you have now founded a subsidiary in Germany?

Axel Schneider: Exactly. The European market expects a local presence. Therefore, we have decided to open a subsidiary with headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. As such, we have a location quite central in the region. And Germany offers a good economic infrastructure. Meanwhile C&G Pigment Europe GmbH has become operational and is building up the platform for sales with local warehousing.

BFT International: Where do you see the focus of your activities?

Axel Schneider: With the explicit cooperation with Hyrox our focus will clearly be on iron oxide pigments and their derivatives. Chrome oxide green and titanium dioxide are useful additions to the portfolio so that we can offer a broader package to our future customers.

BFT International: C&G Pigment is not a producer, but promotes the products of various manufacturers. Does C&G Pigment consider itself a distributor?

Axel Schneider: A classical distributor is constantly making efforts to expand its product range. Technical expertise often plays a minor role. Jiming Cai, founder and owner of C&G Pigment, has explicitly decided against taking such an approach. We are experts on the field of inorganic pigments across all applications. We have full access to the laboratories of our manufacturing partners and work intensively together with them to develop solutions. In so far we do not consider ourselves a distributor, but more a sales channel for our producers.

BFT International: Whilst you are now starting your work on the European market, in how far is your work influenced by the current virus crisis?

Axel Schneider: It hits us in the same way as startups in other industries and businesses. In order to promote pigments in the market you need close and intensive discussions with the customers. However, if they are in a lockdown or short-time work situation, they are hardly available for new things because they need to focus on the existing business or maybe are not even at work at all. That hampers the market introduction significantly and requires patience and power of endurance.

BFT International: Where do you see the challenges when the virus crisis will have come to an end?

Axel Schneider: No doubt the topics environmental protection and global warming will come back in the focus. On this field, Chinese manufacturers are still seen critically. However, I need to point out that our partner Hyrox has completely renovated and modernized its production site in Deqing. Now it runs state-of-the-art technologies for the treatment of wastewaters and exhaust air. The whole project took three years and was successfully completed in 2018. I have had the chance to personally see for myself during various visits.

BFT International: How about the certifications your partner Hyrox is holding?

Axel Schneider: Also in this context remarkable progress has been made. Besides the usual quality assurance system, they hold a certificate for environmental protection management. REACH is logically a fundamental need. Important explicitly for Europe is the certification in line with EN 12878, all their products are in conformity with category B.

BFT International: To finalize our talk, can you tell us why a European customer should decide in favour of a cooperation with C&G Pigment?

Axel Schneider: C&G Pigment is experienced and technically skilled, but primarily we are backed by Hyrox, a major manufacturer of iron oxides who knows the production world of these pigments inside out. All process steps are conducted in-house. That means that all process parameters are controlled by the producer of the end product, from the chemical synthesis through to the micronizing. As a result, the products are of consistent quality. Along with this Hyrox covers the whole color spectrum, from base tone to blended shades. Colors can also be tailor-made according to the wishes of the customer. I would like to emphasize the special range of iron oxide blacks. Particularly the bluish shades are very sought-after and are hot sellers. Their specific know-how in processing enables Hyrox to manufacture these. And certainly the service in the supply infrastructure that we are currently building up will be a motivator. I believe there are good reasons to have a talk with C&G Pigment.

BFT International: Mr. Schneider, thanks for the conversation and for the future the very best!

C&G Pigment Europe GmbH
Ernst-Bloch-Straße 16
51377 Leverkusen/Germany
+49 151 40042294

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