The ups, downs and comebacks Kisimex, formerly known as Kien Giang Import Export Company, was the merger of five local seafood processors. In the last years of the twentieth century, the company emerged as a prominent seafood exporter of the province as well as Viet Nam.
The competition for raw materials as well as market share was heightened when a number of seafood processors popped up along with the country’s transition to market economy. Kisimex’s intrinsic flaws had chance to kick in and brought it to the verge of bankruptcy. Kien Giang People’s Committee had no choice but to privatize its favourite child in May 2007 to save it from a doomed failure.
Kisimex’s new board of directors laid out a step-by-step roadmap to revive the company. Top priorities include product quality improvement, human resource training and advanced management practices.
The first step after the privatization was to upgrade the processing lines in the An Hoa, Rach Gia, and Kien Luong factories. The total investment amounted to VND45 billion. In the same year, the company spent another VND23 billion to install a brand new Pangasius processing line in its Kien Giang factory.
The cutting-edge systems enabled the company to penetrate in the most demanding markets such as Japan and EU in a short time.
From a loss maker with over VND150 billion in debt and 500 loitering workers, Kisimex is now a multi-million dollar company with 9 factories and over 1,500 workers. Its seafood export earning amounted to US$35 million last year, up 17% compared to 2010.
Prepared for more The province of Kien Giang has one of the largest fishing grounds in Viet Nam with more than 63,000 square kilometers of waterfront property and 145 islands full of high-value aquatic resources. Beside capture fisheries, the aquaculture, especially shrimp farming, also flourishes here.
Kisimex's Pangasius fillet and Squid sushi
Being exceptionally bestowed with huge fish landings behind its back, Kisimex did not miss a chance to amass the high-quality raw materials and offer them to foreign clients at affordable price. It has a network of collectors all over the region, ready to purchase the fresh catches of the day.
Apart from wild marine fishes, Kisimex also sources its raw materials from aquaculture. It is running a comprehensive logistic system for aquaculture, from production of seed and feed, diseases treatment to fish farming technique transfer. The company gets 60% of the processing raw materials from its own certified farming areas.
Its product list has grown from just a few items to an extensive range of prawn (both wild and farmed), squid, swimming crab, octopus, clam, fish paste, canned product, and fishmeal. Quality is the company’s top priority, especially that of raw materials. As a result, Kisimex has run elaborate checks to avoid chemical and antibiotic residues. It also makes efforts to assure that all the products are traceable.
Although Kisimex has a number of member companies, each focuses on one or two products only. Kisimex Kien Giang (DL110), for example, processes Pangasius, Kisimex An Hoa (DL120) makes squid, Kisimex Phu Quoc handles shrimp, Kisimex Binh An prepares fish paste, and Kisimex Tan Hiep deals with the fish farming and feed manufacturing. All these members adopt HACCP for their factories.
Kisimex was one of the first companies approved to export to EU, with three of its factories having EU code. It is also the leading producer of squid whole, fillet, sushi and noodle cut. Beside quality and food safety assurance, the company is taking steps to improve the product presentation and packaging features to increase the convenience and attractiveness.
“Meeting buyers’ demand on quality and packaging is our primary and consistent goal,” said Tran Minh Dinh, Kisimex Vice General Director. The company is certainly posed for further growth in both domestic and international markets with its skilled workers, avantgarde equipment and innovative leaders.
By DO VAN THONG
Compiled by NHAT QUANG
Kien Giang Sea Product Joint Stock Company (Kisimex)
39 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Rach Gia City, Kien Giang Province, Viet Nam
Tel: +84 77 3862104 Fax: +84 77 3862677
Email: email@example.com Website: www.kisimex.com.vn
Labour force: 1,500 workers
Quality assurance: HACCP, HALAL, ISO 9001:2000, BRC, IFS
EU codes: DL110, DL120, DL166, DL144
Main markets: Japan, EU, Korea
Main products: shrimp, marine fish, cephalopods, surimi