NovaChem > Industry News > 2014 > Kenso celebrates 40 years in the crop protection industry

Kenso celebrates 40 years in the crop protection industry

Published on 28/05/2014

While Kenso NZ was set up as a new subsidiary of Kenso Corporation only two years ago, the parent company has a long and successful track record throughout Asia and in Australia, it says.
Kenso had humble beginnings in 1974 when young entrepreneurial chemical engineer Kenneth Soh left Singapore and headed to
Kuala Lumpur.
His capital was minus $20, a sum he had borrowed. After paying $13 for a train ticket he had $7 to start a new life.
He saw an opportunity in off-patent ag chemicals and used his skills to start a totally new business formulating small volumes of
products for the local market in Malaysia.
He used his 1974 VW Beetle, which he still owns today, to drive around and service and build relationships with a growing customer base.
Move forward 40 years and Kenso Corporation today is a diverse, agriculturally focused business. A core trade in agri-chemicals has been joined by investments in plantations, fertilisers, food processing and property development.
Fifteen years ago, Kenneth Soh and his sons embarked on a strategy to become a significant player in Asia and Australasia.
The catalyst was the opening of a new stateof-the-art and ISO 2001 accredited formulation facility at the major Malaysian shipping port of Port Klang just outside the capital of Kuala Lumpur.
The factory, which runs a High Performance Liquid Chromatography based quality control and assurance system, has significant
capacity to produce various formulations of glyphosates, paraquat and phenoxy herbicides. Further expansion into insecticide and SC formulations has occurred over the years.
Kenso Agcare was established in Australia in 2001 at around the same time as the company set up in Indonesia and Thailand. A major acquisition in China followed in 2007.
Longevity and strong brand and quality integrity has not been the only means of Kenso’s success. Its relationships and value add
for its customers are the critical factor, according to general manager of Kenso Agcare Australia Rob Armstrong.
“Myself and operations manager Murray Goodlich met the Kenso management team way back in 2001 and agreed to embark on
an adventure to get Kenso off the ground in Australia.
“It has been an exciting ride and it is still exciting to see so much potential for Kenso in Australia and now NZ.”
Armstrong says the company has traditionally been very strong in herbicides for cropping land, pasture and brush control. It is
building an expanding portfolio of specialty horticultural products, including fungicides, which are well suited to the NZ market.
Already 17 products have been approved for use in NZ with more applications pending. Kenso’s distribution model of supplying
product through traditional distribution networks ensures farmers and growers have local field support and logistic, says NZ regional manager Andrew Fulford.
Looking ahead, he says Kenso is very focused on product development and differentiating its offer. Innovative formulations
and continuing development of WDG and SC products are part of the Kenso strategy.

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