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Ukrainian expertise in pets

The family-owned wholesale company NPP Suzirja has been operating in the Ukrainian pet business for 16 years and offers 25 international brands. The company also runs its own retail chain.
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Download: Ukrainian expertise in pets (PDF file)The business started up in 1992 with a 6 m² retail outlet in the centre of Kharkov, in central Ukraine. The very first purchases were transacted with Mars Russia and Nestlé Russia - the only pet companies that operated on Soviet territory in those years. Two years later, NPP Suzirja commenced its first imports from Poland. The first business milestone was in 1997, when in-house production of cereal food for birds and small animals started. Today the range under the brand name "Priroda" (English: Nature) comprises more than 1 000 items, including plastic feeding bowls, aquariums, small animal food, cushions and scratching trees. In 2001 the company embarked on direct distribution of exclusive brands and began cooperating with the German companies Tetra and Trixie - the beginnings of a strongly growing business.Vigorous developmentIn the years that followed, the range grew with the import of more well known brands: Juwel, Hagen, Rettenmaier, Hunter, Canina Pharma, Gimborn, Flexi, Aqua-Medic, Aqua El, Tropical and others. "For most of these brands we have exclusive conditions, while we share some with other companies but hold the top position in the market," says Polina Kosharna, head of import and marketing at NPP Suzirja. "We are now able to supply 80 per cent of average pet shop needs in the Ukraine." Today the company has more than 400 employees, warehouse facilities of 3 500 m² and an office area of 700 m². It handles a range of 12 000 items including 1 000 from in-house production.Due to the fact that logistics systems are not well developed in Ukraine, the company had to organise its own weekly delivery service to the customers. The decision was made to establish a weekly delivery schedule for ten routes, covering all regions of the country. NPP Suzirja is located in the eastern part of the country in Kharkov, the second largest city of Ukraine. The longest route to customers is approx. 1 200 km, which is managed by the truck in five days. "Every customer knows his delivery date and is consequently encouraged to place orders weekly," Polina Kosharna continues. 16 salespeople with regional responsibility work with the customers on individual delivery routes and provide service to more than 1 000 customers in all. Sales are also stimulated by active marketing of the company: Suzirja has its own national TV programme about pets, broadcast in nine regions of Ukraine.Retail know-howHaving started as a small…
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