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Stepan Exhibiting at PCHi 2012


SHANGHAI—In an effort to reinforce its presence and build its brand within the Chinese market, Stepan, a global manufacturer of specialty and intermediate chemicals for consumer products and industrial applications, is joining the international trade show, Personal Care and Homecare Ingredients (PCHi), for the first time in 2012, held at in Shanghai at the World Expo Theme Pavilion, Feb. 27 to 29, 2012.

Twenty years ago, the Chinese cosmetics and toiletries (C&T) market wielded little influence because the country offered few growth opportunities. But since China opened its economic gates, local businesses have been flourishing and international businesses have been flocking over. Within the last decade, the Chinese C&T market has gained much importance, and is now the third largest in the world.

“Surfactants comprise 70 percent of our chemical offerings," said David Rao, country manager, Stepan China, surfactants. "Stepan has a strong reputation in the United States and Europe, and is a leading supplier of surfactants. Our positive standing in these regions has gained us clients like Procter & Gamble and Unilever."

Recognizing the Potential of the Chinese C&T Market

Stepan set up a representative office in Shanghai in 2007. Initially, the company participated in a local trade show in hopes of better spreading the word about its entry into the domestic market. However, investment in the country was slowed a few years later when Stepan’s global headquarters decided to focus business in North America.

Then as China opened up further in the late 2000s, suppliers of personal care and homecare ingredients began to realize that the country had much to offer. The Chinese C&T market began to flourish as a result. Stepan recognized the potential for growth within the sector.

“We focused our efforts on strengthening our business in America for many years because it was the right thing to do then," Rao said. “But as China’s economic gates flung wider, Stepan realized there was a huge potential for growth in this emerging market. Our current focus on China is in line with our corporate strategy to be a global company. We have a good foundation in the US and Europe, so now it’s time to pay more attention to Asia. And China being the world’s second largest economy is an excellent and natural entry point for Stepan."

In selecting the most suitable trade show, Stepan sought the opinions of its customers, many of which recommended PCHi based on their prior experiences. The event runs its fifth edition in 2012 and positive industry feedback about the quality and execution of the event over the initial few years had been on a steady increase. Stepan’s clients shared that it was their go-to event and the most reputable marketing platform for the personal care and homecare ingredients industry.

“We wanted an exhibition that had good standing." Rao said. "Our customers spoke highly of PCHi. We also found the show had the reputation of being the number-one industry event. This confirmed our decision to participate in the 2012 edition of the trade show. This will hopefully be a strong signal to the industry that we are committed to growing in China and across the region, and are devoted to our clients’ needs."

Plans for the Trade Show

At PCHi 2012, Stepan’s key focus will be on re-establishing its name in the Chinese market. The company hopes with the numerous Chinese manufacturers that visit the trade show, it will be able to effectively spread word about its commitment to the domestic market.

In addition to holding meetings with visitors to introduce Stepan, the company will also consider providing speakers for the PCHi Conference. Stepan believes the sessions will be a good way to educate conference attendees about its surfactants, and as an additional avenue to build its image and recognition within the Chinese market.

Stepan plans to educate visitors about its surfactants at PCHi. Its surfactants are used in numerous personal care and homecare products.

Beyond PCHi 2012

In an effort to demonstrate its commitment to the Chinese C&T market, Stepan plans to expand its investment in the country to eventually manufacture surfactants domestically. Additionally, the company intends to continue its brand building efforts, and moving forward, is likely to participate in PCHi annually.

“Stepan is looking to be at PCHi every year, beginning with the 2012 edition," said Rao. “This will enforce our message that we are serious about doing business in China, and our continued presence will strengthen the Stepan name in the industry. In the meantime, we have had a positive working relationship with RSE, and are looking forward to our first PCHi. We anticipate that the trade show will really help to boost our reputation."


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