Cypher Environmental was recently featured in the MBiz magazine, a publication of the Winnipeg Free Press. Read the article by Nancy Boomer below. The online version of the publication can also be viewed here.
Building Connections – World Trade Centre Helps Pave Road to Success by Nancy Boomer
Cypher Environmental Ltd. President Todd Burns tried several avenues to gain success to the lucrative Brazilian mining market before discovering the road to success started at home – at the World Trade Centre Winnipeg. Cypher designs and manufactures dust control, soil stabilization and water-treatment products that are sold through a network of distributors across 30 countries.
The company saw significant growth after it shifted its focus to the mining industry a few years back. Previously, it promoted its products for general road improvements, as well as for wastewater remediation.
“Our focus on water treatment is still fairly broad as the products we sell are tailored to be applicable to a wide variety of applications,” Burns says. “However, we realized that a few years ago that the mining industry produced a huge demand for our products, and they could afford to pay the premium associated with environmentally friendly and, in most cases, cost-effective alternatives.”
Focusing on mining and other industries that use private roads and heavy, expensive vehicles gave Cypher a deeper understanding of mining so it could design its marketing approach and product development to serve this niche market.
“We have not abandoned sales to other markets or industries as we do have distributors in countries where mining is almost non-existent and we are still successful,” Burns says. “In fact, the increased revenues we have generated through sales in the mining industry have helped us serve other markets better.”
Despite its success, acquiring a distributor to help access the mining industry in Brazil proved to be challenging. “Brazil being one of the fastest-emerging Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) countries, with a huge emphasis on mining, made it an attractive target for us,” Burns says. “As the fifth largest country by land mass in the world, with over 90% of its roads being unpaved, Brazil presents us with huge opportunities for both road improvements and dust application products.
“We have already had great success in other parts of South America, such as Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, so it made sense for us to target Brazil, the largest economy in South America.” It was a meeting with WTC Winnipeg representative at the 2012 Centrallia business match-making forum that ultimately provided the solution.
“The WTC Winnipeg connected us with WTC Sao Paulo” Burns says.
Cypher was able to find a distributor in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais, the state where most of Brazil’s mining takes place.
Just a few weeks after his initial meetings with Brazilian executives at a company called Asperminas, Burns was back in Belo Horizonte to strengthen hi working relationship with the firm. The two companies joined forces at the largest mining event in Latin America – Exposibram 2013 – where they officially launched the promotion of their products to the mining industry.
Virgine De Visscher is a project manager with the WTC Winnipeg, created in partnership with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. She says co-ordinating international connections that lead to productive partnerships is what the network is all about.
“There are more than 300 world trade centres around the world, operating in 100 countries. Together, they form the World Trade Centres Association, a great reliable business to business global network.”
WTC Winnipeg led a trade mission to the Philippines in September with the support of the Manitoba Filipino Business Council. And in early November, it led a mission to the Netherlands with Manitoba business executives who, like Todd Burns, hoped to make the kinds of connections that spell success in any language.