Client Interview: KUBO Full Service Grow Concepts
TABS spoke with KUBO’s Mario Verbraeken, Business Development & Sales Manager USA, about doing business in the United States.
Can you explain what KUBO does?
In one sentence, we provide Full Service Grow Concepts. High-tech Controlled Environment glass greenhouse solutions enabling production of fresh produce all over the world.
The world’s population is seeing rapid growth. Growth that is using up our planet’s natural resources: energy sources are drying up, and water is becoming scarce. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for better food safety, CO2 emission reductions, and locally-produced products. All developments that are forcing us to look further. To take action. When it comes to cultivation, for example. How can it be that food grown on one side of the country is consumed on the other side? Or that food is being eaten whose origins are not fully known? We believe these are challenges that can be addressed with greenhouse innovation and high-tech solutions. Smart solutions to help you grow that are already at your disposal. For growing a better world.
How long has KUBO been around and who is your target audience?
KUBO was founded in The Netherlands in 1945 and expanded to the U.S. 2 decades ago.
Our target audience in the U.S. is large growers and investors, enablers such as State Governments and Universities.
It is our mission to make growing in greenhouses as easy as possible through high-tech solutions that simultaneously ensure maximum return. We do this through our Full Service Grow Concepts: revolutionary total solutions that provide you with everything you need. From analysis of your situation to feasibility studies. From the construction and implementation of your fully-automated greenhouse to extensive support through training, expert advice, and operational control. For a greenhouse project that precisely meets your specific needs and local conditions. Anywhere in the world.
Why did you come to America, and what’s your focus here?
Out of market demand; for Dutch Controlled Environment Agriculture knowledge and experience. We focus on promotion, education, and business development resulting in sales. We work nationwide with the east coast as a developing area.
The U.S. is a land of extremes and a land of possibilities. It has so many different climates, soil structures, altitudes, and weather conditions. But all these different conditions also mean limitations in terms of food production. Not everywhere is there access to natural fresh water. Not everywhere is there sufficient available labor. Not everywhere are temperatures constant. Are these problems? Of course not. It is the ability to find solutions to challenges of this kind that has made America the land it is today.
At KUBO we have a similar mentality. We absolutely believe that state-of-the-art greenhouse horticulture and cultivation can be a significant part of the answer to these challenges and developments. And that with the right knowledge and technology, we can enable enterprises worldwide to produce for their own market. Thus reducing food miles and CO2 emissions while enhancing food safety. More output with less input from natural resources.
What are your lessons learned and tips for fellow entrepreneurs?
In a nutshell, what worked well when coming to America was open audience. What didn’t was sticking to Dutch culture and habits. We didn’t foresee inexperienced parties intervening and making straight business complex. Our most important tip for fellow entrepreneurs would be to lose the Dutch (European) business paradigm.
The U.S. is the land of opportunities. But be patient and respectful. Don’t aim to earn money on the first day. Prepare to be in for the long run.