Suaedi Sunanto: A Seasoned Professional In The Animal Health & Nutrition Industry


Suaedi Sunanto, CEO, Nutricell PacificThe animal nutrition market is estimated to reach $35,739.17 million by 2028, increasing at a 6.5 percent CAGR from 2021-2028. Growing animal health awareness, rising nutritional requirements of existing livestock and rising disposable income are driving the market's expansion. Animal nutrition contributes considerably to nutrient-efficient livestock production, promoting the safety and dietary quality of animal products for human consumption, and enhancing farm animal health and wellbeing. Suaedi Sunanto is a seasoned professional in this space who brings in more than 25 years of industry expertise, having played prominent roles in several organizations of repute. Suaedi Sunanto is the Chief Executive Officer of Nutricell, Indonesian animal nutrition, and health company. Nutricell is a market leader in feed premix and nutrition solutions backed by its long and valuable experience and good knowledge of customer and market demand, regulations, and industry dynamics.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Suaedi Sunanto walks us through his professional traits as well as the unique positioning of Nutricell in the market.

Take us through your educational and professional background.

I graduated as an animal nutritionist in 1995 from IPB University in Bogor, Indonesia, and my MBA degree from INSEAD Business School in2012. On the professional front, I began my career in technical sales at Elanco Animal Health in 1995, and then joined BASF as a Sales Executive in 1999, after which I took the responsibility of New Business Development for ASEAN at BASF for Animal Nutrition Business from 2002-2006. In 2006, BASF decided to divest the premix business, which prompted me to join Nutreco. Subsequently, I started working for DSM Nutritional Products in 2009 as the manager of the animal nutrition business, and I left DSM in 2016 to take a position as Director for PT at Elanco Animal Health Indonesia. And finally, in 2018, I took up the role of the CEO at Nutricell.

Define Nutricell Pacific as an organization and its current position in the industry.

Nutricell is an Indonesian-based company active in animal nutrition and health. Our company has been establishing local premix production since 2015, and we can claim that Nutricell holds a prominent market share in animal feed premix. Our business is valued at $30 million since 2019 and has sustained a 12 percent growth rate, owing to our commitment to quality assurance and product innovation. Nutricell is the first Indonesian animal premix producer with GMP+ certification, demonstrating its dedication to supporting animal protein producers with worldclass quality and food safety standards.

Nutricell entered the companion animal market in 2021 by acquiring local production in east Java; by then, Nutricell had established itself as the sole Indonesian wet pet food company that adheres to GMP certification. And Nutricell has pledged to expand further by investing $6 million in a new production facility at Pasuruan Industrial Estate.

What are some of the most captivating difficulties you have encountered so far in your professional journey?

When I first started working in the animal nutrition and health industry, there was a clear division between animal health and animal nutrition. Human pharmaceutical firms such as Pfizer, Lilly, Merck, and others dominate the animal health sector, whereas chemical companies such as BASF, DSM, Evonik, and others dominate the animal nutrition domain. The challenge of a dearth of innovation in animal health, combined with regulations phasing out antibiotic growth promoters, has created a new landscape for the animal nutrition and health business. And the "border" between animal health and nutrition is evolving into an integrated industry. The animal nutrition and health industry's objective is to support animal protein production sustainably by utilizing limited resources and generating quality and safe animal products for all people. Consequently, global solutions to help animal protein producers do not always work; in another world, this industry needs more local solutions to support local animal producers. In this context, Nutricell developed a local solution based on Indonesian local resources such as plant extract based on mangosteen as potent antioxidant properties, and medium chain fatty acids based on palm oil. Nutricell also developed fat powder based on palm oil, as the most cost-effective energy and fat source for ruminants.

As the CEO, how are you planning to adopt new technologies to revolutionize the company’s services to be at par with current industry standards?

Science and technology, in my opinion, are essential drivers in the industry's ability to meet consumer demand. Nutricell has world-class lab services that can assist feed mills and farms with quality assurance and quality services. We provide significant technical support, with one of our primary areas of focus being feed formulation services. We are working on an online, cloud-based feed formulation system. Our feed formulation software includes lab services (for feed ingredient analysis) and an animal growth model. The internet/cloud-based technology enables users to create real-time online collaboration. By doing so, the user as purchaser, quality and lab services, and feed formulator can work together to build feed formulations that meet specific targets and conditions. The farm manager might change animal performance, which would result in an update to our growth model computation. In addition, our feed formulation system integrated nutrition parameters which will provide animal protein producers with not just the lowest cost for feed production, but also close measurement to create animal protein at the lowest feasible cost.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

The animal protein industry is crucial to feeding humans now and in the future. It is beneficial to human health and brain development. In another regard, the animal protein business confronted a sustainability challenge. Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal protein industry and shifting from fishery to aquaculture is one of our contributions to long-term food protein sustainability. Science and technology drive the growth of animal protein (including aquaculture); thus, we believe that animal nutrition and health innovation require collaboration between industrial players, research institutions, and local innovators who can sustainably contribute to animal protein production.

Suaedi Sunanto is a techno-commercial specialist mainly in the industry of animal nutrition and health with more than 25 years of industry expertise, having played prominent roles in several organizations of repute.

• Hobbies: Diving

• Favorite Cuisine: Thai Food

• Favorite Book: Simon Sinek’s book (Start with Why; Leader East Last)

• Favorite Travel Destination: Raja Ampat

• Awards & Recognition: IPB Alumni award for Entrepreneurship 2021

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