For Maredo founder Marinus Reincke, expanding his Dutch-based business into Asia was essential. With the golfing markets stagnating in Europe and the United States, Reincke set his sights on new horizons for his company which develops and distributes innovative turf maintenance machines.
“We realised that the Asian market would be very important for us, because there are so many high-end golf courses in the region and maintenance is the key factor to keeping them at that level,” said Reincke.
“Golf has been under pressure in Europe and America for several years and we knew the game was in better shape in Asia. That was primarily the reason why Maredo decided to invest in an Asian distributor network.”
As many companies from outside Asia have discovered to their cost, that is easier said than done.
“Getting an introduction into Asia is not easy. More than in Europe and America, you need to know the right people,” acknowledged Reincke, whose research led him to the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“In Asia, I quickly discovered that you have to build a network. People want to get to know you before they start doing business. It’s not only the machines, it’s more the people behind the machines. And that takes time,” continued Reincke, who signed up Maredo as an Associate Business Member of the AGIF in 2014.
It was not long before Maredo began to reap the benefits. Membership of the Federation not only provided opportunities to network with industry figures in Asia but also to attend and participate in a selection of the turf grass seminars and field days that the AGIF annually organises and stages.
Reincke said: “The Asian Golf Industry Federation has helped us in building our network. Through the field days, we made contacts who then got to know us and our products.
“Customers then become aware of our new, sustainable maintenance machines and understand how they can help them to keep their courses in the best condition.
“It all takes time and we’re still working on it. But with the help of the AGIF and its field days, we are constantly extending our network and getting to know more people.”
Before setting up Maredo shortly after the turn of the millennium, Reincke was the Chief Engineer of the world’s leading deep tine aerator, which was invented by his father in the 1970s.
Reincke said: “Maredo’s mission was to develop professional turf maintenance machines that would do the job faster, cleaner and in a more sustainable manner.
“Over the years, we have developed a nice range of maintenance machines, of which 8o per cent are sold to golf courses worldwide.”
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It’s always been among the objectives of the Federation to provide educational programmes – special events, seminars and workshops – and materials to meet the diverse educational needs of our membership base and external stakeholders.
“It’s also important to provide access to the Federation’s networking platform of decision-makers in the Asian golf industry to all members.
“We’re delighted that Marinus and Maredo have seen the benefits available to companies from all corners of the globe who are looking to break into the Asian marketplace.
“As the Federation heads towards its 10th anniversary, we look forward to supporting our ever-growing membership base with more events and networking opportunities.”
Asian Golf Industry Federation www.agif.asia