Strength through sponsorship networking Supply chain solutions f 8 What's NewS Issue 2 March 2000 Sending the right message. That's what sponsorship is all about. A growing commitment to profiling Rabobank as more than a top financial services provider has prompted an increased effort in our capacity as sponsor. You'll find our name on the shirts of top international sport teams and attached to conferences that attract major sector players. But what message are we sending? What's NewS takes a look at the signals. Top sector Leading the field inuia The last ten years have seen RI's partic- ipation in food and agri conferences and seminars increase rapidly. And our commitment to this key F&A niche is demonstrated and strengthened through sponsorship. As sponsor in the sector, the bank primarily supports two kinds of events: an external organization's or asso- ciation's conference, where we offer cer- tain financial and knowledge-based sup port (see sidebar: Supply chain solutions), and RI's own annual global conference. In Rabo India recently played both an advisory and sponsorship role in India, cooperating with the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry to bring 'Agricorp India 2000' to life in Mura- bai. In keeping with the theme of this highly prestigious conference, 'Corpora- tization of Agriculture in India', our sec tor specialists were asked to suggest models for corporate intervention that would unleash the large potential in In- dian agribusiness. 'The possibilities are there due to a coming liberalization of the market, however, this will mean more competition from multinational companies,' says Arend Heijbroek, both cases, we have an ideal opportunity to profile RI as a specialist in the sector. We're able to 'show off' our inhouse knowhow and expertise by making presentations, providing indepth studies. Taking part in conferences and seminars, whether Rl-initiated or otherwise, keeps us up-to-date with current developments in F&A, and creates valuable links with the Rabobank name. When the bank is asked to sponsor an event, it must take into account several factors. 'Everyone is always looking for sponsors,' says Frans van Bijster- veld who heads up food and agribusiness research (FAR). 'But we want to be selective and focused in our participation. A conference with a global focus in the food and agri sector, attracting top players and potential clients, that's where we want to be. And we always want the opportunity to send a speaker - this is where we show the audience the level of knowledge and understanding that we have.' Sending speakers and industry analysts helps RI profile itself as the leading F&A bank, delivering top-level reports on sector trends and strategies. 'Go into any F&A conference, and try to find out how many bankers are presenting. If you find one, it's probably someone from Rabobank.' The impact of our participation and spon soring of conferences has started to take on a life of its own. In fact, RI is being approached for informa- tion traditionally provided by non-financial organiza- tions. 'Companies every- where are looking for con- sultants and advisory services,' says Van Bijster- veld. 'What we are hearing more often these days, is that if they are looking into specific issues in F&A, like current trends and strate gies, companies are coming to RI for advice. You would be hard pressed to find a consultant with the same depth of understanding and knowledge. Sponsor ship helps us profile ourselves as this knowledge resource and sharpen our com- petitive edge.' Van Bijsterveld recalls his experience at a recent conference where he was a speaker: 'The chairman of the meeting told me he learned more by invit- ing someone from Rabobank than he had picked up from a very expensive consul tant. He said he should have come to us first - and he probably will next time.' loBtay CV"™' deputy head of FAR, and one of the speak ers at the conference. Heijbroek and other experts have deter- mined the need for organization and struc ture in the industry (especially regarding cold-chain infra- structure) as well as financial resources; the reasoning behind making corpora- tions players in the value added food chain. And carrying our advisory role further, Mark Lobo, director F&A advi sory, is involved in drafting a recom- mendation paper to the Indian govern- Advising and sponsoring corporate agriculture in Mumbai ment. Says Lobo: 'While the challenges are enormous, so is the opportunity to add value to both ends of the food chain - farmer and consumer. Corporates are best positioned to play a key role, and Rabobank is actively involved in this endeavour. In short, doing our bit to enable the next revolution to happen.' *1* w Frans van Bijsterveld: 'Everyone is always looking for sponsors.'

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