Andre Oliveira: Revolutionizing Farming from Vision to Reality

Andre Oliveira Revolutionizing Farming from Vision to Reality The Enterprise World

Entrepreneurs hold crucial roles in driving steady profits and steering the growth of their enterprises, defining the business’s trajectory and desired brand image. They must adeptly pinpoint community needs, conceive innovative ideas, spearhead the establishment and ongoing evolution of their ventures, and constantly seek new avenues for improvement and expansion. Andre Oliveira, Founder and Director of CENTRIGO™ Farming Ecosystem is enthusiastic about farming and desires to make it a profitable profession for Farmers.   CENTRIGO(™) offers a one-stop shop for products and services for a personalized farming experience. Farmers can access data to make informed decisions and connect to buyers for peace of mind.

Crafting the Future of Farming

Andre Oliveira is a seasoned global executive with 30 years of experience in multinational corporations within the Agritech sector, specializing in crop protection, seeds, biologicals, and related technologies. He has demonstrated success in driving industry progress by spearheading innovative business models and contributing to impactful agendas. His experience spans startup leadership to senior roles in R&D, regulatory affairs, sales, marketing, and business development. Andre is proficient in leading large teams across diverse and complex socio-political and economic landscapes in Asia Pacific, China, South America, Europe, and North America.

Being recognized for fostering diverse talent, and cultivating conducive team environments, Andre embraces challenges with analytical and strategic acumen. Moreover, he possesses strong negotiation skills, problem-solving abilities, and a collaborative approach to achieving objectives with stakeholders. He identifies customer needs, encourages innovation, and delivers tailored solutions. 

Andre Oliveira is a visionary and transformational leader in the realms of Agribusiness and Biotechnology. He practices agile leadership and has applied this successfully in many cases of change management in his career. Beyond his technical skills, he is known for his remarkable ability to inspire and bring out the best in everyone around him, fostering a culture of excellence and innovation within his teams.

As a role model and mentor to many in his organization, Andre Oliveira has shown strong acumen and shared his experience across general management skills, customer experience enhancement, corporate venture development, startup management, M&A and P&L management. 

Feeling for farming – a desire to make it a profitable profession

Andre Oliveira, hailing from a small city in Brazil’s Minas Gerais State, was raised amidst small-scale farming. Born into a family of lawyers, his passion for agriculture was ignited early on. Spending time on friends’ farms, he witnessed the challenges faced by small-scale farmers in running profitable operations due to limited access to technology. This experience fueled Andre’s desire to make a positive impact on farming through technological solutions in the future.

Entrepreneurial Leadership in Agriculture

Andre completed his Agronomy studies at the Federal University of Lavras before pursuing a Master’s in Plant Protection at Vicosa Federal University, both located in rural Minas Gerais, Brazil. With a deep understanding of farmer needs, he saw the potential for impactful change by joining large corporations capable of transforming agriculture. While studying, he engaged in product development projects with multinationals like Sandoz and Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Upon graduation, he joined ICI, later transitioning to Zeneca after its foundation.  Later on, Zeneca  merged with Novartis to form Syngenta Crop Protection.  Embracing the opportunities brought by these changes, Andre Oliveira eagerly contributed to developing impactful solutions for the future of farming.

In addition to his professional journey, Andre pursued two MBAs in Marketing/Financing and Marketing/Administration. He transitioned into commercial roles, eventually becoming Head of Seedcare for Syngenta in Latin America. Progressing through diverse leadership positions across Europe, North America, and globally, he later served as the regional Head of Crop Protection Development in APAC & China. In 2021, leveraging his global experience, Andre Oliveira founded the New Farming Ecosystem (NFE) unit, introducing CENTRIGO™ Farming Ecosystem to enhance farmer productivity and profitability in APAC through innovative business models with Syngenta.

“Farming is my passion and finding ways to move agriculture forward, in these trying times, is something that I enjoy.”

Andre Oliveira

Farmer Centric Ecosystem 

CENTRIGO™ operates as a farmer-centric ecosystem, providing end-to-end solutions to address major challenges faced by farmers and enhance their income. Its mission involves modernizing agriculture by linking farmers to financing, right inputs, services, and access to market through both physical and digital channels. The team at CENTRIGO™ is dedicated to promoting sustainability in food and farming. By empowering farmers to boost their productivity and profitability, CENTRIGO(™)aims to elevate the profession that sustains the food supply.

By promoting sustainable agricultural practices and minimizing inefficiencies in the food production chain, CENTRIGO™ is spearheading the modernization of agriculture, ultimately making farming a more lucrative venture. In its first year, it supported a small group of farmers in each country, learning from their feedback to refine its model before expanding into new geographies. By 2023, it had established partnerships with over 60 entities ranging from local startups to leading MNCs, set up 35 centers, and implemented digital tools to serve farmers at scale across the region.

This initiative is a unique opportunity to give back to farmers who have limited or no access to the resources needed for managing a successful farm, such as specialized machinery, high-quality inputs, financial support and access to markets. We can help them to run successful and resilient farms

Andre Oliveira

Inspiring Change through Innovation

Driven by passion, the dedicated entrepreneurs behind CENTRIGO(™) took significant risks to develop an idea aimed at improving the lives of millions of smallholder farmers in Asia Pacific. Their commitment to creating solutions for farmers led to the establishment of a comprehensive farmer-centric ecosystem, facilitating the modernization of farming practices and the enhancement of profitability for farmers in the region. The team comprises diverse individuals capable of executing various tasks, collaborating effectively, and prioritizing shared goals. These people personally connect with the concept of “profit-for-purpose.” 

“The CENTRIGO(™) team is deeply committed to uplifting farmers’ income, while also prioritizing regenerative agriculture practices and generating profits for the company.”.

Andre Oliveira
Andre’s career spans various roles and achievements:
Started as a field biologist in Brazil and rapidly grew in the organization and became a senior executive, living in 7 countries, leading complex operations and impactful projectsNotable highlights – creating new markets:Launching a new insecticide for  soybean seed treatment in Brazil as a “Vigor & Yield” enhancero   Discovered product provided vigor to soy plants, boosting productivity by 3-5%o   Inspired the team to challenge the known and pivot to showcase the “Vigor & Yield” benefits, positioning the product as relevant for total growing area (20 million hectares of soybean crop at that time), enlarging the playing field by 10x as compared to a traditional positioning to target insects, which was a concern in only 10% of the growing areao   Commercially launched CRUISER® in 2003, which achieved over$50 million in sales after two seasons o   The idea expanded globally, earning Andre the “SyngentaPurpose Global Award”, the highest innovation recognition in the company Introducing the first ever seed treatment nematicide for field crops – A breakthrough innovation in seed treatmentSetting the standard in seed-delivered insect, disease and first ever nematode control, for a simple, safe and more convenient start to healthy, higher yielding crops.  Andre introduced AVICTA Complete® technology disrupting the market and rapidly displacing old chemistries, treating more than 50 million acres of cotton, soybean and corn areas and surpassing $300 million in sales in the Americas and South Africa since its launch.  

Andre Oliveira Revolutionizing Farming from Vision to Reality  The Enterprise World

Throughout his career, Andre led multicultural teams, from large R&D functions to innovative startup-like teams within corporations, driving new models like CENTRIGO™. As a  Brazilian coffee producer himself, Andre Oliveira plans to dedicate more time to farming, focusing on building a renowned brand that focuses on sustainably producing premium coffee for export to Asia and Europe. 

Andre’s Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs: 
Creating a new business is iterative. Identify the problem clearly, then validate your solution with Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and feedback from customers. Incorporate learnings agilely to refine your value proposition before scaling up.Entrepreneurial success requires qualities like tenacity, resilience, and emotional regulation in the face of uncertainty. Visionary entrepreneurs challenge norms and embrace failure as a learning opportunity and innovate to continuously create value and differentiate in the market.Don’t go at it alone; seek mentorship to accelerate your learning and business development journey.

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