An entrepreneur from Nouvelle-Beauce, who sold his technology to huge Chinese farms, broke into this complex market by imposing his programs in a simple way to avoid imitating his competitors.
“We are still a late generation of products in China. In this way, if there is a copy close to ours, we are reaching a new generation that is more efficient, and they have to start over,” magazine Alain Lefebvre, President of Jyga Technologies, in Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon, on the southern shore of Quebec.
Founded in 1994, Jyga Technologies took its current form when Alain Lefebvre bought the company of eight in 2004 to transform it into a tech-savvy SME with over a hundred employees.
Today, its feeders can be found in about thirty countries, including China, in the mega-six-story farms of the giant Tianzow or Han Swine Group, which alone have more than 100,000 seeds, or a third of the total number of seeds. It is found in all of Quebec.
“Of the Chinese copies, five copies should appear a year. It lasts six months and they disappear,” continues Alan Lefevre, the company’s shareholder with his brother Donald, who has three employees there permanently.
Genius is victorious here
As small businesses in Quebec compete for the doorstep of China to conquer this lucrative market, Jyga Technologies has beaten it on its soil with the genius of Quebec.
“Our electronic cards, our design and our IT development, everything is 100% done in our factory in Saint-Lambert. We store our knowledge here,” explains Alain Lefèvre proudly.
But the conquest of the Middle Empire did not happen overnight.
It took years of trial and error before he succeeded in unlocking the secrets of a country that is pouring massive sums into gigantic facilities to ensure its food independence.
We’ve been working in China for eight years. We fixed our noses. We started over. According to him, although China has no shortage of cheap labor, its growth is so fast that it is constantly thirsty for experience.
The challenge of proving yourself
But before it could succeed in China, Russia and the US, Jyga Technologies had to prove itself here, in a world where some were reluctant to introduce tech gadgets into their midst.
“At the time, people in the agricultural community thought that robotic feeding systems looked like a product from Mars, but I saw an opportunity there,” he said. Alan Lefevre remembers.
At the time, the seeders had to be manually fed six to eight times a day, which left little time for the producers to be with their children on the weekends. To solve this problem, chose Automation.
“We started at 5 in the morning. We finished at 10 in the evening,” recalls the businessman, himself a pig farmer. Today, their power systems are designed to be easy to use.
The man working on new machines concludes: “In the United States, our clients work a lot with migrant workers, who sometimes don’t have the opportunity to read or write, so we have to adapt our equipment.”
► Jyga Technologies is a family business of Alain Lefebvre, a third-generation pork producer with his brother Donald, from Ferme Aldo. The Lefebvre brothers acquired Jyga Technologies (who makes the Gestal product) in 2004.
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