Mar. 7, 2016
|S. N. Gupta
CMD of Bharat Group
Mr. S. N. Gupta, Chairman cum Managing Director of Bharat Rasayan Ltd. (BRL) and other group companies, commonly known as Bharat Group, told AgroPages in the interview as to how they could outperform the competition under adverse market conditions and maintain a healthy growth.
Many companies in India couldn’t perform as expected in 2014-15 due to unfavourable monsoon. This was not the case with Bharat Group who achieved 25- 30% growth to $165 million in sales and figured in the list of Top 20 Indian Agrochemical Companies in the 2014 ranking released by AgroPages. BRL attributes this growth to their consistent pursuit of quality and business ethics.
“BRL could outperform the competition mainly on the strength of its working systems and professionalism,” Mr. Gupta says proudly. BRL’s S&OP facilitates advance planning and seamless working of supply chain and manufacturing functions. The value based negotiations and a reliable source base ensures uninterrupted supplies and ‘delighted’ customers in a seasonal business. And through substantial investment in machinery and plant automation, BRL plants had a near zero down time, considerably reduced manufacturing losses and improved operational efficiency. All the above initiatives coupled with agility in decision making enabled BRL to offer right price at right time in a short active selling season.
Four decades of service to agriculture
Bharat Rasayan together with other Group Companies, happen to be one of the largest manufacturers of technical grade pesticides, intermediates and formulations in India, serving the cause of Indian agriculture for more than 38 years. Group has earned many awards from Government in recognition of its performance and business standards.
BRL has two technical grade pesticides manufacturing facilities which are vertically integrated to manufacture products conforming to international standards. Group also has three formulation plants to cater to domestic and export markets and command a loyal customer base both at home and abroad.
BRL has a wide product portfolio covering insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and intermediates. The company has competitive advantage in synthetic pyrethroids and intermediates. This segment comprises around 80% of the company’s overseas sales.
The most popular products of BRL include alpha-cypermethrin, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-methyl, cypermethrin, ethion, fenvalerate, lambda-cyhalothrin, permethrin, phenthoate, thiamethoxam, clodinafop-propargyl, metribuzin and intermediate meta phenoxy benzaldehyde (MPBD) and meta phenoxy benzyl alcohol (MPBA). MPBD& MPBA are being exported to several transnational companies in sizeable quantities.
BRL is always committed to add new products in its pipeline. In the 2014-15 season, addition of new molecules like diafenthiuron and fipronil also contributed to growth in company’s turnover.
R&D boosts market expansion
Bharat Group is exporting technical grade pesticides and formulations to more than 65 countries around the globe. It has strong presences in Asia and Middle East which totally accounting for over 75% share of the company’s total export sales.
Bharat also has set foot in European, South American and African markets. But it has not registered any molecules in North America till date. “We are unable to find a suitable channel partner in this market till date. Further, we are not averse to North America and always look out for any worthwhile opportunities,” Mr. Gupta says.
Continent wise export
Export turnover of the company reached $30 million in 2014-15. By now, more than 200 products have been registered in various countries. Several multinationals have been sourcing their domestic and global requirement from Bharat and exporting the same to their subsidiaries in other countries.
When talking about market expansion, Mr. Gupta emphasized their R&D capacities in the first place. “R&D is at the core of our domestic as well as overseas market development efforts. Bharat has a Government approved R&D centre which provides strong backup support for the company’s growth initiatives.” The in-house R&D lab undertakes development of “newly out of patent molecules” and new combination formulations and their registrations. The lab could help to generate data for registration of various molecules and formulations.
Bharat spends approximately 1.5% of its income on R&D per year. The focus of R&D is on process upgradation for existing molecules, developing process technology for new molecules, process improvements resulting in lower cost, higher yields and scaling up the technology from lab to the manufacturing plant.
“We are making substantial investment for outsourcing GLP Data from accredited labs,” Mr. Gupta adds.
Besides outstanding R&D capacities, Bharat has forged alliances with international players for added foot prints.
Staying competitive for a sustainable growth
As a generic company, Bharat Rasayan is always facing the competitions from domestic and overseas players. Mr. Gupta sees competition as a way of life and thinks it will keep getting more intense.
Bharat Group believes that for a sustainable growth BRL strength lies in their core competitive advantages.
“First, our plants are based on state-of-art technology. Production capacity of technical is 20,000MT p.a. which helps us to meet the timely demand of our customers. All units are ISO 9001:2008, 14001:2004 & OHSAS 18001:2007 certified.”
BRL is known to be a well-managed company with financial discipline as a part of its DNA. There is a lot of thrust on cost management. “Without compromising on quality of manpower we have a lean and mean cost conscious organisation,”
Mr. Gupta explains. As a part of cost consciousness, BRL leverages on its scale and financial strengths for economies in sourcing raw material. All the above contributes to BRL capacity to offer market driven prices to its customer.
BRL has a high calibre dedicated team of professionals. The company is making investment for skill upgradation and development of its Human Resources. Their commitment and motivation is reflected in our result. Last but not the least, commitment to EHS is BRL’s biggest strength and adds a lot to the brand Bharat.
Bharat Group: an ideal partner
As mentioned before, Bharat Group is known to be an ethical corporate citizen with excellent technology and human capital. BRL plant located in approved chemical zone at Dahej (Gujarat) has spare capacity for insecticides, herbicides and intermediates. So BRL is an ideal partner for any long term alliance for any multinationals or a local company. It can be for sourcing or toll manufacturing of their molecules for catering to domestic and/or overseas market.
Bharat Insecticides Ltd. (BIL) and BR Agrotech two Group Companies have world class formulation facilities with a capacity of 25000 kls of liquids and 15000 mts of powders. All type of formulations viz. EC/ WP/ DP/ GR/ SL/SC/ DS/ WS/ FS/ WDG/ EW/ ME etc. are manufactured. BIL with a team of over 200 extension officers, 23 branch offices, 23 depots and a network of 4000 has its presence in every nook and corner of the country. It is also an ideal partner for developing and distribution of new molecules in the domestic market. The company has ambitious plans for gaining foot print in several geographies and is open to any partnership for registration and distribution of its products in those markets.
BR Agrotech is an ideal partner for several reputed companies for formulating and packing their products in their trade names. BR Agrotech being located in a tax advantaged state of J&K happens to be one of the most sought after partner for formulation and packing of high value molecules for the companies operating on low investment model of not having their formulation facility.