Oct. 27, 2017
In a recent interview with AgroPages, Atul Churiwal, Managing Director of Krishi Rasayan Group, explained the group’s ambitions in detail.
AgroPages: Please briefly introduce the history and business of Krishi Rasayan Group.
Atul:Krishi Rasayan Group celebrated its Golden Jubilee last year, completing 50 glorious years. It is one of the leading crop protection players with a turnover of Rs. 1350 cr (USD 215 Million). It also has 8 multi-location plants in different parts of India and has 5 overseas subsidiaries.
The company has prioritized R&D and innovation, after establishing a GLP laboratory for both chemistry and toxicology. The company is now focusing on various combined products in all segments of the insecticide, fungicide and weedicide sectors.
The group has 23 branches around the country and 5,000 dealers. It also has its own brand sale of Rs. 600 cr (USD 95 million). We are now heavily focusing on expanding our presence overseas and registering our products in many countries, such as in Brazil, Argentina, Australia and African countries.
With its 8 formulation plants in 5 states in India, the group is confident that it can cater to the demand of the Indian market. We hope to begin technical production by 2018, and we are working actively to acquire some existing plants in both India and China. The target of the group by 2020 is to reach a turnover value of Rs. 2500 cr (USD 400 million).
AgroPages: To our knowledge, Krishi Rasayan Group is famous for its formulation products in India. Please tell us something about your formulation strategy for the domestic market, and what your plans are for the overseas market.
Atul: Krishi Rasayan Group has stood the test of time, traversing a long way from just being a small pesticide formulation unit to one of the most renowned agrochemical companies in India. India is an agricultural-based country, with 70% of its population relying on agriculture, so we are always making an effort to stand firm behind the farmers. The company’s products, such as Tarzan, Krilaxyl, Kritap and Paushak, have already gained tremendous recognition from local farmers, and are widely accepted across the country. For few products, they have gained significant market share, showing our strong marketing hold. . Our aim for the next 2 years is to reach a brand sale value of Rs. 1000 cr (USD 160 million). We are the only company in India running formulation plants in the west, north and east of the country, which will help us to reach local farming communities more rapidly with current production, thus providing longer shelf lives to the trade. For the overseas market, the company is collaborating with other related bodies to register our products in various countries, particularly in Latin America and Africa.
AgroPages: Krishi Rasayan Group has launched an OECD-certified GLP laboratory in 2015. What was the original intention and what are your advantages compared to so many CROs in Indian?
Atul: We are the only agrochemical company in India, apart from UPL, which has an in-house OECD GLP laboratory cum R&D Centre, with a facility for both chemistry and toxicology.
The laboratory is situated in a 9,000-square meter area and is equipped with latest technology, backed by a dedicated team of scientists. The company aims to become one of the leading international contract research organizations. The state of the art facility and sophisticated equipments make our laboratory unique in its class.
This will help us to develop and introduce off-patent molecules immediately on expiry. Also, with our continuous R&D work, we try to see how best we can service the farmers with the highest quality products.
AgroPages:This is the first year that your agrochemical department has reached a turnover of over Rs. 1100 cr, almost a 20% growth, so congratulations! The top 20 Indian agrochemical companies all performed well last year, what do you think about the prosperous and high consolidation India market?
Atul: The Indian agrochemical industry is growing at a rapid pace, resulting in the growth of all the leading agrochemical companies. We believe that the Indian market is poised to double over the next 5 to 7 years. We are therefore fairly confident that the growth of most of these companies will continue. In fact, these are exciting times for Indian agrochemical companies, as on the one hand, the market in India is growing, and on the other, with the challenges in China, there is a huge scope for manufacturing technical products that will increase our domestic trade and boost our exports.
AgroPages: What do you think about the controversial topics related to the Indian industry, such as changes to the registration, the implementation of GST, and the “Make in India” appeal from Prime Minister Modi? Some growth plans of Krishi Rasayan Group accordingly?
Atul: There are major changes happening in the Indian economy as a whole, as well as in the agrochemical industry. The most significant revolution was the implementation of GST on the July 1, 2017. This led to an initial fall in demand in June, but things have slowly returned to normal from August. Regarding the agrochemical sector, the Indian Government has introduced a new quota system and a lot of new restrictions for import have been made. We believe that this will lead to a lot of chaos and shortages, which will result in increased prices. It is still too early to tell what will happen in the long run, but it will give a leap to the indigenous technical manufacturers, who will definitely expand their manufacturing capacities.
Keeping the “Make in India” plan in our mind, we are also planning to set up our own technical plant, which will commence production by the end of 2018.
Reported by Terry Chow, business manager of AgroPages
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