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Tagros: Ambition to Be USD 1 Billion Generic Giantqrcode

Nov. 4, 2022

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Nov. 4, 2022

2.gifTagros is one of the fastest growing agrochemical companies within the industry in India. Aided by an agile production system and complete backward integration, they took the market leadership position in most of the products they manufacture, such as Sulfentrazone, Pyriproxifen, Clothianidin and Pyrethroids. Jobi Eapen, Global Sales Head of Tagros told Agropages in this interview about their sales performance in domestic and overseas markets, planning for new products launch, as well as how Tagros is aiming to be a USD 1 billion player by FY 2025-26.


How do you comment on Tagros's sales performance in FY2021-22? How has Tagros performed compared to the overall development of the Indian agrochemical industry?

India, a USD 6 Billion Agrochemical market, is also among the top 5 agrochemical producers of the world. With a total area under cultivation of Approx 200 million hectares, the Indian market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8–10%. Tagros' performance last fiscal was good and in line with its growth plans. It still remains one of the fastest growing agrochemical companies within the industry, with a clear focus on producing active ingredients with total backward integration and minimum dependency on imports (less than 5%).

What is the production and sales performance of your key pesticide business, such as pyrethroid products and sulfentrazone?

Our goal predominantly has been to be a significant manufacturer in the world for the products which we get into. We aim to take market leadership position in most of the actives we manufacture. While we continue to have a leadership position on products like Sulfentrazone, Pyriproxifen, Clothianidin, 2022-23 will witness Tagros taking a leadership position on Pyrethroids as well. We have built an extremely agile production system which helps us in scaling up the volumes significantly faster. Complete backward integration helps us in achieving this task with ease. With 4 manufacturing locations across India, I think we have a task cut out and I am hopeful of achieving the projected growth. New manufacturing sites for off patented molecules are being set up with large scale designed capacities, though the initial output would be smaller. Scaling up shall become easier on a future date.


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On the sales front, we achieved USD 320 Million in the FY 21-22 and our projections for FY 22-23 are with the usual CAGR of 30%. New Actives and increased capacities will help up in achieving the same. Diverse presence in the Non-Crop businesses and major investments in regulated markets continue to augment our bottomlines.

Where are your main exporting countries (regions)? What is the percentage of sales in each region of total revenue?

Tagros’ focus has always been export market oriented. However, in the recent past, we have started to expand our presence in the domestic B2B business as well. We prefer to partner with strategic clients in India. Our Domestic to Export ratio has grown to 25:75 from earlier 10:90. Latam and APAC continue to be key markets for Tagros. With a robust product pipeline for the next four financial years, we aim to be a USD 1 Billion player by FY 25-26.

Can you talk more about Tagros' performance in Latin America, the market on which you have high hopes? What changes have you observed in the Latin American market that are conducive to the further development of Indian companies in this market?

Tagros’s performance in the Latam Markets continues to be robust. This is one of the important markets for the industry in general too. The growth potential for this region remains very positive for Indian companies and exporters. Focus on new actives combined with new regulatory guidelines will make it more conducive for manufacturers. Latam will continue to attract major investments from Indian manufacturers, as several new actives are coming out of patent in the next 5 years, which will surely fuel the growth.


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What is the progress of Tagros' IPO plan?

Tagros has deferred its IPO, considering the volatility in the world. Though we have been growing extremely well and our projections are quite robust for the future, we felt it was prudent to postpone the same for the time being.

When do you reckon that the agrochemicals will be included in the Production Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme? How will the agrochemical industry benefit from PLI scheme? Will Tagros take this opportunity to initiate production projects on key pesticide intermediates?

Honestly we were expecting the PLI scheme earlier. We understand that the government has been working on collection of data and statistics, to identify the right product candidates for the scheme. Even today, almost 70% of the industry depends on imported products and hence the PLI scheme has the potential to change the overall mindset of the industry - from import dependency to self reliance (manufacturing a large % of its requirements in India). Tagros is keenly waiting for the government's announcements on this front and will explore opportunities as soon as the list of products are announced under this PLI scheme.

We noticed that Tagros is also developing some biological solutions and integrated nutrition management businesses. How do you see the development and prospects of these businesses?

The world is moving towards judicious use of crop protection chemicals and integrated pest management solutions. Biologicals or Products from Natural origin based on Nutrition Use Efficiency (NUE) will be one of the key ingredients that will drive the industry towards adoption of such practices. This can be a fast-growing business vertical for the industry. We have some unique products which are under trials and plan to increase our focus on this segment in the coming years.


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What new products will Tagros launch in the near future?

Pyrethroids has been the mainstay for Tagros until we diversified into Herbicides in 2016.Today we have a balanced product portfolio, as we speak. We recently started manufacturing Clothianidin on a complete backward integrated platform, for specific segments, which continue to show great potential. We have re-entered into fungicides with Difenoconazole as we obtained regulatory approvals in major markets. Apart from these, we have 4 new actives coming up over the next 2-3 years, which will strengthen our insecticides and herbicides portfolio significantly. Major investments have been initiated for a state of the art large R&D Centre near Chennai which will focus primarily on Contract Manufacturing, and we have made some serious inroads into this segment, which currently is very Niche and restricted to only a few players. Tagros is offering itself as a reliable partner for Multinationals to manufacture its patented molecules in India under the ″Make in India″ initiative of the Government of India.

What would be Tagros strategy for new product launches? Are these being introduced in India? If yes, how does Tagros plan to gain advantage by being a pure B to B Player?

Since 2018, Tagros has started taking interest in the domestic market. Domestic B to B business contributed below 5% to our turnover until 2018. Today the domestic share has increased to 20% and continues to grow. We have expanded our partnerships in India and have associated with partners on a strategic level. We developed an extremely experienced product stewardship team whose complete focus is to take trials of various straight formulations as well as combinations on wide range of crops. We have even patented some of the formulation combinations globally. We share our knowledge with our industry partners as a service and provide access to our patented formulations. We have FTAs appointed across India to conduct and monitor field trials on various new molecules and their respective combinations. These efforts are purely to improve product pipeline for the next 5 years. It gives us immense clarity in terms of Bioefficiacy, Phytotoxicity concerns, dosage optimization vs cost feasibility to a farmer, Regulatory challenges etc. This detailed framework allows us to zero down on molecules for the future. We don’t restrict this stewardship programme to India alone. We carry this knowledge to other countries and our product stewardship team travels globally to conduct similar trials in various crops across the world. The Knowledge sharing helps us to build a stronger connect with clients worldwide.


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India's agrochemical industry is currently in a phase of rapid growth, and previous experience suggests that the rapid expansion of the industry may bring some environmental concerns. How do you think Indian companies should balance growth and sustainability in the context of global efforts to control carbon emissions?

Environmental measures and concerns are part and parcel of any high growth industry. With India being poised for high growth of its economy over the next decade, companies in India will have to be more mindful. The biggest change needed is in their culture and approach towards HSE. This is no longer an area which needs to be ″thought″ about. HSE is a necessity and companies that don't practice it will not remain relevant in India's high growth story.


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Is the China+1 story going to become a reality in light of the problems being seen in the different parts of the world?

For the last 2 decades, China has drawn a lot of attention due to its low production costs and enormous domestic consumer markets. As supply chain diversification becomes a necessity, many other countries like India shall stand to benefit. India has made strides in improving its ease of doing business, the altered situation on account of a conducive business environment and incentivizing government policies. The government has also taken decisive measures like reducing corporate taxes, to incentivize domestic production.


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On the agrochemical front, I think we will continue to see increased investments from Multinationals and other investors into India, which continues to offer a Stronger IP Control than China. Major partnerships on CMS projects have already landed with Indian companies and many more will continue to follow. Research and Quality driven companies who have a strong HSE focus will stand to benefit. Tagros which has over 50% of turnover purely from Multinationals, will continue to be a reliable and strategic partner for Multinationals.

How concerned is Tagros about the EUs decision to ban several pesticides owing to new regulations?

I am confident that EU will reconsider its decision on some of the products owing to the recent developments. The new polices could affect the Agricultural production in Europe and thereby raising food security concerns. We appreciate banning of harmful chemicals which have grave impact on the environment, and this is precisely the reason why we are focusing more on green chemistries which have a larger window of commercialization. Even for Biocides, The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) is surely evaluating molecules scientifically and sets criteria for substances that are persistent, bio accumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bio accumulative (vPvB). Companies have an option to generate additional studies and support the extension of products in Agriculture as well as Biocidal applications. Tagros in partnership with various European companies as well as Multinationals, continue its efforts to conduct trials and generate data to address the concerns. Such a joint and collaborative approach helps the governing bodies to reconsider some of the decisions based on scientific dialogue and data exchange. We don’t see any challenges in the immediate future, however we are vary of the regulations and continue our efforts to address the same. 


This article was initially published in AgroPages' '2022 India Focus' magazine.


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