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Top 20 Indian Agrochemical Companies in FY 2021-22: Improved Core Competitive Edge to Accelerate Growthqrcode

Oct. 28, 2022

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Oct. 28, 2022
Christina Xie

Christina Xie

Editor in chief

AgroPages

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy experienced a swift recovery in 2021 with a robust demand revival. 


The global economy grew by 6.1% in 2021, with advanced economies growing by 5.2% and emerging markets and developing economies by 6.8%. India leads global growth with a growth rate of 8.9%1


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However, colliding pressures from inflation, war-driven energy and food crises and sharply higher interest rates were pushing the world to the brink of recession and threatening financial market stability. The IMF has predicted that the growth of the global and some regional economies will be slower in 2022 but still maintains an 8.2% growth forecast for India. According to a report in September 2022, India surpassed the UK as the world's fifth-largest economy based on IMF data and may become the world’s third-largest economy by 2028-30 2,3. Therefore, one should not underestimate India’s economic growth in the future.


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Agriculture is one of the vital sectors, along with the manufacturing, industry and services sectors contributing to the growth of India’s economy.


According to the Economic Survey, 2021-224, agriculture and the allied sectors proved most resilient to the COVID-19 shock, registering a 3.6 per cent growth in 2020-21 and improving to 3.9 per cent in 2021-22.


Agrochemicals have contributed to India's economic growth directly through industrial expansion and indirectly through advances in agricultural production. Agrochemical production and export have expanded dramatically in the recent decade, and this trend is expected to continue. Although the pandemic affected the economy in all walks of life, the Indian agrochemical industry is considered one of the industries that has successfully fought the wrath of the pandemic. It has overcome supply chain issues, demand pattern shifts, and financial crises. 


The Indian agrochemicals industry, valued at around US$4.1 billion, is expected to grow at 8.3% to reach US$8.1 billion by 2025 5


Sales performance in FY2021-22


Compared to the previous year, companies on the FY2021-22 list remain the same, except for the change in their rankings. The minimum sales for a company to be listed is ₹1284.56 crore, which is ₹239.5 crore higher than FY2020-21 (equivalent to $31 million calculated at the average Rupee-Dollar exchange rate of FY2021-22 and FY2020-21, respectively). UPL, the fifth largest agrochemical company in the world, continues to hold a safe lead in the list with sales of ₹41,390 crore (equivalent to $5,556.08 million calculated at the average exchange rate of FY2021-22), representing a growth rate of nearly 20%. 


There are 11 companies with sales above ₹2,000 crore and eight with sales between ₹1,000 crore and ₹2,000 crore. In FY2021-22, the overall revenue of the pesticide business of the TOP 20 companies grew by 18.88% compared to the previous year, 5.5% higher than the growth rate of 13.45% in FY2020-21 - FY2019-20, showing a trend of accelerated growth of these companies.


From the perspective of individual companies, except Krishi Rasayan, of which the sales were flat, the other nineteen companies achieved varying degrees of growth, with twelve companies obtaining double-digit growth and seven companies with single-digit growth. Sharda Cropchem, Tagros Chemicals, Meghmani Group, and NACL Industries, in particular, welcomed a growth rate of more than 30%, respectively, showing a strong growth momentum.


The performance analysis of these companies’ in FY2021-22 shows that continuous expansion of the overseas markets, increase in exports and domestic market share, production capacity enhancement of existing factories and the construction of new factories, as well as the continuous introduction of new products are the main factors contributing to the eye-catching growth of these companies.


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(Click to enlarge)


Launch of new products


Indian companies had been accelerating the introduction of new products to the market in the past two years, which already contributed to their revenues. Many companies have mentioned this in their FY2021-22 annual reports.


For Indofil Industries, FY2021-22 was a year of new product launches and the company introduced products such as Indolizer Liquid, Dammu, Ceasemite, Pixo maxima and Itwin. It resulted in overall revenue growth and profits from the domestic business. Further, the company aims to launch some more products in FY2022-23 to retain its growth trajectory.


Crystal Crop Protection launched specially designed crop solutions, such as herbicide HOLA, for soybean and sugarcane crops adding to its sales numbers.


Willowood Chemicals said that its robust growth is attributable to new registrations and significant growth in B2C business, while some patented products and dealer networks have been expanded to more than 8,000 with the induction of some key marketing personnel. 


Other than grabbing the registration for the indigenous manufacturing of several crucial technicals and pesticides, Best Agrolife said that during the year they also bagged two significant patents, namely Ronfen and Shot Down.


According to Insecticides (India), the launch of three products Hachiman, Shinwa and Oxim helped them gain substantial traction in the market.


Dhanuka Agritech introduced two fungicides which got excellent responses from grape and potato farmers and helped increase its sales. 


Construction of new factories and capacity expansion


Stimulated by favorable domestic policies, economy and investment environment, Indian companies were busy expanding the production capacity of existing products and building new pesticide and supportive intermediates facilities in the past two years, which have positively impacted their revenues to varying degrees.


Meghmani increased production of Bifenthrin to reach a capacity of 2,200 MT Per annum, which has further added to sales growth. Going forward, they have also developed 1,800 MT per annum capacity for Lambdacyhalothrin providing further revenue growth.


Bharat Group said they made suitable investments to scale the business higher, mainly towards expanding manufacturing capacities and setting up new capacities for critical inputs as part of backward integration.


Indofil Industries’s synthesis plant, Dahej, SEZ, Gujarat (Unit-2), operated with improved capacity utilization with an aggregate capacity of 4,000 MT per annum. The EBDC Plant, Dahej, GIDC, Gujarat (Unit -3), with a capacity of 36,000 MT per annum, has shown a considerable increase in capacity from 22,000 MT per annum, to report formidable growth in volume and profitability.


Krishi Rasayan has been continuously upgrading its manufacturing facilities. They started a technical Plant in September 2021 and hope the revenue will be much higher next year.


Insecticides (India) highlighted that one of the critical initiatives that transpired in FY2022 was the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities. They enhanced their technical manufacturing capacity by nearly 50% at their Chopanki (Rajasthan) and Dahej (Gujarat) plants.


Growth in overseas markets


All companies in the TOP 20 list sell their products globally. Some of them have made an eye-catching performance in overseas markets in FY2021-22.


UPL’s overall performance was satisfactory, having achieved sales growth in rupees in all regional markets to varying degrees. The strongest growth was in North America at 37% year-on-year, attributable mainly to the sales of herbicides, represented by glyphosate products. 


PI Industries said that they saw strong growth in export of 20% in FY 2021-22, contributing to the volume growth of existing products and commercialization of new products. 


Sharda Cropchem reports its agrochemical business in Europe grew by 32%, in NAFTA, it grew by 59% and in LATAM it grew by 110%, whereas, for the RoW it grew by 10%.


Despite the continuance of supply chain disruptions, Coromandel International’s exports team gained volumes from existing and new markets, led by the Asia Pacific region.


Rallis India’s International business registered a growth of 6.2% over the previous year. Out of the total revenues recorded during the year, NAFTA States witnessed a significant share of 39%, followed by Asia, the Middle East, Latin America (LatAm), Africa and Europe.


The SML Group said that they successfully managed to keep their commitments despite the challenges and registered good growth in the United States (US), LatAm and Africa regions.


NACL Industries reported that they recorded more than 80% growth in export sales. Insecticides (India) also mentioned that they made remarkable growth in the export business and expanded their presence to more than 22 countries. Heranba Industries’s export sales have increased and covered more countries. Its formulation exports, representing 10% of its business, grew by almost 23%. GSP Crop Science registered growth in International Sales by 27% over the previous year.


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Five-year look-back and outlook


This is the ninth year AgroPages has released the TOP 20 Indian Agrochemical Companies. While comparing the revenue data of each company over the years, one can easily conclude that Indian companies have experienced sustained and stable high growth over the last decade. 


This time, we present the revenue data of the TOP 20 companies from FY2016-17 to FY2021-22. One can see that, compared to five years ago, all these twenty companies have achieved significant performance growth, with some growing by as much as two to three times. Fifteen companies have achieved double-digit five-year compound annual growth rates (CAGR), while three have achieved single-digit growth. As the sales data of Tagros Chemicals in FY2016-17 and FY2017-18 and Best Agrolife in FY2016-17 were unavailable, the three-year and four-year CAGRs were calculated for these two companies only, which are 26.15% and 19.32%, respectively. The average five-year CAGR of these twenty companies reached 15.89%, much higher than the global crop protection industry’s CAGR of 4.09% in the same period.


Twenty companies were invited to assess and analyze their performance and growth factors over the past five years, which are presented as follows:


UPL:

image.pngUPL’s revenue has more than tripled compared to five years ago, which is directly related to its acquisition of Arysta LifeScience in 2018. UPL’s five-year CAGR is 24.59%, well above the industry average. UPL’s growth is more visible when looking at its global ranking. It ranked 10th in the Top 20 Global Agrochemical Companies in 2016, jumped to 5th in 2020, and maintained 5th position in 2021. UPL has achieved growth in several regional markets worldwide, with particularly significant growth in Latin America, which now accounts for nearly 40% of the company’s total revenue."


PI Industries:

image.pngCompared to five years ago, PI Industries’ crop protection business has almost quadrupled, with a CAGR of 30.19%. PI has secured the second position in the Indian TOP 20 list of the last two years. Powered by deep R&D expertise, PI has a significant footprint in the Indian crop protection market and a strong legacy of market-leading brands that bring value-added offerings to over three million farmers and retailers in India and globally."


Gharda Group:

image.pngGharda Group’s revenue has doubled in five years, with a CAGR of 15.57%. We attribute our solid growth to:


Brand image: Consistent superior quality of products and prompt customer service.


Vibrant R&D team: Constantly working on existing molecules, bringing new off-patent molecules with sound IPR backup.


Sustainable organisation: Adaptation to global standard practises on QHSE and Social aspects.


Business structure and Management: Dynamic professionals, flat and egalitarian organisation. Clear articulation of goals, constant review and faster decision-making. Best in class Human Resource practices across the organisation.


Regulatory backup: Brilliant Team of highly qualified professionals developing regulatory data - obtaining new registrations across all continents.


CSR: Constantly working on Reducing carbon footprint, engaging in charity work, purchasing fair trade products, investing in environmentally conscious business practices, and improving labour policies."


Sharda Cropchem:

image.pngSharda Cropchem’s revenue has almost tripled in five years, with a CAGR of 20.17%. Over the years, we have strengthened our capabilities to seek product registrations globally, specifically in developed markets of Europe and NAFTA. In this pursuit, we have continually identified and seized new opportunities to expand and build our product portfolio. As a part of our long-term business strategy, we are continuously investing in global product registrations to increase our worldwide presence and achieve economies of scale to serve our customers better."


Tagros Chemicals:

image.pngTagros Chemicals’ revenue has doubled in three years, with a CAGR of 26.15%. We target at least 30% year on year growth. Except in FY2020-21, we did not achieve this due to COVID disruptions. However, in all the other years, we maintained our growth rate. The overseas market share increased in all products we manufacture. We initiated new product streams across business segments. We launched two new actives PBO & Clothianidin. Increased penetration in domestic B2B business drove growth, which was missing earlier."


Coromandel International:

image.pngCoromandel International’s FY2021-22 revenue almost doubled compared to FY2016-17. Concerning the crop protection business, Coromandel is amongst the leading Indian agrochemicals player and has been growing at 12.42% CAGR in the last five years. Business benefits from strategically placed manufacturing facilities across India - three technical, three formulations and one biopesticide unit. Further, the business is improving its operational flexibility by setting up of a Multipurpose Plant and undertaking backward integration initiatives.


It has expanded its customer reach and is marketing its products to over 80 countries through its overseas subsidiaries and regional desks. It has a strong B2C setup in India, reaching out to the farming community through 20000+ dealers and 750+ company retail outlets."


Meghmani Group:

image.pngMeghmani Group has grown a robust CAGR 26.90% over the last five years. Our growth has been attributed to our strategic decision to double our 2,4- D manufacturing capacities and scaling up of a new formulation plant at Panoli. 


Meghmani is focusing on and investing in registration activities worldwide. Meghmani’s strong product portfolio and worldwide presence with a broad customer base have been significant factors in its successful growth."


Bharat Group:

image.pngBharat Group’s crop protection business witnesses a five-year CAGR of 10.33%. We made the perfect investments to scale the business higher. We have already invested in expanding our manufacturing capacities, setting up new capacities for critical inputs as part of backward integration, acquiring more product registrations and thrust on R&D for developing relevant products for key markets."


Indofil Industries:

image.pngIndofil Industries has maintained steady growth over the past five years. In addition, it has established a strong domestic and international presence with a robust portfolio of patented and co-branded products. Over the years, we have built four state-of-art manufacturing facilities. These manufacturing facilities are based in Dahej, Gujarat (India). Three products are backward integrated including Cymoxanil, Metalaxyl, Tricyclazole as of March 31, 2022."


Crystal Crop Protection:

image.pngDriven by our vision of becoming the most admired crop solution company, Crystal Crop Protection has been on a growth trajectory for the last five years. This is a result of our allround strategy to focus on R&D driven approach to launch new crop solutions for Indian farmers and work closely with them to improve their farm profitability. Besides launching 46 products since 2016, crystal has also executed a series of strategic acquisitions of 10 leading brands, which helped us in deeper penetration and in acquiring a new farmer base. Further with a strong future pipeline, we plan to continue our growth momentum generating better value for all stakeholders."


Krishi Rasayan:

image.pngKrishi Rasayan is continuously working on R&D for the introduction of new products. We have also been continually upgrading our manufacturing facilities. Apart from the above, there is a greater concentration on international business, which has gone up four times in the last five years."


Rallis India:

image.pngRallis has been investing in capacity and portfolio expansion in the past few years and has contributed to domestic and export business growth. The crop protection business has shown more than 11.1% CAGR in the last five years."


Willowood Chemicals:

image.pngWillowood has continuously invested in upgrading its manufacturing capabilities to complement its strength in the distribution of active ingredients and focus on selling more formulations produced in its plant. 


Over the years, the brand distribution network has been expanded along with the salesforce and development teams to achieve more than 25% growth in the B2C segment every year.


We have heavily invested in the state-of-the-art R&D facility, which is the largest in India, and it has helped us apply for more than 50 patents and obtain 28 national patents already. Several of these patented combinations have been commercialized to become star selling products for Willowood, and we are filing international registrations for most of them. We believe that this trend will continue with more and more patented products being commercialized in domestic markets as well as receiving global registrations. We will see a great leap forward in our top line and bottom line in the next two to three years with the launch of our new technical plant. This will also help increase our domestic institutional sales and exports and strengthen our position in B2C market with a better cost position. 


We will further be building a state of art formulation plant in the next two years to complement our synthesis capacity to serve domestic and global customers. All this has happened as we deliver quality products with a customer-centric approach, the support and appreciation of our clients, and the unwavering support of the team that works all the time to make this happen."


SML Group:

image.pngSML has gone through a lot of transition in terms of its philosophy and vision over the last 5 years. With more and more structures and systems in place as well as attention on improved manufacturing efficiencies has helped us to build a sustainable business growth model. While our focus on providing innovative solutions to the farmers and industry has increased further, we have been continuously strengthening our Patent Base and are looking at new and innovative product introductions (Off patent) with advanced formulations and application edge. Parallelly, we have been trying to are expanding in Technical synthesis expansion projects. We also forayed into International Crop Nutrition space with increased manpower in select geographies. In Domestic front as well, we identified the gaps and have launched several new innovative products and structured Farmer outreach programs. Also, set up Advisory Centers for farmers (Reap Technology Centre/ Krishinovva) which we intend to expand across the country. Our R&D Lab is GLP approved. I feel the whole team is fully energized and aligned to the new growth story that SML is looking at and you will see many new milestones in the coming years,″ comments Mr. Bimal Shah, Managing Director of SML Group.


NACL Industries:

image.pngNACL Industries recorded a 14.06% CAGR over the past five years. Year on Year, we are introducing new products in the domestic retail market, as well as focusing more on untapped segments/markets. We kept continuous growth in export sales over the years. Capacity utilization was at the highest level in the manufacturing plants. Volumes in all business verticals increased."


Best Agrolife:

image.pngDespite facing various challenges in its journey, Best Agrolife Limited has shown unparalleled perseverance and scaled new heights in the last five years. With the strategic deployment of its critical resources such as investing and registering out-of-patent molecules, expanding manufacturing capacity, strengthening R&D facilities, and bringing in new, innovative and patented formulations the company is growing in leaps and bounds. 


Our innovative novel combinations have emerged as one-shot crop solutions against the most tedious issues facing the global farming community. Our customer profile has improved hugely over the years as we have roped in many high-end MNCs and blue-chip companies for increasing sales and sustainability. The consolidation of various units under our umbrella has brought great recognition and visibility for us in India and internationally. After dominating the domestic market, we actively explore international markets such as Africa, Asia, South East Asia and the Asia Pacific, European Union (EU), and the US.


Strategic moves will sustain this growth by fortifying the product basket, backward integration, and business expansion by penetrating the global market."


Insecticides India:

image.pngInsecticides India’s revenue was improved from ₹1,076.2 crore in FY 2016-17 to ₹1,503.96 crore in FY2021-22. The company has increased at CAGR of 6.92% over the last five years.


We attribute our success in the market to our drive to discover new prospects and re-engineer our product line. Over the last few years, we have contemplated exploring the opportunity of making some of the critical raw materials in-house required for our technical products. This became very relevant in the last couple of years owing to the abrupt fluctuation of raw material and logistic costs."


Dhanuka Agritech:

image.pngOver the last five years, Dhanuka Agritech’s revenue is growing at a CAGR of 12%+. The company’s growth is fueled by several new products introduced in the last five years, including seven new 9(3) products and several other in-licensed and generic products. 


Dhanuka introduced various new pesticides in collaboration with its Japanese partners. In the year 2021-22, we introduced fungicides Kirari, Nisoodium, ZANET, herbicides ONE KILL, CORNEX and insecticides DECIDE.


Dhanuka is also focusing on channel optimisation and initiatives to reach more growers through our promotional campaigns, which have supported us in increasing our revenue. 


Our company is also installing the technical plant in Dahej and will start the first stream production by March 2023. We can start twelve streams and look for negotiations with certain companies to start making intermediate and pesticides for them."


Heranba Industries:

image.pngIn the last few years, our company has taken many initiatives, which increased our revenues, with a CAGR at 18.34%. Some of the initiatives are stated below:


  • Covered more and more countries globally.

  • Introduced many more products into our portfolio to offer to customers.

  • Started a new formulation factory at Saregam Gujarat, India, which has ultra-modern production facilities.

  • Company was listed on the Bombay Stock exchange and National stock exchange.

  • Increase the customer base in local B2B sales."


GSP Crop Science:

image.pngCompared with five years ago, GSP Crop Science's revenue has increased significantly, growing at a CAGR of 9.66%. In addition, regular introduction of new off-patented generic technical and formulations coupled with registration approval in the overseas market contributed to the growth journey in the GSP business performance over the years."


References

1. World Economic Outlook (April 2022), IMF

2. https://www.statista.com/chart/28258/gdp-of-india-and-united-kingdom/#:~:text=Just%20a%20decade%20ago%2C%20Indian,from%20the%20International%20Monetary%20Fund.

3. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/india-to-be-worlds-3rd-largest-economy-by-2028-uk-thinktank-says/articleshow/28059381.cms

4. https://bsmedia.business-standard.com/_media/bs/data/general-file-upload/2022-01/Economic%20Survey%202021-22%20(1).pdf

5. https://ficci.in/events/25397/ISP/Presentation_PwC_Agrochem.pdf



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


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