A sales and Brand management professional having associated with Lakme, Elle 189, Kingfisher, Chik shampoo, Spinz and Adidas personel care products, Ramesh Viswanathan is the COO of Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd, a market leader in hybrid cotton seed and research paddy seed.
In an exclusive interview given to Sankar Iyer of LifeScienceWorld, Ramesh Viswananthan, speaks,on some of the current activities of Nuziveedu seeds
LSW: Nuziveedu is India’s first seed company having plants in 16 locations. A few words on the current status.
Nuziveedu Seeds is India’s largest seed company and has a spread across the country. In cotton, which is its lead crop ( and is also the largest crop by value for the industry ) Nuziveedu Seeds today is the leader in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh in addition to Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Besides Cotton, Nuziveeedu has a strong presence with Corn, Hybrid Rice and Varietal Rice in the states of UP, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand which are not cotton markets.
LSW: The very mention of the word Bt cotton earlier was debatable and controversial, which still is, to some extent. But Nuziveedu’s growth is incredible. You have nearly 40% market share. Your comment:
Yes, Nuziveedu has a strong presence in the Cotton market in India. We have a pan Indian presence with a wide assortment of brands suitable for different agro climatic conditions. As indicated we have leadership in most cotton growing states in India. The attempt is to continue to grow our business at a rate faster than the market by understanding changing customer needs and fulfilling them with superior products thereby providing satisfaction to the farmer.
LSW: Nuziveedu is the market leader in seeds having largest collection of genetic sources for the hybrid variety of cotton way ahead of other players. How did you accomplish this feat? Having accomplished your hold on the seed arena, you also have significant portion of crops and vegetables in your product portfolio. What is current status on the activity in this front?
Yes, we have begun to slowly increase our salience in crops such as corn, rice and vegetables. The company has been investing into developing good quality products to be able to compete with multinational competition and we are glad to say that we are seeing success in the same. Our share in corn has just touched double digits, but we are still having single digit share in rice and vegetables. But the growths and share increase is good and we see these crops as the future growth drivers of the company.
LSW: Just as being leader in the cotton seeds, how do you see achieving the same feat in the crops and vegetable products-any particular strategy being worked out?
We have developed products and now have created separate marketing teams for the food crops and vegetables to bring additional focus on the growth engines of the company.
LSW: On your R&D front.
This category is product focused and the results of a superior product can be objectively measured by the farmer in terms of the increase in incomes as a product of the yield and the price fetched. So the development of the product by the R&D team is the key to success. Marketing can only build on a good product which shows superiority over competition. Hence the focus from the company is on this aspect of the business.
LSW: Nuziveedu has entered into global market sometime back .Which are the countries that have generated good response and what are the products accepted?
The company is focused on the south Asian markets of Bangladesh and Pakistan, the South- east Asian markets of Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia and the east African markets of Kenya and Tanzania. These are markets with sufficient potential and present us with enough opportunities to grow.
Nearest future goal
The goal can never be in terms of monetary metrics like top line or bottom line. The goal of the company would be to provide good products to the farmer which would increase his income thereby creating satisfaction. If we achieve this goal, all other indices would follow.