Abet­ting In­dia’s agri­cul­tural growth story W

Business Sphere - - Agro Industry - By Our Cor­re­spon­dent

hat is de­mo­graph­i­cally the most lat­i­tudi­nous eco­nomic orb, play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in the over­all so­cio-eco­nomic frame­work of In­dia, is also the top in­dus­try sec­tor in the world. Yes, we are delv­ing on In­dian agri­cul­ture. In­dia ranks sec­ond in the world in farm out­put and first in se­lected agri com­modi­ties. Thanks to qual­ity and af­ford­able agri­cul­ture in­puts made avail­able to 90% of In­dian farm­ers by HPM Chem­i­cals & Fer­til­iz­ers Ltd. With its strong pres­ence in agri-in­put busi­ness, HPM is a four decade old cor­po­rate en­tity hav­ing more than 120 prod­ucts in more than 1000 dif­fer­ent pack­ag­ing. “We have a global brand­ing in 30 coun­tries. In terms of rank­ing we are counted amongst the top ten play­ers in In­dia. Qual­ity is the cor­ner­stone of all our ac­tiv­i­ties at HPM. “Re­cently launched Ex­port ini­tia­tive is vi­su­al­ized to reach Rs. 1000 mil­lion in rev­enue in a very short span of time”, says the debonair and mag­netic Dr. Nikhil Aggarwal (B.Sc-Chem­istry Hons and MBA from USA), Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor. The his­tory of the ISO 9001:2008 cer­ti­fied com­pany goes back to the year 1974, when the great vi­sion­ary Shri Srik­isan Dass started his op­er­a­tion of mar­ket­ing ma­nure from Pu­rani Dilli (Old Delhi). With his sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion, com­mit­ment and hard-work, the com­pany es­tab­lished a vast net­work in en­tire north In­dia. In 1976, he es­tab­lished a Pul­ver­izer to man­u­fac­ture in­sec­ti­ci­dal dusts like BHC, DDT and Malathion; that’s how com­pany’s name ‘HPM’ (Hin­dus­tan Pul­veris­ing Mills) orig­i­nated and re­cently it is known as HPM Chem­i­cals & Fer­til­iz­ers Ltd af­ter the com­pany en­tered the busi­ness of fer­til­iz­ers. Now HPM group is one of the lead­ing agri-in­put providers in In­dia. With multi-lo­ca­tion man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties; vast pres­ence through its of­fices/ware­houses/distri­bu­tion chains; and ever-grow­ing prod­uct ranges, HPM is a house­hold name in ru­ral In­dia. “Our best pe­riod started from the year 1996 when we es­tab­lished a new plant in Ra­jasthan. We are grow­ing 15% year on year” ut­ters the 61-year old charis­matic Mr. Ashok Aggarwal, Chair­man. A sec­ond gen­er­a­tion steerer of the fam­ily busi­ness, start­ing his stint in 1974 as Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and later as Chair­man from 2011, he has been in­stru­men­tal in plait­ing the HPM growth story. A ‘Bharatiya Udyog Ratna’ awardee, the Samba and Khuskhera units were set up un­der his aegis.

USPs

• 40 plus year old com­pany • Old­est com­pany in In­dia in agro chem­i­cal seg­ment • Widest range of prod­ucts in the in­dus­try • Leader in its seg­ment in terms of rev­enue and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions • 5000 dis­trib­u­tor chan­nel • Distri­bu­tion via 45,000 re­tail out­lets • 20 lo­cal ware­houses • Pan-In­dia pres­ence; branches in 26 lo­ca­tions • State-of-the-art ro­bust in­fra­struc­ture • In­flu­enc­ing 90% of In­dian agri­cul­ture • More than 16 crore units sold ev­ery year on an av­er­age • `30 to `40 mil­lions spent on R&D ev­ery year • More than 80% re­ten­tion of staff. The debonair Dr. U.K. Sri­vas­tava (AGM, Reg­u­la­tory Af­fairs and Qual­ity As­sur­ance), who han­dles the com­pany’s R&D de­part­ment, re­flects on how HPM is a tech­nol­o­gy­driven com­pany, backed by a ro­bust in­fra­struc­ture, com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts based on re­search and devel­op­ment. He says ex­ul­tantly, “We spend around 30 to 40 mil­lions Ru­pees ev­ery year on R&D; what you buy from us are all re­searchori­ented in­no­va­tions. In the fi­nan­cial year 2012-13, we have spent Rs. 40 mil­lion on molec­u­lar devel­op­ment. Our lab­o­ra­to­ries are fully ac­cou­tered with high pre­ci­sion in­stru­ments

manned by a team of qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als who are backed by years of ex­per­tise.” The HPM tech­ni­cal plant has a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 1000 MTA of ac­tive in­gre­di­ents. The team at HPM works as a fam­ily. “We are go­ing ro­bust as a global com­pany. We be­lieve in the progress of ev­ery­body – our em­ploy­ees, part­ners, stake­hold­ers, dis­trib­u­tors, farm­ers, and all those who are con­nected to us,” says a suave Mr. Ashok Aggarwal. HPM has a team of 500 per­ma­nent and 500 con­tract la­bor work­force, who have wo­ven success sto­ries for the com­pany in achiev­ing mile­stones year af­ter year. En­sur­ing oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety, HPM con­ducts its man­u­fac­tur­ing, pack­ing, and dis­patch ac­tiv­i­ties as per BS OHSAS 18001:2007 stan­dards. A clean and con­tam­i­na­tion-free mi­lieu around is war­ranted by its En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Sys­tem as per ISO14001:2004 norms. HPM is also geared up to re­duce the emis­sion of CO2 into the en­vi­ron­ment.

Awards and Ac­co­lades

• Udyog Bharti Award, 2004 • Udyog Ratna Award, 2005 • Bharatiya Udyog Ratna Award, 2005 • Qual­ity Ex­cel­lence Award, 2005 • Gold Medal for Ex­cel­lence, 2005 • Rashtriya Ekta Award, 2005 • Rashtriya Sam­man Puraskar & Gold

Medal, 2005 • Ra­jiv Gandhi Shi­romoni Award, 2005 • Bharatiya Shi­ro­mani Puraskar, 2005 • Rashtriya Udyog Gold Award, 2005 • Bharat Jy­oti Award, 2006 • Ra­jiv Gandhi Ex­cel­lence Award, 2006 • Udyog Ratan Award for fastest

grow­ing com­pany, 2011, and more. “We fol­low strong fun­da­men­tal poli­cies, ethics, and ethos laid by my grand­fa­ther (Sri Srik­isan Dass Aggarwal) and fa­ther (Ashok Aggarwal). Busi­ness acu­men flows in our veins,” says a can­did Dr. Nikhil Aggarwal. He con­tin­ues af­ter a pause, “The government should stan­dard­ize VAT and tax­a­tion for the farm­ers. Most farm­ers be­ing poor can­not af­ford buy­ing high priced in­puts and thus end up tak­ing loans; sub­si­dies should be of­fered to them for their growth and devel­op­ment.” A big-wheel in bring­ing about tech­no­log­i­cal and man­age­rial ex­cel­lence in HPM’s op­er­a­tions, Dr. Nikhil im­ple­mented SAP for a trans­par­ent ef­fec­tive con­nec­tiv­ity of the head of­fice, fac­to­ries and branch of­fices, thus fa­cil­i­tat­ing smooth trans­ac­tions and op­er­a­tions. As part of cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, com­ply­ing to SA 80002003 stan­dards, HPM con­trib­utes to the over­all growth of the ru­ral peo­ple of In­dia in par­tic­u­lar. The ini­tia­tive in­volves adop­tion of at least two vil­lages in a sin­gle ter­ri­tory (termed Sukhiya Vil­lage) ev­ery year and pro­vid­ing up­lift­ment sup­port in ar­eas rang­ing from health, nutri­tion, ed­u­ca­tion to plan­ta­tion of trees, and gen­eral wel­fare. Schol­ar­ships for poor chil­dren, mid­day meal for school chil­dren, health cam­paigns, im­mu­niza­tion, mother-child care pro­gram are part of the pro­grams ex­e­cuted by the com­pany.

Mile­stones

• 1974: Part­ner­ship firm (deal­ing in N-P-K Fer­til­izer Mix­ture) started in Old Delhi by Shri Srik­isan Dass Aggarwal • 1976: Pul­veris­ing mill unit was set up • 1990: Busi­ness ex­pan­sion in 20

states across In­dia • 2001: Dr. Nikhil Aggarwal (3rd gen­er­a­tion of the fam­ily) joined as Di­rec­tor Mar­ket­ing • 2003: Es­tab­lish­ment of HPM Crop Sci­ence Ltd. by Dr. Nikhil Aggarwal • 2005: Set­ting up of 2nd man­u­fac­tur­ing unit at Samba, J& K • 2006: Im­ple­men­ta­tion of SAP (world’s no.1 ERP) in all HPM branches, de­pots & fac­to­ries • 2009: Set­ting up of tech­ni­cal plant at Khushkhera; com­mence­ment of ex­port op­er­a­tions • 2011: Com­pany changed its name to HPM Chem­i­cals & Fer­til­iz­ers Ltd.; en­try into fer­til­izer busi­ness • 2012: Dr. Nikhil Aggarwal pro­moted to the post of Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor • 2012: Dr. Nikhil Aggarwal awarded with honorary ‘Doc­tor­ate’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “It has been a great jour­ney so far. There is no end to the learn­ing process. Though I have in­dus­try knowl­edge, in­ter­act­ing with the farm­ers and un­der­stand­ing their de­mands and re­quire­ments is in it­self a big learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Our clients are our farm­ers. Thanks to our ex­cel­lent distri­bu­tion net­work, around 6 lakh vil­lages use our prod­ucts; on an av­er­age 100 units is sold ev­ery minute in In­dia,” The Ag­gar­wals cher­ish the mis­sion to ex­tend the farm­ers’ base, abet their growth, and pro­mote them in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. Five years down the line, they fore­see to turn­ing HPM into a nu­mero uno player in In­dia and a Rs. 2000 crore con­glom­er­ate.

Ashok Aggarwal Chair­man

Nikhil Aggarwal Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor

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