Mr. Arvind Kumar is the Managing Director and CEO of LEMKEN India Agro Equipment Pvt. Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of LEMKEN GmbH. Arvind assumed office in 2010 and was in fact, the first employee of the organization in India. From land acquisition to the plant being ready in two years, Arvind has steered operations to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place. As CEO for India, Arvind’s role is to develop strategies for the Indian subsidiary, grow business and partners, also ensure overall growth within the country and neighboring markets.

He possesses over 29 years of rich experience in Design, Planning, Business Development, Sales and Marketing and commercial Operations. He was associated with various organizations in different capacities with companies like HMT, Mahindra and Mahindra, Escorts, Simpson and SDF India.

He was chosen by LEMKEN to spearhead operations in India, given his extensive background and experience in the field of agriculture and related equipment. His stints in a long and successful career ensured that the right relationships were built from the grass root levels in the smallest towns of India, to corporate boardrooms (For negotiation of best deals).

He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Punjab University in 1986, and began his career as a design engineer with a renowned tractor company. He also obtained a post graduate diploma in Marketing and Cost Accountancy.

LEMKEN, which is a worldwide leader in agricultural implements with the presence in 47 countries and a turnover of over 363 million Euros, started its commercial operations in India in Year 2013. Our Krishi Jagran Team conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Arvind, discussing company’s current operations apart from its future plans in India.

Tell me about company's Background and how it came in India?

LEMKEN is 234 years old, German family owned company. The organisation is now run by the seventh generation of ownership. The company decided to come to India In 2008, and after two years of study in 2010, LEMKEN began its project in Nagpur with an investment of Rs. 80 crore. Commercial production started in January 2013.

Are you dealing in big Machinery Segment?

LEMKEN’s international range comprises machine ranging from 35 HP to 500 plus HP segment dealing with seedbed preparation, sowing, and upto plant protection. However, LEMKEN India specializes in seedbed preparation equipment’s. Our first machine i.e Opal 090 Hydraulic Reversible Ploughs are suitable for 35 HP TO 75 HP range of tractors. In Jan 2015, LEMKEN also launched two new products Tine Cultivators-Achat 70 and Power Harrows-Perlite 5. All LEMKEN machines are inbuilt with unique features, and specially designed to work in tough soil conditions.

How‘s your company's power harrow better than rotavator for farmers?

Rotavator has proved to be one of the most attractive machines for any farmer in the last decade, because of its attractive pricing and convenient working. However, farmers are now witnessing the limitations and drawbacks from usage of rotavator. This is because during its operation it creates a hard pan in the 4 Inch lower layer of the soil (because of its horizontal movement and horizontal impact of blade on the ground,) which refrains percolation of water in the soil, also resisting the penetration of plant roots. However, power harrows have a vertical working of blades, which can go deeper than rotavator and create a better seedbed than rotavator. Seedbeds prepared by power harrow against rotavator are expected to get higher farm produce than with a rotavator.

Who are main competitors for your company in this segment?

Firstly, we do not consider any strong competitor in this segment. We have invested in advanced & innovative technology to set up a complete manufacturing unit, which currently no other company has in India. As I already said LEMKEN has expertise in dealing with Soil Complexities. However we use special grade of the raw material in our products, which have more durable life roughly 4 to 5 times more than others' products, and can be used consistently for many years.

Tell us company's current presence in India?

At present, we are having 20 dealers in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telengana, Haryana and Punjab. LEMKEN is slowly and steadily spreading its presence to different parts of the country, with a mission to contribute towards the harvest success, and the improvement of our customer’s income with our quality and time tested mechanized agriculture solution.

What is your view on the existing sales strategy?

I would say that concept is not easy to sell. We do not play volume game, but surely our technology will bring a revolution one day in this segment. We are selling technology not products. Presently, there are lots of activities, programs, schemes funded by the government. But it seems that there is a lack of structuring. For eg: In case of providing subsidy on implements, the state governments are not implementing any methodology to differentiate the low cost and low technology ploughs, versus highly technological LEMKEN ploughs. (Which is helpful in multiplying farm productivity) Worst part is that both the products are treated in same category and similar subsidy is offered on both the products. Therefore the farmers are left with no choice but to purchase the low technology ploughs.

What is the basic parameter in GOI for technology registration?

The government is providing subsidy to farmers for farm machinery but as I told you, there is no difference between technology and non technology based product subsidy in the guideline. We have given the presentation to the GOI and convinced to revise the specific guidelines for more subsidies to the farmers on high technology based product. If we talk about the reversible plough, it is of two types - one with hydraulic system, and another with the mechanical turning system. However, the old guideline does not show any difference between the two. Now we are hoping that the new guideline might have separate categories for the same.

What is general cost of your company's product?

The LEMKEN produce quality machines, and quality comes for a cost. The Company has fixed the cost for a two bottom reversible plough at Rs. 2 lakhs. For Power Harrow general cost is around three and half lakhs, and for the cultivator it is around one and a half lakhs.

What message would you like to give the farmers?

Use better technology implements with a matching H.P. Tractor, so that they may be able to save the fuel cost, and increase the farm produce.

For more details about us, Farmers can visit our website www.lemken.in

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