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IPL Biological's Global Expansion Strategy Unveiled During Exclusive Interview

Harshvardhan Bhagchandka, President, IPL Biological
Harshvardhan Bhagchandka, President, IPL Biological

IPL Biological has collaborated with the Uzkimyosanoat joint stock company in Uzbekistan. What's the objective behind this partnership?

Uzkimyosanoat is the Uzbeki govt body to promotes modern products and technology in agriculture in Uzbekistan. The President of Uzbekistan has declared a policy to reduce chemicals in agriculture by 30% in the next 5 years.

After an intensive global search for a suitable partner, they found that the only company that had products providing non-chemical biological solutions for all problems of pest control, disease control, and nutrition management for all crops was India’s IPL Biologicals Ltd. IPL had a state–of–the–art R&D lab which had a pipeline of latest futuristic biological products and formulations for the future. IPL had a modern manufacturing factory in Haridwar and was setting up a new most modern factory in Baroda with huge capacity. IPL also had extensive experience in training and development in new territories.

It is for this reason that Uzkimyosanoat decided to tie up with IPL for a JV to market its biological products in Uzbekistan, train the farmers in the use of biologicals, and set up a plant in Uzbekistan to manufacture the products locally. This will help to reduce the use of poisonous chemical pesticides and other agri inputs in Uzbekistan and also increase the yield and quality of produce for Uzbeki farmers.

How is this collaboration going to help IPL and India at large?

IPL has the largest product portfolio of agri-biological (microbial) products in the world, which provide solutions for all problems of pest control, disease control, and nutrition management for all crops. This provides farmers the opportunity to not only avoid poisonous chemicals but also increase crop yield and quality. These products have been successfully field-tested in nearly 25 countries with very successful results. IPL has a business plan to expand globally. This Uzbekistan JV will increase IPL business, and also open up the entire CIS market to IPL.

It will also be another step in the vision of the Chairman of IPL to provide safe chemical-free crops to consumers across the world, and to enhance India’s image globally.

IPL has recently joined hands with the agriculture supply chain and financial services startup, Unnati Agri. How will this association aid Indian farmers?

Unnati has done exceptional work since its inception for the whole agriculture value chain especially on the farmers, and channel partners.  Their software is easy to use and will give all the stakeholders critical and timely information which will help reduce losses and increase revenue. IPL is working with Unnati to leverage their tech platform for our farmers and also offer Financials services to our supply chain partners.

What are the company's plans for expansion in the Global market?

IPL has embarked on its journey and quest into the International Markets. The plan is to create a Global Footprint, the first of its kind, amongst the Indian-owned Bio companies.

The steps involved in this process prior to creating a global entry roadmap was:

  • Established a business model and have made a new organizational structure (Sales lead, Business Development, and International Regulatory team have been formed under IBD)
  • Market research to understand the challenges and opportunities in the specific geographies
  • Understanding the business landscape and regulatory environment
  • Decided on the short-term and long-term strategies and have set measurable goals against them.
  • Create high visibility by participating in all major global events of relevance. The Sales team is also aggressively reaching out to potential partners in addressable markets through direct visits and introducing them to IPL Biologicals.
  • IPL is also open to forging collaboration with partners in specific markets by way of Joint venture partnerships, co-manufacturing/ Licensing, etc.

We have planned a Hybrid model for entry into the markets of current high potential and future attractiveness:

  • IPL’s own registration / JV registrations. Wherever JV registrations are panned, we will work with the national distributor in that country. In case of own registrations, IPL will appoint distributor/s upon securing the reign. The product will be marketed under IPL trade names.
  • Source registrations (wherein IPL will be the source and the registration owner will be the local company)

 

How IPL Biological is addressing the issues of the farmers in relation to the microbes in agriculture?

Farmers in India face several key issues that can limit their adoption of biological products in agriculture. These issues often revolve around awareness, affordability, and efficacy. Here are some of the key challenges:

  • Lack of Awareness and Education: Many farmers in India may not be aware of the benefits and proper use of biological products. There is a need for education and training programs to inform farmers about the advantages of these products and how to integrate them into their farming practices.
  • Perceived Effectiveness: Farmers may have doubts about the effectiveness of biological products compared to traditional chemical inputs. Ensuring that biological products are as effective in pest and disease control as chemical alternatives is crucial for adoption.
  • Affordability: The cost of biological products can sometimes be higher than chemical alternatives, which can deter small and marginal farmers from adopting them. Ensuring affordability through subsidies or innovative pricing strategies is essential.
  • Availability and Access: Accessibility to biological products, especially in remote and rural areas, can be a challenge. Expanding distribution networks and ensuring availability in local markets is important.
  • Storage and Shelf Life: Some biological products require specific storage conditions and have shorter shelf lives compared to chemical inputs. Farmers may face challenges in storing and managing these products.
  • Risk and Uncertainty: Farmers may perceive higher risks and uncertainties when using biological products, such as concerns about product efficacy under varying weather conditions or the presence of natural predators.
  • Compatibility with Existing Practices: Biological products may require adjustments to traditional farming practices. Farmers may resist change if they perceive it as disruptive or if they lack guidance on how to integrate these products into their existing systems.

To address these issues, IPL Biologicals can implement several strategies:

 

  • Education and Training: Conduct farmer education and training programs to raise awareness about the benefits and proper use of biological products. Provide technical guidance on application methods and dosage.
  • Demonstration Farms: Set up demonstration farms where farmers can see firsthand the results of using biological products. This can build trust and confidence in these solutions.
  • Affordability: Explore pricing strategies that make biological products more affordable to small and marginal farmers. Collaborate with government agencies to offer subsidies or incentives.
  • Distribution Network Expansion: Expand the company's distribution network to reach remote and rural areas, ensuring that farmers have easy access to biological products.
  • Technical Support: Offer technical support through helplines, field visits, or digital platforms where farmers can seek advice and troubleshooting assistance.
  • Product Development: Continuously invest in R&D to improve the efficacy and shelf life of biological products, addressing concerns about their effectiveness and storage requirements.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: Collaborate with government agricultural extension services, research institutions, and NGOs to jointly promote the adoption of biological products and provide comprehensive support to farmers.

 

IPL Biologicals can play a pivotal role in addressing these issues by combining product innovation with educational initiatives and outreach programs. By actively engaging with farmers and providing solutions to their challenges, the company can contribute to the broader adoption of biological products in Indian agriculture.

How IPL Biological is disrupting the Bio agriculture industry?

IPL Biologicals is making waves in the agriculture industry through several disruptive strategies and initiatives:

 

  • Next-Generation Microbial Products: IPL Biologicals leverages extensive research and development efforts to introduce cutting-edge microbial products. These innovations enhance soil fertility, increase crop yields, and reduce the environmental footprint of farming. By staying ahead in technological advancements, the company sets new standards for sustainable agriculture.
  • Farmer Training Programs: IPL Biologicals places a strong emphasis on farmer education and training. By conducting workshops, seminars, and on-field demonstrations, the company ensures that farmers have the knowledge and skills to maximize the benefits of microbial products. This empowerment is pivotal in driving widespread adoption.
  • Carbon Credits and Sustainable Farming: IPL Biologicals actively promotes the concept of carbon credits in agriculture. By helping farmers adopt sustainable practices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and sequester carbon in their soils, the company not only enhances farm productivity but also opens up new revenue streams for farmers through carbon credit monetization.
  • Social Media Marketing: The company utilizes social media platforms to connect directly with farmers. Through informative content, success stories, and interactive discussions, IPL Biologicals creates awareness about the benefits of microbial products and sustainable farming practices. This digital outreach facilitates a direct line of communication with farmers across India.
  • Strategic Partnerships: IPL Biologicals collaborates with agricultural research institutions, government agencies, and international organizations to drive research and development initiatives. These partnerships help leverage expertise, share knowledge, and bring about innovative solutions to address agricultural challenges.
  • Customized Solutions: IPL Biologicals understands the diversity of India's agricultural landscape. The company tailors its microbial products to suit specific regional and crop requirements. This customization ensures that farmers receive solutions optimized for their unique conditions.
  • Inclusivity: The company's commitment to inclusivity means it focuses on empowering small-scale and marginalized farmers who often face resource constraints. By making microbial solutions accessible and affordable, IPL Biologicals plays a crucial role in supporting these farmers.
  • Environmental Sustainability: IPL Biologicals' products promote environmentally sustainable farming practices by reducing chemical inputs, minimizing soil degradation, and contributing to cleaner water sources. This aligns with global efforts to address climate change and protect ecosystems.
  • Market Expansion: The company's expansion into new markets and regions ensures that more farmers can benefit from microbial solutions. This market diversification broadens the reach and impact of IPL Biologicals.

 

In essence, IPL Biologicals is disrupting the agriculture industry by combining innovative microbial products, education, carbon credit initiatives, and digital marketing to foster sustainable farming practices, empower farmers, and drive positive change across India's agricultural landscape.

 

 

How IPL Biological is transforming agriculture through the World-Class Technology & Innovation Centre in microbial solutions?

Technology and Innovation Centre of IPL Biologicals Limited works on the principle of aiming at sustainable solutions by using the concept of nature to nature.  Novel innovative approaches are used to bring about the transformation in agriculture by leveraging the legacy of 30 years of intensive research in biological product development processes. 

Novel approaches are as below

1    Bio-mapping of potent and novel strains from various niche areas, identifying and cataloguing them through molecular techniques and using novel approaches for IPR protection. 

  1. Selected most potent strains are screened using stringent screening protocols for various abiotic stress tolerance. This approach makes our strain superior in terms of efficacy and they are capable of performing under diverse climatic conditions.
  2. Robust product development processes with expertise in submerged fermentation to achieve optimized production parameters, high-density CFU, highest quality, and enhanced shelf life.
  3. IPL emphasis more on application technology. Unlike chemical technology, proper application protocols with respect to the stage of growth, dosage, nutrition, and biocontrol product combination are required to harness the best potential of biologicals.
  4. Working on next-generation formulations of biologicals to meet the growing demand for user-friendly formulations, lesser dosage, and prolonged shelf life.
  5. Stringent product validation through laboratory validations, pot trials, field trials, and various multi-location trials prior to commercialization.
  6. Exploring innovative approaches of enhancing secondary metabolites to achieve targeted pest and disease control solutions, endophytic approach to enhance plant immunity, and novel nutribiocoat technology for enhanced seed germination and plant growth.
  1. All the above are cost intensive which involves having a team of experts in different specialized areas along with huge investment in modern infrastructure. IPL has put many years of hard work into creating a world class product portfolio of more than 50 plus products.

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