Interviews

PAAMA Agrico determined to make every farmer self sufficient in next 5 years

Krishi Jagran team in conversation with the Director of Pamma Agrico, Mr. Srinivas K.P

PAAMA Agrico is India's favorite, Agricultural Equipment, Research & Development organization; founded in the year 2015 with the objective of revolutionizing traditional and time intensive farming processes with sustainable technology.

PAAMA's research centric approach, cutting edge product features, direct communication & distribution touch-points with farmers, after sales services, dynamic leadership that bring in both global and local exposure and ability to provide invincible quality & pricing has  earned it the status of being best-in-class among the Rotavators and Cultivator industry.

A make in India brand, PAAMA has its state-of-art manufacturing facility is spread over 30,000 sq ft of Factory Space on a 100,000 sft plot of land in Doddaballapur Industrial Area, Bengaluru of Karnataka.

Q.1 What is your Experience in Agriculture Field? 

Living in a predominantly agrarian economy we are all connected to the Agriculture ecosystem in some way of the other; in my case however, it is a relationship of the heart. My better-half, has strong farming and agricultural roots, with land holdings in regions of Srirangapatnam, Karnataka; where the lush green sugarcane and paddy field sway to the zephyr, as if dancing to the soothing melodic flute when the wind  gushes pass them conveying the devotional story between them and their farmer. On the personal front, my proximity with farmers as family members has enhanced my understanding of the intimate relationship between a farmer has his field which is like a 'mother and a child', with the farmer working tirelessly to provide his best supplies to ensure that the field sees its bounties.    

On the professional front, I have had the opportunity to steer India's largest Harvester manufacturer that is also rated amongst the leading five Agri-Equipment manufacturers, CLASS, for over 4 years. This hands-on industry and marketing exposure enhanced my knowledge from the  manufacturing perspective; setting  course to my entrepreneurial journey of launching PAAMA Agrico, India's most  innovative  and farmer friendly Agri-Equipment manufacturing and sales organization.  

Q.2 What was the reason behind starting  PAAMA Agrico? 

When the thought that Agriculture touches everybody's lives occurred to me, I chose to move on as MD of LAPP India Pvt. Ltd., German cable and connectivity solutions major to lead CLASS India, a leading Agri-Equipment manufacturer. Consequently when the idea that working for agricultural sector is working for society, struck the chord within, I quit CLASS India and started PAAMA Agrico, an organization whose heart and soul would focus on the farmer as its centre point creating good quality products at a good price. 

Further my experience with CLASS had further cemented my notion that the India farmers are not receiving their dues. Though we are an agrarian economy, the equipment and the support provided to Indian farmers is no comparison to their developed counterparts. Indian farmers are contended people, with high level of satisfaction and they generally do not question or demand for the new, this further inspired me to do my bit for the unsung heroes of our nation. By providing Agri-Equipment that would facilitate them in achieving their goal of witnessing a prosperous crop whilst treating 'farmer as the king'. 

Q.3 Which kind of products are you providing to farmers? 

We are young organization that was launched in the year 2016 and are in the nascent phase of our growth with primary focus on Tractor Driven Agri- Equipment  for the first phase of our launch. Those that are currently available in the market are below: 

(a) Rotavator s: A Rotavator is a farm implement used for secondary tillage.   They stir and pulverize the soil, either before planting (to aerate the soil and prepare a smooth, loose seedbed) or after the crop has begun growing.  PAAMA Agrico Rotavators have  a working width 900mm till 1800mm . Implements have fixed ratio single speed drive as well as two speed gear drive. 

(b) Blades:  PAAMA Agrico specializes in manufacturing rotavator blades that can be used to replace old and worn out blades of its own rotavators or to improve the yield of rotavators manufactured by other organizations. There are two types of blades that are being manufactured by PAAMA Agrico:  

Silver Boron Steel Blades: Medium carbon steels with added Boron and Chromium for corrosion and heat resistance. This has hardenability equal to high carbon steels. Mostly used for applications, where there is constant wear performance.  Silver blades have a life approximately 20% more than the conventional blades 

Diamond Blades- Silicon Manganese Steel or Spring Steel Silicon is present in this alloy which provides High elasticity and manganese gives strength and hardness.  

Diamond Blades have a life of 20% more than the silver blades.  

In the next stage of our growth we aim to launch the following products under the Self Propelled Machines category - Forage Harvesters, Tractors, Corn Pickers and Grain Harvesters among the others. 

Q.4 What challenges did you face in the beginning stage of PAAMA Agrico's launch? 

The core differentiation in PAAMA Agrico's founding philosophy is its research centric approach. We never believed in making the product, selling it and then identifying the problems after sale. On the contrary we developed the product, tested it through all hypothetical scenarios and then rolled it into the market. So we really didn't face launch challenges when it came to product launch. However as a part of CRM Strategy we travelled across markets to get real ground level feedback. As a Founder, I believed that it is most important for me to get a sense into the sentiment of the market so I took up the task of travelling thousands of kilometres for two full months evaluating the performance of the blades and rotavators from various farmers, each of whom functioned in a unique environment.

Also the founding team consisted of very few people from pure agricultural industry; they came from staunch corporate backgrounds with rigid customer support policies. When a single customer had called complaining about the steel compatibility, a decision was taken to recall the entire batch of 18, 000 blades supplied to different customers spanning across various geographies. 

I remember few such incidents as some of the most challenge yet lucrative part of the journey.  As the adage goes fruits of hard-work are the sweetest, both these events reaped a phenomenal return winning us immense popularity and loyalty from our customers. 

Q.5 What are your plans for company's growth? 

PAAMA Agrico, is inspired by the ambitious mission of making every farmer of India self sufficient within the next 5 years. We aim to do so by supplying them with efficient, durable and reliable Agri-Equipment that are 'Made in India and Best for India'. This will enable super efficient farming process- that will save labour, time and material resources and most importantly have no 'downtime', one of the most important terminologies in the book of automation.  

Having a strong foothold in Karnataka, Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and keeping in pace with its mission  PAAMA Agrico will expand its presence to the rest of the nation; now that is a huge  task on hand." According to India Brand Equity foundation, "Agriculture being the primary source of livelihood for about 58 per cent of India’s population and the Total area in India, sown with rabi crops reached 64.29 million hectares in February 2018." to meet such numbers PAAMA Agrico has to quintuple its capacity and we are working meticulously to pump our production and capabilities to cater to the market. 

Given our market response, with our competence to provide European Quality with Chinese pricing, we are quite positive to lead the nation's Agri-Equipment market by 2023! 

Q.6 how is your company committed to provide best services to farmers? 

In tune with PAAMA Agrico's founding objective of enabling every Indian farmer with  best-in-class Agri-Equipment that will in-turn  help cater to the huge 159.6 million hectares arable land resource of India (World Bank estimate in 2015), a  high-end manufacturing apparatus structured on the philosophy of automation and empowered with most sophisticated technology was set-up in the year 2016.  Quite aptly it is also referred to as the 'Agri-Equipment Design House of India'. The revolutionary make in India brand with a state-of-art manufacturing facility is spread over 30,000 sq feet of Factory Space on 100,000 sqft plot of land in Doddaballapur Industrial Area, Bengaluru of Karnataka.  

We are not a company that thinks we know what our customers want, we believe in listening to our customers. A good product is not that one which is credited with certifications from industry bodies but one which also wins the trust of the farmers by supporting him in his farming process. Good quality products that every customer should use, simple to use yet to be advanced technologically. 

Approximately 12, 000 blades are manufactured on a daily basis in a single line in comparison to 4000-5000 which is the industry standard. An individual Rotavator takes no more than 15 mins to come off the line in PAAMA Agrico's premise. It is the only Agri-Equipment manufacturer to deploy Robots in the facility for welding and handling purposes. Adamantly, batch processes are not followed at the organization; be it designing of the blade or the machine, the philosophy of doing one at a time is strictly followed.  

Q.7 Give a brief comment on current situation of Indian farmers. 

In the current scenario, I don't think we can use a blanket term, ‘Indian Farmer', that generalizes all farmers on similar parameters, given that farmers from different geographies of India offer a kaleidoscopic view of the nation's agricultural landscape. For instance, while farmers in Kerala are fighting floods, those from the north-east are tackling droughts. A few are working towards bringing in bio-engineered products whereas few others are channelling their efforts to keep it organic.   In few regions such as belts of Mangalore average land ownership is 2,000 sqft whereas Punjab and Maharashtra have an entitlement of 100's of acres of land.   Besides where there are huge organized corporate land holdings making pathway for consolidation, there are several agricultural plots that is even as small as 1 quintal space. With such a diverse mechanism the dependencies such as financial sources, Agri-Equipment, supplies are varied in each situation. 

Hence generic view or generalizing any problem, solution or product pertaining to the farming industry is not possible. Rather a microscopic understanding of the scenario and a customized solution for each specific situation is really the need for the hour.   

Q.8 How are your products in accordance with the farmer’s requirement? 

The founding mission of PAAMA Agrico has been to be a farmer centric organization. Right from its inception the business strategy has been to keep its ears planted to the ground and we do this quite literally, as we monitor the soil conditions and understand the diverse requirements from various geographies. Further we have our eyes set on the seasonal patterns to custom make and ready our Agri-Equipment based on anticipatory requirements.   

As an example would refer to PAAMA Agrico rotavators that have a modular design where most parts like   the sealing, dimensions, location of the transmission can be shifted around to suit individual requirement. The farmer can play around with the parts to remodel rotavators to suit its soil conditions and his comfort level.   

Q.9 what is your view on government schemes for farmers’ welfare? 

Initiatives such as loan waivers, crop insurance subsidies, and easy availability of credit are all welcome moves by the government.   In addition to this, it will be very encouraging to gain Government's support and involvement in mechanization of Agri- Industry by equipping farmers with essential and advanced farming knowledge and practices amidst limited natural resources.  As the future of agriculture is directly correlated with engagement of right Agriculture- Equipment that have no down-time; are cost-effective and are also in conformity with natural climatic condition of the nation. Government can play an indecisive role in providing these equipments at subsidised cost to farmers. Thus, equipping Indian Farmers with necessary Agri -Equipment and financial assistance required to actively engaging in 'mechanization of agricultural industry'. 

Q.10 Do you feel use of technology in Indian agriculture industry will be another revolution? 

Since India's Independence, to date, technology has been the de facto element instrumental in bringing about several revolutions and advancements. Be it in the line of communication, transportation, banking, businesses, marketing and sales, education, healthcare...it has really touched and transformed every aspect of our life. This implies to agricultural industry as well.   

From traditional, bullock driven soil ploughs to cutting edge rotavators; manual harvests to mechanical harvesters, tedious watering logging to sprinklers are all existing and successfully accepted technological and mechanical advancements of the Agricultural industry. 

However our western counterparts and few organized players of the industry are much ahead of us and are effectively using ' Precision Agriculture' that is in its true sense a technological revolution of the agricultural industry. Gadgets like drones are used to closely monitor the crop which measures the stress on plants, irrigation level  and plant population counts etc. Such deep down analysis enables quicker problem identification and solutions and ultimately drives improvement. Considering such advancements I would just say that we are on the brink of technological revolution of the Agri-Equipment industry that is due to witness Uberization of equipment. 

Q.11 Would you like to convey any message to the farming community?

In the book of occupations, I will place farming on the forefront of the Noble Careers list. It is very difficult to commemorate the farmer for his contributions towards the society.  His tireless efforts to feed the mouths of billions of dependant population amidst several uncertainties and crisis situations should be an inspirational story for the future generations.  

A Food for thought for parents, academic institutions and all educational and developmental organizations; is to necessarily provide farming exposure to future generations. Thus, enabling the cultivation of a healthy, genetically dynamic, organically nurtured 'young crop' that does not wither away from the challenges of work environment and makes the best of available resources to build a strong India; an unshakeable nation that bares the mettle of the farmer.  

I will conclude by tweaking the universal prayer, 'Thank you God for giving me the daily bread and also the farmer who worked so hard to bring it for me! 


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