2000, some of India’s well known companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Chemicals, Rallis India (a seed manufacturing company) and Nagarjuna Fertilizers took up agri businss ventures by setting up their own business models. However, most of them had to face problems due to lack of growth. Tata Chemicals, Mahindra & Mahindra and Rallis used the concept of a one stop shop for agri products like seeds, fertilizers and extension services for farmers. The Shubh Labh venture started by Mahindras had set up 36 centres in 10 states by the end of 2002.

However, the company posted huge losses in 2001-02. Tata Kisan Kentra (TKK) launched by Tata Chemicals had also reportedly faced problems getting the required revenue streams to sustain the investment. Even ikisan. com (Nagarjuna Fertilizers), which tried to create an e-market place, could not scale up. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is now selling more Scorpios in rural and semi-urban markets. Scorpio sales have increased from 35 per cent to 50 per cent in the last two years. Like the Tatas, the $2. billion Mahindra group has successfully established a synergy between its current businesses and the planned rural forays. Its agship, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is India’s largest farm equipment company. Its subsidiary, Mahindra Shubhlabh Services, has operations in 11 states, and leverages the strong Mahindra brand, the 700,000-strong Mahindra tractor customer base and the 400-plus dealer network, to provide a complete range of products and services to improve farm productivity and establish market linkages to the commodity market chain.

Its retailing arm, Mahindra Krishi Vihar, has been instrumental in increasing the groundnut yield in Rajasthan through a new seed sourced from the state of Maharashtra, and it has also introduced a new variety of grapes in Maharashtra. Says Vikram Puri, head of Mahindra Shubhlabh Services, Almost 80 per cent of the farmers registered with us have less than _ve acres land.

We are making farming an attractive proposition through three basic guiding steps growing what the market requires, improving the crop yield and decreasing the cost of crop production. The activities of Mahindra Shubhlabh Services have attracted the attention of the International Finance Corporation, the _nancial arm of the World Bank, which recently picked up a 27 per cent stake in the company. Rural India accounts for a market worth $27 billion.

No wonder even MNCs have cottoned on to the idea of a resurgent rural India. • Territory Manager Mahindra and MAHINDRA lTD (Marketing and Advertising industry) May 1999 — September 2003 (4 years 5 months) I worked with MM as Territory Sales Manager at Bhopal and Ahmedabad Office, also was Team leader for Dealer marketing strength Enhancing programme at Gwalior and Gujarat State for 2 years. Working with MM gave me great experience and good insights on my personal developments.

I also was proud and Dependable Team Member. I developed great trust on simple science called Marketing. Developing Dealer network, understanding and exploiting the Team’s potential to Maximum were some of Key traits which were required in the tough phase as industry was quite low in most of those years. I owe most of my leadership skill set to MM. I still Cherish the beautiful professional Phase I lived through.

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