Case Studies

Project Title

Product and service portfolio re-prioritization helps south india based agri-input major consolidate its leadership position

Title Description

Over a one year effort, Sathguru assisted the agri-input retail division of a leading South India based conglomerate to re-prioritize its product and service portfolio and emerge as market leader in providing total agri solutions.

Challenge/Problem statement/Situation analysis

Our client was a leading fertilizer and agro-chemical entity in south India. The competition in this segment was driving business to evolve and develop new business models offering comprehensive one stop solutions to farm family needs.

Our client was no exception and ventured into all possible avenues in agri-retail and farm services realm. However, not all these ventures were profitable and client faced significant operational issues. Additionally, human resource competency mismatch between existing and new businesses posed significant challenge.

The client approached Sathguru to re-prioritize their product and service offerings and help build capacity to effectively handle these new businesses.

Scope

The scope of Sathguru’s engagement included:

  1. Critically analyze the new retail and farm service business verticals to assess their relative performance and their synergy with the existing business verticals and propose re-prioritization
  2. Map human resource and knowledge requirements of the new business verticals and suggest effective competency building process to bridge the gaps
  3. Explore potential for leveraging new advancements in Information Technology for knowledge dissemination and improving service quality
Approach

Sathguru followed a dual approach of evaluating each of the new business verticals both on standalone basis and in synergy with existing business and developed a proprietary framework to evaluate attractiveness of each of these new verticals.

To achieve this, Sathguru:

  1. Carried extensive primary research with diverse stakeholders such as dealers, farmers, extension specialists and staff & management of the client across different geographies to ascertain expectations of various stakeholders including the customers
  2. Conducted due diligence of all new business verticals to review the business model that included analysis of profitability, product categories, value chain, infrastructure, human resource capabilities to ascertain attractiveness of each of these business verticals.
  3. Analyzed the synergy of each of the new business verticals with existing business to ascertain the fit with overall growth strategy of the client.
  4. Based on the above analysis and using a proprietary business mapping framework, identified verticals that should be continued and verticals that should be discontinued
  5. For the verticals that were recommended to be continued, performed a detailed evaluation including operational benchmarking, human capacity and infrastructure need assessment and recommending best practices and operating strategy to revitalize the verticals.
Recommendations

Sathguru made the following specific recommendations to strengthen the client’s position as comprehensive agri-solutions provider.

  1. Sathguru identified and recommended closure of retail verticals that were not synergistic and pursue with enhanced rigor the ones that are in sync with core business
  2. Sathguru recommended a new organization structure and helped prioritize service offering that emphasized role of farm advisory in delivering value to famers
  3. Sathguru recommended a HR policy that aimed at systematic assessment and capacity building of existing staff and a mechanism to recruit, and retain talent to ensure service level sustainability and high motivation in service delivery.
  4. Sathguru recommended specific research linkages with research and academic institutes of repute that forms the backbone of farm advisory services
  5. Sathguru identified suitable IT platforms with optimal human intervention for service delivery so that enhanced IT solutions can be designed for development and integration within the overall framework of product and service delivery
Impact/Result/Client Benefit

The closure of non-synergistic business verticals in the retail division led to increase in profitability. The introduction of effective IT platforms, linkages with research and academic partners and prudent HR policies enhanced knowledge and delivery capabilities resulting in client’s leadership in farm advisory services and agri-input as a whole.