Case Studies

Project Title

Differentiation strategy for an Indian fertilizer major ushers an era of custom fertilizers

Title Description

Sathguru helped an Indian fertilizer company differentiate itself in a highly competitive and regulated market by conceptualizing a novel product offering that not only increased profitability for the client but also this five year effort triggered regulatory changes that opened new avenues for growth in this segment.

Challenge/Problem statement/Situation analysis

Our client was operating in an era when the fertilizer industry was heavily regulated and subsidy driven with no freedom to develop new products that could offer enhanced value to farmers. They could neither exploit the full potential of the market nor utilize their frontline workforce optimally. They sought our intervention to develop a differentiation strategy based on innovation that would not only increase their profitability, generate higher growth and optimally utilize their workforce.


The scope of Sathguru’s engagement included:

  1. Need assessment for determining nature of products and service with potential demand.
  2. Develop business plan based on market need and organizational capacity.
  3. Help with technology access and linkages with external technical experts to support adoption of those technologies.
  4. Handhold the client to transverse from ideation to feasible business stage.

Sathguru provided a holistic advisory solution to the client: from designing conceptual framework to creating a business plan and assisting them in acquiring right scientific resources for implementing it.

To achieve this, Sathguru:

  1. Designed a scientific evidence based (soil health and nutrition profile) customized product development model for fertilizers.
  2. Identified experts who would initiate the effort on a pilot scale and build organizational capacity by transferring technical knowhow to the client.
  3. Carried out an in depth study for development of advanced analytical laboratory, that would form the backbone of its entire product- service offering.
  4. Developed a unique business model that integrated the farm services aspect into product sales to effectively launch the new product offering.

Sathguru made following specific recommendations

  1. Implement solutions based on models that provide host of services to the farmers based on scientific data analysis.
  2. Customize products based on region and crop specific studies and provide complimentary package of practices for convenience of farmers.
  3. Train salesforce on the new product offering and develop specific training material.
  4. Enter farm services segment for effective launch of the product as it required such a service to compliment the offering.
  5. Build a data warehouse to archive farmer profiles for development of new targeted product and service offerings.
Impact/Result/Client Benefit

Sathguru’s intervention made the client a pioneer of custom fertilizers in India providing accurate science based services. Custom fertilizers not only helped improve soil fertility but also enhanced earnings of the farmers.