Specialty retail May, 09 2011

Boosting agricultural productivity via franchising

By Abha Garyali
Boosting agricultural productivity via franchising

India is predominantly an agricultural country. Realising and encouraging this fact is Agrimart, a brand of Ratnagiri Impex Pvt Ltd, which adopted the franchise route for expansion. In an interaction GopalKrishna, Director and CEO, Agrimart share the journey of the brand’s and its future aspirations.

Abha Garyali (AG): Share the inception, growth and success of ‘Agrimart’, by Ratnagiri Impex Pvt Ltd?

GopalKrishna (GK): Agrimart is the brainchild of our visionary Chairman and Managing Director Vasudevamurthy. His dream was to reach the nook and corner of India and provide the latest technology in mechanisation to the Indian farmers to boost productivity. Agrimart aims to bring closer the benefits of modern and scientific methods of farming within the reach of the average Indian farmer. A very meticulous planning was carried out in bringing this concept to reality.

AG: What was the motivation behind starting this unique business idea?

GK: Our country is in need of genuine retailers who could supply modern / efficient machinery backed up with supply of genuine spares and competent service. The present system of marketing distribution, mainly dependent on dealer /distributor is not successfully able to link all parts of value chain. This inspired the birth of Agrimart. There was, and still is, lack of dedicated brand retailers who would not only commodities the equipment but also add value to the products and service with passion and dedication.

AG: When and what inspired Agrimart to adopt the franchise route for expansion?

GK: We were always confident of the product range and our professional aptitude. We also believed that true and dedicated collaborators would be happy to partner in this mutually profitable proposition. We knew that a very customised / localised / Indianised model of franchising would be most suitable for our expansion plan.

AG: What is the USP of Agrimart?

GK: Agrimart’s proven track record in supplying highly efficient and technologically advanced agricultural and green care machinery is the USP of the brand. Moreover constant research and product development, and our understanding of the industry, links in the value chain and our true value proposition to all stake holders are the points that makes the brand special.

AG: Agrimart supports Agriculture in the country. Kindly share how does it do so?

GK: The soul of our country lives in the rural areas and majority of those dependent on agriculture are small land holders. Our equipments are most suitable for these small farm holders. At a relatively low investment, adopting the latest technology and at lower maintenance costs, our equipments have certainly added substantial value to the Indian agriculture scenario.

AG: What according to you is the scope for aspiring franchisees in this business? What can you say about its future success in the country?

GK: Our philosophy is one of collaboration. The company believes in mutual growth and our business model is truly a win-win proposition. We are confident of exponential growth for franchisees. We also realise our responsibilities as the franchisor and will continue to support our collaborators in their growth and prosperity.

AG: Being a unique concept, Agrimart has been doing well. Do you think now other players are also in competition?

GK: Competition, in any business, is inevitable. Competition is the factor which can bring out the best of our performance. It also keeps us on our toes in excellence in performance and delivery. Hence we welcome competition since it will compel us to be a step ahead of competition.

AG: How many franchisees do you have at present? What are your future expansion plans?

GK: We have 35 franchisees currently and plan to establish 300 Agrimart outlets.

AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?

GK: We only look for enthusiastic, dedicated and committed franchisees with good business acumen, and hunger to succeed. An investment of Rs 25 lakh is required

AG: How does the company support and train franchisees?

GK: The company assures of its support continuously in the following aspects:

  • Constant product development, upgrading of technology and bringing in state of the art products most suitable for the Indian environment
  • Continuous marketing support in terms of creating awareness
  • An effective calendar of marketing events, presence in fairs and conducting workshops
  • We support our franchisees by providing continuous support and live product demonstrations

Related: Booking profits!!!

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