Plants, we all know make their own food under sunlight. The roots, on the other end, draw up minerals and essential nutrients from the soil for proper growth. But with time, the nutrient density in soil reduces and needs human intervention for the same. This ensures that the produce is nutrient rich and hence help humans and animals achieve proper nutrition.
Established in 1969, Aries Agro Limited is a company which has made its mark in the business of manufacturing of micro nutrients and other customized nutritional products for plants and animals. It started by manufacturing a small range of mineral feed additives for animals & birds and then diversified into mineral additives for the agriculture use.
Throughout the excerpts mentioned below, the company shares its impressive journey with us.
Kindly brief us about the company. What prompted the founders to start an agri-tech company and the initial struggle?
Aries Agro Limited is an Indian Multinational Company that offers the widest range of products in the primary, secondary and micro-fertilizer sector, ranging from individual elements to mixed specialty plant nutrient fertilizers. Since 1969, we have pioneered several innovative concepts of farming to Indian agriculturists, including the wonder of Chelation Technology, bio-degradable complexes of plant nutrients, water soluble NPK fertilizers, value added secondary nutrients, natural and biological products and water treatment formulations. Our products provide all 16 plant nutrients required in agriculture, customized for the specific needs of 107 different crops. Aries is consistently recognized among India’s best-in-class companies with 65 brands in the niche plant nutrition industry selling at 90,000 retail outlets across India and also in 11 countries globally.
The founders, Dr. T. B. Mirchandani and Mrs.Bala Mirchandani were a team of marketing and technical experts in the area of agri business. They identified a gap in the specialty plant nutrition segment which was untapped at that point of time. They took the harder but more profitable route of discarding the commodity fertilizers and selecting micronutrients and highly customized plant nutrients as the area of focus.
Tell us about the services you provide through your venture.
Our Company provides a range of products which are in the specialty plant nutrition area and can be segmented into; 1) Micronutrient fertilizers and chelates 2) Water soluble NPK fertilizers 3) Secondary plant nutrition and soil conditioners 4) Aquaculture and fishery nutrition 5) Animal health supplements 6) Water treatment and post harvest management solutions. 7) Bactericides and plant hormones
Please share some success stories, awards and accolades that the company has received.
We received Appreciation Certificate from Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry for Civic Award 2017 under “Sustainable Environmental Initiatives’ Category and the highest independent honour in India namely the ‘Skoch Gold Award 2017’ for our consistent work serving Indian farmers. We received recognition with Skoch Order of Merit – 2017 for being amongst the top 100 SME’s in India. Also The National Record awarded by Limca Book of Records for the Largest Flash Sale of Specialty Plant Nutrient Products conducted during April 2016 at Bombay Stock Exchange, International Convention Center, Mumbai.
How does the company intend to give back to the society?
The Company has, over the past few years, focused on a range of community activities which are as follows:
Infrastructure support for Education: Education for the girl child, language labs for hearing impaired, construction of washrooms/bathrooms for girl’s schools, distributions of books, educational kits, uniforms & computers, provision of water tanks, supply of benches etc
Scholarships: The Company also provided fees and scholarships to students and also awards to meritorious students
Farmers Call Centre: The Company’s Call Centre based in Vijayawada continued to provide answers to farmer’s queries and provided direct interaction with consumers. In addition, the Company has added call center numbers on all literature and promotional materials and is extending the reach of this call center to other states across India.
Spreading Knowledge: Aries’ continues to strongly advocate good agricultural practices. Farmers’ meeting and training programmes on good agricultural practices are conducted at various places across India. These sessions are conducted by team of 138 extension officials spread across 26 states.
Well on wheels: In addition we are also providing Aries “Well on Wheels”, a device to assist the women in rural areas to carry 45 litres of water using a wheel barrow type of machine, rather than carrying heavy loads on their head across long distances.
Health Care: Ration kits and medicines were distributed among flood affected people in Gujarat, West Bengal and Kerala.
Soil Testing Services: The Company organizes soil testing camps using Mobile Soil Testing Kits which analyse 10 parameters including pH, EC, NPK levels in soil, micro nutrient levels including Zinc, Ferrous, Boron, Organic Carbon, etc. Soil Health Cards are issued to farmers
providing an additional service in order that they understand the specific nutrient needs of their farms.
Share with us one latest development in agricultural technology that will play a major role in helping the Indian farmers and tackling the growing food demand.
Agricultural technology in the area of plant nutrition using drones for agricultural space (reducing labour cost and time), use of cost effective inert environmentally safe fertilizers (in place of harmful chemical fertilizers) and use of post harvest management techniques (to reduce storage, transport and climate stress)
Brief us about the future of the company or the goal it has set to mark its exceptionality in future.
The future of Aries, which is embarking on its golden jubilee year in 2019-20, is being charted using the following focus areas
- i) Deeper market penetration in the Indian specialty plant nutrition segment using the
Aries range of chelates and water soluble fertilizers. ii) Wider reach in every fertilizer consuming district of India and Asian countries. iii) Agricultural new products redesigned using the best in class technologies to further improve the effects of Aries range of products.
One piece of advice for the budding entrepreneurs who are trying to embark in the same field.
The agri inputs segment is a high growth but hyper competitive market where finding a unique niche to provide products and services which are relevant to farmers needs is most critical. Tenacity, agility and patience will be the only ways that entrepreneurs can ensure the success and survive in this attractive market.
About the Leader
Dr. Rahul Mirchandani joined Aries Agro Limited in February 1995. Since joining as part of the market development team, he has over the past 23 years been instrumental in expanding the Company’s presence from 9 states to 26 states. He has been at the forefront to launch new products every year to take the total to current 65 brands. He has overseen the use of sensory branding for the first time in Indian Animal Nutrition Products. He made using water soluble packaging for single dose packs of Aries flagship brands to create a buzz in the market apart from ensuring accurate dose and reducing labour intervention. He has helped in creating farmer celebrities by providing platforms where Aries farmers have interacted with US President Obama, Netherlands Govt, Niti Aayog, etc. and provided a Showcase for how Aries products have benefitted their field and added to their incomes.