20. Rasi Seeds

With area under Bt cotton reaching maximum capacity and an erratic monsoon in some parts of India, Rasi Seeds recorded a sizable dip in its FY 2013 bioscience revenues

m-ramaswami

Chairman and Managing Director: M Ramasami

Rank 20

Dip in Bt cotton revenues

One of the earliest adopters of Bt cotton technology in India, Rasi had become an early entrant into the market. However a number of issues such as increased competition and environmental factors resulted in a downward trend in the growth curve. Last year, Rasi released two new cotton hybrids which have been well received this Kharif season by farmers across the country. Rasi currently has over 20 Bt products under BGI and BGII for different zones of the country. Rasi's Bt cotton revenue during FY 2012-13 was `292 crore. The company expects this year to be a better one and is estimated to reach `575 crore through Bt cotton sales.
In a bid to expand its operations, Rasi acquired the Bayer Crop Science's hybrid corn business recently. About the move, Mr Ramasami says, "We took this step to increase our market share in the hybrid corn market." This step will hopefully allow Rasi to double its share in the hybrid corn seed market. Rasi will now be able to add five to six hybrid varieties to its existing portfolio besides allowing Rasi to access Bayer Crop science's corn germplasm. Officials have stated that this would help them strengthen their own germplasm bank and further develop hybrids. It will also give access to expertise and breeding stations in Bangalore, Hyderabad and in North India.
Rasi Seeds has set a target to increase the corn seed production volumes to around 10,000-12,000 tonnes in the next few years while exploring different markets in South-East Asia. Currently both Rasi and Bayer had volumes of around 3000 tonnes of corn seed a year.
Rasi Seeds has a number of existing collaborations with both national and international institutes to develop high yielding hybrid varieties such as Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Madurai kamaraj University, Indian Agricultural Research Institute and University of Ottawa, Canada, and International Rice Research Institute, Phillipines. Some of these are under DBT schemes in a public private partnership mode.
Another partnership Rasi Seeds entered into was with Evogene, an Israel based firm to introduce its hybrid rice varieties. Under the agreement, Rasi will get an exclusive license to introduce Evogen's drought tolerant and yield enhancing gene traits into its own varieties of hybrid rice. Evogen had identified a total of 24 genes, that have been validated in model plants and that possess both drought resistant and yield enhancing traits.
Besides this Rasi also has a fledgling business of distributing vegetable seeds under HyVeg brand.

Company: Rasi Seeds
Business: Field crops, Bt cotton, hybrid vegetable seeds
Revenue: 2013 `292 crore

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