Mr Balvinder Singh Kalsi
President - South Asia, E I DuPont India
E I DuPont India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of E I DuPont, US has been
fast expanding its operations in India, supported by the DuPont
Knowledge Center and the DuPont Services Center. Agriculture and
related segments have made significant contributions to DuPont India
revenues and India is becoming a key market for the company's
agriculture business worldwide.
In an interview with BioSpectrum, Mr Balvinder Singh Kalsi,
president-South Asia, E I DuPont India, shares his views on the
importance of the Indian market, opposition to GM technology and many
Q How strategic is the
India market for DuPont?
India is definitely
of strategic importance for DuPont but our focus here is to feed the
millions. The food security being a core issue, we are committed to
alleviate the fear of starvation. Because of huge agricultural needs,
India holds key to the development of certain technologies. Being a
science and research-based company, 60 percent of our investment goes
into agriculture. We have invested significantly in India on both
parameters—research and capital. The DuPont Knowledge Center at
Hyderabad is an example of that.
Q What is your opinion
on opposition to genetically modified (GM) technology?
It is not about the
GM technology only. It is about increasing the productivity with number
of other techniques. The different aspects of the GM technology must be
addressed. For that, we need a scientific debate on the subject to come
to conclusions. But if people close their minds and stop listening,
then it is very hard to make them understand about the benefits. Then,
it becomes an issue. Having said that, it is also important to know
that biotechnology is just an option among other options. We must
remember that the primary interest is to keep away the pests and
increase the yield. We need to make sure that more food is produced.
Q Do you think that
without commercialization, the investments in research of GM crops is a
I think we need to
ponder over the fact that the farmers who toil hard out there in the
field do not actually reap the benefits. They must also get the benefit
of the GDP growth of eight-nine percent that is being talked about so
often. Back in 2003, due to non-effectiveness of agrichemicals, farmers
even refused to grow cotton. Since the introduction of Bt cotton, the
entire scenario changed. Today 98-99 percent of the overall cotton crop
is Bt Cotton. Farmers are wise enough and know the utilization of crops
for the best outcome. Going by all these facts, the investments seem to
be right because it is important to develop the technologies to
Q What kind of growth
are you expecting in the future?
We expect a
sustainable growth of over 20 percent in the next two-four years time.
in New Delhi