16 September 2016 | Interviews | By BioSpectrum Bureau
BioSpectrum Ranking Survey: Rank 16: Ankur Seeds
Managing Director: M G Shembekar
Total Revenue: Rs 250 crore
Ankur Seeds was established in 1976 as a seed company with cotton as its primary seed portfolio. Over a period it steadily established itself as a business catering to major cereal and vegetable crops and today Ankur Seeds has one of the largest portfolios among Indian seed industry encompassing 16 different vegetable and cereal crops.
Ankur Seeds R&D division comprises 300 acres of research farms and multi location centers and a state-of-the-art breeding support facility.
Nagpur-based Ankur Seeds total revenue for the FY 15-16 was Rs 250 crore a significant decrease from Rs 350 crore in FY 14-15. The reason for this stunted growth, as per the firm, is the onslaught of whiteflies and the accompanying cotton leaf curl virus damage left the Indian cotton seed industry stunned in the last year. Another major factor causing a hindrance to the Bt cotton business is the slow regulatory approvals for new hybrids which delays the process of new hybrids and traits coming up in the market.
In this fiscal, however, it is targeting a 25 percent growth.
The firm launched two BG-II cotton hybrids Suwarna and Ankur 4252 in the previous financial year. It says, "Farmers, especially in Central India, have been facing the drought situation for several years. We have been successful in alleviating the issue to a large extent by introducing cotton hybrids that perform excellently under rain fed conditions. Two of our new cotton hybrids launched recently have been well received by farmers from these regions."
Other highlights include expansion of its research satellite centers and centers for multi-location trials for cotton, paddy and vegetables it has also initiated large scale projects for identifying nitrogen use and water use efficient genotypes in germplasm. The firm is also focusing research and marketing efforts in South India for cotton hybrids.
Looking at the unpredictable climate, for Indian agriculture which is largely dependent on monsoons, it is vital that R&D activities are focused towards developing products which are tolerant to scanty rainfall.
Ankur Seeds has number of drought tolerant hybrids in the pipeline and it continues investing in R&D to this end. Virus incidence has been increasing for the past several years in vegetables and the crop losses have been great. Identifying virus tolerant donors and developing tolerant hybrids will also be of focus for the coming years.
The firm's overall plans and goals are to strengthen cotton and paddy portfolio and bolstering vegetable seed portfolio and increase presence all over India in the vegetable seed market.