Shift in commodity to specialty solutions has begun to pay-off: Deepak Fertilisers’ CMD Sailesh Mehta

Vishwanath Kulkarni | | Updated on: May 31, 2022
CMD of M/s. Deepak Fertilizers & Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (DFPCL), Sailesh C Mehta

CMD of M/s. Deepak Fertilizers & Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (DFPCL), Sailesh C Mehta

Crop-specific nutrients witnessing increased offtake

Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemical Corporation Ltd (DFPCL) said its strategy to shift from commodity business to providing specific solutions has started to pay-off with the company witnessing growth in crop specific nutritional products.

Sailesh Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, DFPCL, said the company started its journey of transformation to a specialty solutions provider a few years ago and it has contributed to good results during the financial year ended March 2022. The company reported a 32 per cent increase in topline at ₹7,663 crore, crossing the billion dollar mark in revenues. Net profits during the year grew 69 per cent to cross ₹687 crore.

In the fertiliser segment, which accounts for 33 per cent of the total revenues, Mehta said the company has started creating crop-specific nutrient baskets for crops such as cotton, onion, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables among others, Mehta said.

Fertigation solutions

The company has already launched crop-specific fertigation solutions under the ‘Solutek’ brand for grapes and tomato crops, which is seeing good acceptance among the farmers as it has helped improve their yields and produce quality. The company—which has about 18-20 per cent market share in the core command areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka—has set up over 50,000 demonstration plots to showcase the crop-specific nutrients, which has resulted enhanced acceptance levels among the farmers, Mehta said.

Mehta said the company with a strong focus on applied R&D has over 300 agronomists working with farmers on understanding their needs, the soil and crop requirements to create customised and crop-specific nutrients.

Similarly in its chemicals business, the company has also applied the specific solutions strategy for technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) and has directly been in touch with miners helping them improve productivity by looking at blast designs and addressing last mile connectivity, Mehta said.

Alliances, M&As

Mehta said the strategy of providing specific solutions will change the face of the company in the next few years. The company is also exploring options for strategic alliances, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions in the fertiliser and mining chemicals segment. In the fertiliser space, the company is keenly looking at start-ups in the areas of farm management, sensor-based nutrient needs, digitising data collection and drone-based services offerings.

As part of its backward integration plans, DFPCL is in the process of setting up an ammonia complex in Taloja with a capital expenditure of ₹4,300 crore and a TAN complex with an investment of ₹2,300 crore, said Amitabh Bhargava, CFO, DFPCL. The increase in internal cash generation, which stood at close to ₹1,200 crore during the year, will help the company execute these projects at a much lower leverage than anticipated, Bhargava said.

Published on May 31, 2022
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