India, a nation with a burgeoning population of nearly 1.4 billion, faces the monumental task of feeding millions every day. The critical importance of food security cannot be overstated. At the core of this battle lies the indispensable need for crop protection against relentless pests capable of wreaking havoc on agricultural produce. Enter GSP Crop Science Pvt. Ltd., a leader in the agrochemical industry, standing as a stalwart defender against this agricultural peril.
Headquartered in Ahmedabad, the organisation emerges as a leader in developing and selling agrochemicals nationwide, aligning with Atmanirbharta and Make in India policies. Unlike the past reliance on costly imports, the company not only fulfils domestic needs but also exports to the global market.
GSP envisions transforming agriculture by offering innovative products at regional prices and prioritising indigenous manufacturing. This vision targets small land-holding farmers, addressing their challenges in affording expensive multinational corporation (MNC) products. Given India’s 40 to 60 crore individuals directly tied to farming, especially small-scale farmers, affordability is paramount. Their core mission revolves around providing high-quality products at competitive prices, anticipating farmer needs ahead of the government’s ARKB mission.
The company boasts a network of over 6000 B2C dealers and 2000 B2B customers, including major enterprises and MNCs. Founded in 1985 by the Late Vrajmohan R Shah, GSP Crop Science continues its legacy after his demise. The commitment persists in delivering cost-effective and indigenous agricultural solutions, empowering farmers with access to superior products at affordable prices.
Mr Bhavesh Shah has been associated with the company since completing his studies in 1993. Introducing Research and Development (R&D) to elevate operations, he initially focused on formation processes before venturing into sales in 1994. Under his guidance, GSP expanded from Gujarat to a Pan India basis with over 6000 associated dealers.
Mr Shah’s commitment to innovation resulted in 93 product launches in India, including 8 patents. ‘Diphentheron’ marked a pivotal moment in his career, leading to a significant MNC tie-up. Subsequently, ‘SLR’ disrupted traditional trends, becoming a top-ten saleable product for MNCs, exclusively sourced from GSP. Their recent creation, ‘CTPR,’ secured a patent, anticipating increased market demand.
Recognising chemical industry monopolies, Mr Bhavesh Shah initiated manufacturing for affordable farmer alternatives. Introducing the R&D team enhanced product technicality, aiming to mitigate product shortages in India. Mr Shah’s vision extends globally, aspiring to transform GSP into a top 10 chemical company worldwide. The journey, beginning with ensuring farmer accessibility, evolved into a mission for a renowned global presence while advocating for industry affordability and availability.
His relentless dedication earned Mr Bhavesh Shah the Best CEO award from Agriculture Today for advancing farmers’ welfare through his dedicated efforts.
Research plays a pivotal role in the products developed by GSP Crop Science. Their flagship product, Chlorantraniliprole (CTPR), underwent extensive research before market launch to ensure efficacy and safety. CTPR functions as a durable insect control system, uniquely acting on crops like sugarcane, rice, soybean, pulses, and vegetables, targeting various species and insect life stages.
With excellent bottom-up intake and transportation within plants, CTPR effectively penetrates plants from root to stem. The cutting-edge technology in formulating insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and plant regulators provides substantial relief to farmers. Expressing his enthusiasm Mr Shah states,
With an annual turnover of Rs 1200 crore and four manufacturing units in Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir, GSP Crop Science markets over 70 branded products through a vast network of distributors, dealers, and depots in India and exports to 25 countries. Their top products, including SLR, CTPR, Pendimethalin, Chlorochonifos, and Pemitizine, are the key contributors to their success. For GSP, their strategic focus lies on global expansion in 2024, with operations set to commence in Brazil by January. They have appointed a dedicated vertical head, and preparations are underway to kickstart operations, including team augmentation in Brazil as a key element of the international business expansion strategy.
Proposing a $3 million investment in Brazilian operations, Mr Shah anticipates a substantial market opportunity in the $14 billion agrochemical market in Brazil.
GSP’s commitment to Research and Development has resulted in groundbreaking processes. The organisation employed pioneering procedures in developing Pimetrogin and CTPR. Both these products are now recognised for their exceptional purity in the chemical industry.
Shares Mr Shah
Their Research and Development (R&D) department is dedicated to crafting top-tier agricultural solutions for farmers, ensuring optimal crop yields without encountering resistance. Emphasising self-reliance and minimising dependency on Chinese imports by manufacturing products from scratch, GSP maintains control over quality and affordability. Rigorous attention to production significantly curtails imports, which are managed by the technical R&D team.
Safety is a top priority in GSP’s manufacturing facilities, with a third party exclusively appointed for safety checks across products. This approach ensures the implementation of stringent safety protocols and quality assurance measures.
Additionally, their R&D framework has established a specialised formation division engineering 2-way or 3-way combination solutions tailored to address specific land-related challenges faced by farmers. Notable achievements for GSP include the development of ‘SLR’ in 2016, addressing ‘White fry’ issues, and significantly reducing crop losses. Another product, ‘BCD,’ effectively tackles soybean and groundnut losses caused by black fungus, providing relief to farmers.
Distinguished by a unique trifecta of strengths, GSP seamlessly integrates robust brand strength, technical expertise, and a well-established export strategy, maintaining a resilient market position. The company’s USP lies in domestically producing previously imported products, saving millions in foreign currency. Notably, introducing indigenous technology for diphentheron production in 2011 led to halting imports, with over 1000 crores worth of materials manufactured in India in the past decade, marking a significant shift in supply to MNCs.
The consistent introduction of new products and the commitment to manufacturing from scratch using innovative and indigenous technology contribute significantly to their distinct market presence and sustained success.
The journey of GSP Crop Science was fraught with challenges in the initial days, tethered to Gujarat’s climate, limiting operations to the local region. However, the business has evolved from being regionally dependent to operating nationwide, embracing diversification as a shield against regional losses during monsoons.
Another challenge that emerged was the longevity issues in cotton despite product application. In response, GSP formulated a specialised chemical addressing this issue, mitigating losses in various crops during monsoons, including paddy, sugarcane, chillies, and vegetables. This strategic innovation extended beyond Gujarat, bolstering the company’s ability to counteract monsoon-induced agricultural challenges across diverse regions nationwide.
GSP’s sustainability strategy emphasises nutrient-rich products for enhanced crop yields, steering away from biopesticides. Their recent introduction of ‘Generous Spermation,’ a proprietary innovation, has achieved initial sales success, with plans to double production from 500 to 1000 tonnes this year. Notably, the company has launched four patented paddy products in the past three months, aligning with India’s substantial 40% land under paddy growth, and is actively engaged in herbicide manufacturing. In future, GSP plans to develop chemical products suitable for various grains, outlining a sustainable trajectory supported by Research and Development, technical expertise, and import strategies.
The integration of solar energy into select plants further contributes to cost reduction, reinforcing the company’s commitment to long-term sustainability and growth in the competitive agricultural market.
The agrochemical industry is evolving, and staying at the forefront of technological advancements is imperative. Recognising the need of the hour, GSP Crop Science strategically integrates advanced technologies into its operations. SAP implementation a decade ago automated the entire plant, with recent extensions following suit, operating automatically. A dedicated app for the sales team enables direct monitoring of sales ratios, with the company planning to extend its use to farmers by January 2024. GSP is also developing innovative seeding technologies and new spraying machines for improved agricultural practices.
Their proficient R&D team excels in synthesising diverse products from raw materials, pioneering novel formulations like OD and SE. These formulations, previously non-existent in India, have set new standards in the country’s agricultural sector, showcasing the company’s commitment to technological innovation.
Advising aspiring entrepreneurs in the chemical industry, Mr Bhavesh Shah shares, “Consistency is crucial for sustainability. Given the highly competitive market, continual innovation is key to thriving. Regularity in operations and the introduction of novel offerings are vital for survival in the dynamic chemical agricultural sector.”