On the back of yet another crisis in the past few years, people have significantly realized the importance of agriculture today as the pandemic prevalence made people count weigh up the real priorities of life, and food supply comes to top of the list. Various radical changes have taken place within organized agriculture in recent times that could undermine the success of the country's entire agriculture sector. Agriculture not only supplies food to millions, but plays a fundamental role in a country’s economy, so there is an ever increasing need to invest in the sector and works towards its development.
Essentially, as increasing population, increasing average income and globalization effects in India will increase the demand for quantity, quality and nutritious food, including the variety of food, the next phase of the Agriculture, Agro-based, and Agro-processing sector has kicked into full gear. While the Indian farming market reached a value of Rs.22,516 billion in 2021, looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach Rs.41,148.7 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.5 percent during 2022- 2027.
As many agriculture sector leaders are focused to hammer out a better deal to providing the farmers and cultivators with resources that dynamically help boost the agriculture production, Rahul Dayal, Founder & CEO of Star Chemicals is also working out his way delivering the quality Agro-based products to them. Star Chemicals are one of the busy and known leaders in Wholesaling, Trading, Exporting and Importing of a wide assortment of Chemical Fertilizers, Agricultural Fertilizers, and Agricultural Biopesticides, and much more.
Rahul is an experienced professional and C-suite leader with a demonstrated history of working across a number of different sectors including Financial Services, Property and Professional Pensions. He is a highly efficient and passionate individual who enjoys the challenge of working in a fast-paced team environment using marketing to identify opportunities. Currently, Star Chemical is visioning success under his guided leadership. Rahul Dayal engages in an exclusive interview with CEO Insights Magazine, and walks us through his professional journey along with the unique traits of the company. Let’s hear from him!
Tell us about your educational and professional experience and what inspired you to venture into the agriculture sector.
My education and experience in learning about business are a strong foundation for my career. Well, holding Computer Hardware Diploma, I have completed my education studying Agriculture, Economics Nature, Agricultural Economics from The University of Western Australia. I have also been an International Business Management Institute (IBMI) program participant in General English, and English Language and Literature.
I am very much of the opinion that learning is a continual process andone requires new techniques to be able to keep up with the current trends, which is why I believe my education has equipped me with the required capability to succeed in business. To mention about my interest in agriculture sector, I believe it was my intellectual tend at the moment, thinking about demography’s agricultural needs at large. I have worked in the agriculture sector as a business leader, and I am a skilled and experienced Agriculturist with over 11 years of expertise in the industry. Always taking initiatives to improve my skills and develop new knowledge to become a better leader for my business, I have achieved a lot in my journey so far.
It includes my efforts to motivate the salesteam to teach farmers about new innovative products and also about developing system required in the production of agrochemicals, followed by developing efficient supply chain system for treatment of crops in right time to obtain optimum productivity in agriculture produces. My key strengths include strong leadership skills, product management experience, and time management. My knowledge of agrochemicals production sectors coupled with my ability to understand the farmers needs has enabled me to drive growth within the company.
Seeds Chemical started its business with almost nine states in one year and has reached from 0 to 600 distributor network today. The appreciation from farmers and distributors is our achievement, and that is because of our quality concern. We want to keep staying committed to our aspiration to serve the agriculture world and community better in the times to come.
What has been the most challenging business task in your career so far? How did you overcome it?
The most challenging business task in my career so far was building a new business from scratch. Initially, the venture was a small one that alone had me to begin. While I did not have any previous experience running a company, learning from the market and the farmers in farms, the company built a strong product that is still being used today.
Every business has its own set of challenges and we are very excited to sail through this journey
With patience in various stages of this process, from idea generation to testing and scaling our team as well as managing multiple projects simultaneously, we moved further, and reached here. Even though it was challenging at times, I am proud to say that I ultimately overcame this challenge through persistence even when things went wrong.
However, the challenges still exist, every now and then in keeping up with the consumer demands.
Hence, we mitigate it by striving to always figure out a way to decrease the number of problems experienced by customers, while keeping their prices affordable. Other most important challenge remains the regulations and licenses which takes lots of time to get straight with proper documentation, hence we earn knowledge on it and get it done in time. Every business has its own set of challenges and we are very excited to sail through this journey.
As a business leader, how do you inspire your workforce to perform better. What is your guiding leadership philosophy? Also, kindly mention your visionary approach.
Leadership according to me implies being interested in the well-being ofemployees, coming up with ideas and solving organizational and business issues, while thinking of what others might need rather than just defining leadership stature. It is important to understand the unique strengths and weaknesses of each employee so that we can work together to achieve great things.
Being a visionary leader is about creating clarity about the direction of your business. You need to be able to think boldly and creatively about new ideas to build your brand, but also make sure you consider all aspects of it. Creating a culture of innovation and change that allows you to innovate new services and products is important. But you can only do this if you have the financial resources, possess the right leadership skills, and culture knowledge to make it happen.
How do you keep yourself well aligned with the periodic advancements happening in the industry and the tech world? How do you adapt to those developments?
As an entrepreneur, one faces many challenges and hardships in the journey of being a successful entrepreneur. It is important to be good at adapting to changes in technology as well as understand how it impacts your business. Hence, working across enhancing and developing my knowledge through various sources, while also having built a good network of people and clients who share the same interests and exercise in the agriculture industry passionately, I ensure to well-align myself along the changes & developments in agriculture sector.
Any advice for the budding professionals in this domain?
Entrepreneurs are business leaders who are passionately driven and successful in creating a new venture. As you continue to serve your customers and grow, it is important to work on developing skills that help you become a more effective leader. Work on realizing that different tasks require different skills and abilities, such as planning, organizing, following directions, keeping up with detail, taking initiative, executing well under pressure, while maintaining flexibility, as it all plays a critical role in running a successful business.