Industry Voices

While Public Private Partnership (PPP) is in focus, it is more important that private - private partnerships also happen. That means companies on the input side and value chain side get together at the district level to collaborate voluntarily. Where an agro chemical or seed or an irrigation company comes together with buyers to collectively provide solutions to farmers - from knowledge to the right inputs – they enable precision farming and improved productivity driven by better knowledge. Farmers can then look at providing output to the buyer at a reasonable price and with profit.

Anil JainManaging Director and CEO, Jain Irrigation Systems Limited

India needs to make itself a sustainable economy that is competent to provide the world with cutting edge solutions in agriculture. To achieve this, we need visionary changes in the current policy framework and our attitude towards agriculture. Agriculture can only become a profession by choice if appropriate skill building initiatives are undertaken and sustainable agricultural practices adopted. Capital investment in modernizing agriculture technology should be incentivised with appropriate subsidies. Research and Development in agriculture, biotechnology and relevant sciences should be encouraged through PPP models and these outputs should be available to the farming community to enhance their agricultural practices.

R MukundanDeputy Chairman, CII (WR) and Managing Director, Tata Chemicals Limited

Mechanization is a significant challenge and linked to labour availability on the farm. Currently, the focus is on ensuring mechanization solutions are accessible and available to various segments of farmers. What shapes development here is the creation of business models as farmers cannot afford harvesters, harvester equipments and / similar expensive machinery. One needs to determine whether a contractor model or resource center model can work. We are working at various levels and with different agencies to find solutions because we know that mechanization can help improve productivity and farmer profitability.

Satish NadigerManaging Director & CEO, John Deere India Pvt Limited

Infrastructure concerns are huge, particularly for perishables. About 25-40 per cent of India’s agri produce is wasted due to improper transportation, storage, warehousing and lack of cold chain infrastructure. Due to lack of adequate storage facilities farmers are forced to sell their produce early without waiting for better market prices. Bringing in the private sector - both as a competitor and to complement the public sector - will add greater strength and value for money. Therefore, both must work complementarily to benefit both the farmers and the consumers.

B ThiagarajanChairman, CII Task Force on Cold Chain Development and President, Blue Star Limited

The Indian sugar industry, one of the main drivers of the rural economy, is challenged by excessive controls by multiple departments of the Central and State Governments. Adhoc sugarcane pricing policy, levy obligation below cost of production, control of exports, reservation of cane area etc are among various controls imposed on the industry. Dr. C Rangarajan Committee set up by the Prime Minister has already submitted its recommendations for decontrol of the sugar sector. These recommendations, which will surely benefit all the stakeholders across the entire value chain, especially the farmers, should be implemented without any further delay.

Ajit S ShriramCo-Chairman, CII Task Force on Sugar and Deputy Managing Director, DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited

The past decade has seen the transformation of the Indian banking sector as it scaled up and diversified its operations and leveraged technology to serve a wide range of customer segments and partner India in its growth. Going forward, the banking sector will have to prepare for further scale up to meet the growing demand for financial services in India, innovate in products and service delivery, use technology effectively and accelerate financial inclusion.

Chanda KochharChairperson, CII National Committee on Banking and Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank Limited

Despite the rapid gains made in the last decade, the insurance density in India remains very low. The annual per capita premium in India is USD 56, while the global average is USD 364. For the coming years, we need to have clearly defined targets backed with a coherent plan with a focus on all the main stakeholders - customers, Government, insurance companies and distributors - to ensure financial protection and long term savings for so many Indians who currently are without any insurance cover.

Analjit SinghChairman, CII National Committee on Insurance & Pension and Chairman, Max India Group

Faster development of capital markets is imperative for sustainable economic growth. With increasing requirements of infrastructure funding, there is an urgent need for development of the bond market, while seeking more participation from both retail and institutional investors. Emphasis needs to be laid on product innovation, while allowing greater investment flexibility by Indian institutions. Alignment of current regulations with international best practices which are workable in the Indian scenario will go a long way in creating a robust and facilitative governance framework.

Sanjiv BajajCo-Chairman, CII National Committee on Insurance & Pension and Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Limited

India is blessed with a high savings rate. Yet, a large part of those savings do not get channelized through capital markets to those who need funds. We need to unleash reforms that help us channeling domestic saving appropriately and re-ignite investments in our economy.

Ajay SrinivasanChief Executive – Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group

The MSMEs in India continue to contribute to sustained economic growth by providing employment to the most vulnerable section of society and train them in specialized skills and contribute about 8 - 9 per cent growth to the GDP annually. Yet there remain many bottlenecks for the sector to overcome, including; access to adequate finance at competitive rates of interest and modern technology for enhancing productivity and the bottom line. Graduation from 'micro to small to medium to large' is always a challenge. Its high time we gave the sector its due and started framing policies accordingly.

P. GaneshChairman, CII (SR) MSME Sub-Committee and Past Chairman, CII Kerala State Council and Executive Director, Glass & Glazing Systems Pvt Ltd