According to Shenu Agarwal, chief executive, agri machinery & emerging business, Escorts Limited, the company is targeting both ends of these new niche opportunities in search of marketshare increase.
“In the sub-30 HP range, we have been in the market now for one year and we will gain a presence in those niche segments,” said Agarwal. “In the above 50HP segment, we were late in bringing products in advanced rural markets like Punjab, Haryana, western UP, Maharashtra, parts of MP and parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where customers are moving to higher horse power tractors,” he added.
Apart from new product segments, Escorts is also targeting new markets for a more pan-India presence. “We have two brands and in both there are large untapped markets. In our mass market brand Powertrack, we are strong in the north and somewhat in the east but weak in the south and west. In our premium brand Farmtrack, we are present in Punjab, Haryana, west UP and Rajasthan only. So there is opportunity to grow in the other geographies,” he said.
Escorts ended FY19 with domestic sales of 93,869 units up 20% compared to 78,446 units in the previous fiscal. The overall tractor industry sales increased by 8% in FY19.
Apart from new product and market segments, Escorts is also aggressively targeting the farm implements sector. “We have created a division called FarmPower and we are adding a lot of products,” said Agarwal.
“Escorts will focus on farm implements and we will be working on paddy, sugarcane, other cereal crops in our R&D. We will launch 4-5 new products in the next 12 months and we are also looking at fresh manufacturing,” he added.
As for the latest monsoon forecast, he added that a delayed monsoon will only delay the demand, not derail it. “Unlike rabi crop, farmers have time to delay sowing the kharif crop if the monsoon is delayed,” said Agarwal.
“Rain may be bad in June, July but August and September will be normal so it may not impact food production,” he added.
News credit : Indiatimes