July 2015 | Philip Chacko

Reaping the good wind

Rallis India is a standout in the business of relating to the customer and, by doing so, understanding what it takes to nurture relationships

Watch how Rallis’s products and services are helping farmers across India get more out of their land
There’s nothing newfangled about Rallis India’s enduring connect with the people who matter most to it. Customer centricity has been a cornerstone of the Rallis way since about 2003, when the company got started on a re-engineering exercise that has delivered in spades ever since. And the engagement has got deeper and more meaningful with the passing of the years.

“The customer is at the core of what we do at Rallis,” says KR Venkatadri, the chief operating officer of the agricultural inputs company, a leader in its field and an exemplar in mapping and comprehending the constituency it does business with. “We are forever looking at what our customers want. It is from this perspective that we work on our products and solutions. Rather than develop something and try to sell it in the market, we listen to their needs and develop products.”

Rallis has expended considerable time and effort over the past 12 years understanding its customers — through open-ended focus group discussions, covering key crops and regions; through advisory services that are mostly free of cost to the farmer; through seminars where university professors and other experts talk about the problems and solutions in Indian agriculture; through farmer exchange programmes; and through on-field demonstrations and studies. And through the Rallis Kisan Kutumb (RKK), a farmer network that has close to a million members.

Customer view
I farm five acres of paddy. Earlier I was using different brands of pesticides and the outcome always left a lot to be desired. It was after joining the Rallis Kisan Kutumb that my outlook began to change. I started using Ergon [a fungicide that delivers quality yield benefits in crops such as paddy while providing protection from different diseases] and the change was immediate and obvious.

N Thimmareddy, a farmer from Sindhanur, Karnataka

This is a shortened version of the main article, which is part of the cover story about the customer-centricity culture of the Tata group featured in the July 2015 issue of Tata Review. Read the complete article here >>
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