Differentiation strategy ushers in increased profitability and growth

July 5, 20200

Sathguru advised an Indian fertilizer company over five years to drive differentiation in a highly competitive and regulated market by conceptualizing a novel product offering that not only increased profitability but also triggered regulatory changes that opened new avenues for growth in the Indian agribusiness landscape. 

Context: A fertilizer company seeking differentiation led growth combined with enhanced profitability  

Our client was operating in an era when the fertilizer industry was heavily regulated and driven by subsidies with no freedom to develop new products that could offer enhanced value to farmers increasing soil fertility. They could neither exploit the full potential of the crop-inputs market nor utilize their frontline workforce optimally. They sought our advise to develop a growth strategy based on differentiation and innovation combining the objectives of improved profitability and optimal utilization of the workforce. 


The scope of Sathguru’s engagement included: 

  1. Market research and opportunity assessment: Need assessment for determining nature of products and service with potential demand. 
  2. Business plan and viability: Develop business plan based on market need, evolving market opportunity and organizational capacity to achieve growth and differentiation objective  
  3. Technology led competitive advantage: Facilitating IP and technology access and linkages with external technical experts to support adoption of those technologies. 
  4. Operational handholding: Handhold the client to transverse from ideation to feasible business stage. 


Sathguru provided a holistic advisory solution to the client: from designing conceptual framework to creating a compressive business plan and assisting them in acquiring right science based resources for implementing it. 

To achieve this, Sathguru’s agribusiness advisory team: 

  1. Designed a scientific evidence based (soil health and nutrition profile) customized product development model for fertilizers 
  2. Identified experts who would initiate the effort on a pilot scale and build organizational capacity by transferring technical knowhow to the client 
  3. Carried out an in depth study for development of advanced analytical laboratory, that would form the backbone of its entire product- service offering 
  4. Developed a unique business model that integrated the farm services aspect into product sales to effectively launch the new product offering 


Sathguru made following specific recommendations encompassing business model innovation in service to farmers, profitability enhancement avenues and sustainable differentiation:  

  1. Implement solutions based on models that provide host of services to the farmers based on scientific data analysis. 
  2. Customize products based on region and crop specific studies and provide complimentary package of practices for convenience of farmers. 
  3. Train salesforce on the new product offering and develop specific training material. 
  4. Enter farm services segment for effective launch of the product as it required such a service to compliment the offering. 
  5. Build a data warehouse to archive farmer profiles for development of new targeted product and service offerings. 

Impact/Result/Client Benefit 

Sathguru’s advisory on growth strategy, business model innovation and technology led competitive advantage helped the client emerge as a pioneer of custom fertilizers in India providing accurate science based services. Custom fertilizers not only helped improve soil fertility but also enhanced earnings of the farmers. 

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Differentiation strategy ushers in increased profitability and growth

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