R&D prioritization, IP portfolio review & in-licensing for competitive advantage in leading seed company

July 5, 20200

Over a multi-year effort, Sathguru advised an Indian multinational seed company on prioritizing and optimizing research program, access and in-licensing relevant technologies thereby accelerating development of innovative, market relevant and competitive products that augmented market penetration and pan Asia footprint. 

Client context and impact of strategic R&D planning  

Our client, an innovation focused Indian seed company was in its growth phase having a large product portfolio with significant investments in diverse R&D programs. The client’s investments in R&D steadily increased over the period with addition of new crops and traits. However, the market penetration was significantly low compared to their huge investment in research. On the contrary, the competitors focused their investments on fewer crops with regional specific traits that provided them greater level of IP led competitive advantage and market dominance. The management sought Sathguru’s advice in optimizing their R&D investments and product portfolio, developing a robust IP strategy and in-licensing technologies to gain greater competive advantage and accelerate global business growth. 


The scope of Sathguru’s engagement included: 

  1. Techno-commercial review of R&D investments: Benchmarking R&D and product portfolio with respect to trait performance for geographic and market relevance 
  2. IP portfolio review and audit: Reviewing research and Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and evaluating competitive landscape to more effectively link product pipeline to future markets 
  3. Strengthening overall R&D and IP portfolio: Assessing technological gaps and facilitating technology access through IP in-licensing, co-development, IP acquisition or other models to optimize research and product portfolio 


Our approach was to bolster core business strength and competitiveness in areas of corporate focus and by combining it with greater technology and IP advantage and product differentiation across the Pan-Asian geographic focus.  

To achieve this, our agribusiness innovation advisory team: 

a) Interacted with the management to understand their vision and growth plans for the organization not only from research but also from market perspective
b) Conducted detailed internal review to:

  1. Analyze product and research portfolio for strength of their traits. 
  2. Assess the relevance of traits to markets and positioning of products in target markets. 
  3. Assess breeding programs (conventional and modern), technology platforms, quality of the germplasm and intellectual property portfolio  
  4. Evaluate human resources and infrastructure bandwidth in R&D  

c) Conducted industry and market assessment through secondary and primary research to:

  1. Map competitive landscape and strategic implications: Conduct extensive market research to identify and analyze major competitors operating in the same market segment 
  2. Assess research and industry trends. 
  3. Technology landscape: Analyze evolving technology and IP landscape and implications for forward looking R&D investments and IP strategy 

d) Analyzed the information through our proprietary “Advancing Innovation” framework to develop client specific actionable recommendations

Recommendations paving way for IP led enhanced competitive advantage  

  1. R&D and innovation model: We made specific recommendations to implement an innovation model that ensures development of advanced products and growth in new markets. 
  2. Research and IP priorities: We recommended research priorities that was focused on select products with specific traits and also recommended a product portfolio optimized for enhanced market penetration in various geographies. 
  3. Technology and IP access: We identified and facilitated access to new technologies and in-licensed IP envisioned as part of research pipeline to generate products addressing future market opportunities, thereby paving way for sustainable growth and greater level of IP led competitive advantage. 
  4. Strategic growth palnning: We recommended new geographies for business expansion dovetailing R&D and product capabilities of the client and thereby maximizing level of value realization from R&D and IP investments  

Impact: Competitive Advantage & Growth in target markets  

Sathguru’s comprehensive support to strengthen the IP portfolio and our “Advancing Innovation” approach enabled the client to emerge as one of the leading Indian seed companies with extended foot print in many geographies in South Asia and South East Asia. 


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R&D prioritization, IP portfolio review & in-licensing for competitive advantage in leading seed company

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