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Devadatta Sirdeshpande: Setting New Benchmarks In Philippines Seed Industry Via Bioseed

Devadatta Sirdeshpande: Setting New Benchmarks In Philippines Seed Industry Via Bioseed

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Devadatta Sirdeshpande, Executive President & GM

Devadatta Sirdeshpande

Executive President & GM

With a pool of experienced Agri professions with PhDs & Masters of Science in agriculture comprising the backbone of its research cell, it's hardly any surprise that Bioseed Research Philippines Inc. sets business standards and benchmarks in the seed industry of the Philippines. Under the aegis of Devadatta Sirdeshpande(Executive President & General Manager, Bioseed Research Philippines Inc.),Bioseed boasts an envious reputation for research capability seed quality standards, business transparency, and most importantly the trust put in by its customers. The company, which belongs to the prestigious house of DCM Shriram Limited, along with its hybrid seed business in Corn and Rice also caters seed conditioning services (post seed production processing activity)for most of the multinational seed companies. CEO Insights engages in an exclusive interview with Devadatta to explore more about the company's endeavors as well his journey.

Tell us about your professional background and experiences. What was your inspiration for building a career in the food production industry and what keeps you going?
I have been associated with multinational seed companies from the start of my career in 1996. I worked for Monsanto (presently Bayer) for 11 years till 2007 followed by Pioneer(presently Corteva)for 8 years (2007 till 2015). My last assignment in India was "National Sales Director" for Pioneer India sales operation before moving to Bioseed, Philippines in 2015 as head of the business operations.

Hailing from a farming background, agriculture has always been my first choice and I have seen and practiced practical agriculture along with my father since the age of 12 till our lands were sold in 1993 due to unavoidable circumstances. My roots as an agricul turist is a sole inspiration, while my connection with the farming community, the success & contented smile that I see in a farmer are what keep me going.

You hold 25 years of experience in the agriculture seed business operations with an experience of working on the field, trade and Government levels. What has been your business mantra that helped you reach the level you are at today?
People first, ethical business
conduct and transaction transparency are the basic business mantra that I practice. Listening to the last man in the sales chain who is the face of the organization facing the farmer is where I formulate my business proposition. These frontliners give you early indication of what is going to be the fate of a specific new product launch, sales proposition or an overall sales achievement for a specific period. This is an amazing proposition that you can have well before things are decided in an air conditioned conference room or a chamber. In decision making, the more you listen to the front liners, the more is your success rate.

Bioseed sets business standards and the competing players in the market are forced to follow us


Define Bioseed Research Philippines as an organization and where is it positioned in the market?
We are a family first and business firm next. Bioseed is an employee centric organization that always aspires for being the farmer's most trusted partner, offering innovative solutions leading to sustainable growth and help farming win.

Although volume and value are important for business operations, Bioseed doesn't believe in the market position based on how much we sell or what amount of money we generate, but we measure ourselves as to how are we positioned in the hearts of our customers (farmers and the trade partners). It is the consistency that matters for us rather than the rat race of sales numbers and market ranking. It is the operational efficiency that we measure to rate our performance. For us, an ideal combination of operational efficiency, business consistency and trust & reputation of the organization determine how successful we are!

What are the unique propositions offered by the company to its customers?
Affordability, value for money, time bound after sales service transaction trans parency and social connect beyond business are our most predominant propositions. We commit to these and constantly deliver.

What is the most satisfying aspect about your professional life with Bioseed right now?
Bioseed sets business standards and the competing players in the market are forced to follow us. Our research capability, seed quality standards, business transparency, and customer trust are benchmarks in the seed industry here in the Philippines. We also cater to the seed conditioning services for most of the multinational seed companies and our infrastructure although
small is regarded as the best in its class. Every supplier, every seed production farmer and every distributor and dealer wants to be a part of Bioseed's business.

We also take pride in being a preferred employer and we have minimal attrition for the last four years. The greatest satisfaction is when each of my employee says that Bioseed is not an organization but, a family. The ultimate contentment is when I hear my customer say that Bioseed means quality, Bioseed means trust, and Bioseed means transparency.

What are the opportunities that you plan to invest in towards the road ahead and how do you plan to execute your goals?
We will work on strengthening the Rice business for the next couple of years both in the back end and front end by creating additional facilities and launching new hybrids. We will be expanding our business in Vegetables by 2023-24 initially through the hybrids from our partner organization in India and parallelly start the breeding operations.

We have signed an MOU with IRRI for GM technology trials in Rice and Corn with our inhouse native traits as well as licensed technology with a US firm. We also plan to expand it to Vegetables to work on the quality upgrades in crops like Tomato. Once we are through with these tasks, we plan to enter into the technology licensing business mainly focusing on the domestic seed companies to boost growth of domestic organizations and ensure that the technology reaches the remotest part of the country.

Devadatta Sirdeshpande, Executive President & GM Bioseed Research Philippines
Devadatta holds a Master's degree in agriculture from Dharwad Agricultural University with two management diplomas in marketing and Human resource management. He has also been an accredited trainer (trained by professional organizations) for the sales skill training, Value selling and objection handling modules for the all India sales force. Devadatta has two kids. His son pursues his master in Public administrations in York University UK, and daughter is doing her Master's in Medical Imaging technology in Manipal University, Manipal. When asked about family, he says, "My wife is a great inspiration in my life and she takes care of all of us including my parents who are all spread across four different cities in three different countries.

Hobbies: Singing and Cycling
Favorite Cuisine: Aalu Paratha and Dosa
Favorite Book: I read very little but real life encounters either with a person or a situation is what grants me wisdom
Favorite Travel Destination: Forts of Rajasthan in India and Scotland as an International destination

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