Shalabh Jain: Bringing Sustainable Israeli Agricultural Solutions To India | CEOInsights Vendor
Shalabh Jain: Bringing Sustainable Israeli Agricultural Solutions To India

Shalabh Jain: Bringing Sustainable Israeli Agricultural Solutions To India

Shalabh Jain,Director

Shalabh Jain


A DAMA boasts a 70-year heritage, having started from two Israeli crop protection companies, Makhteshim and Agan, which were established in 1952 and 1945 respectively. These companies merged in 1997 to form Makhteshim Agan. In January 2020, ADAMA became part of the Syngenta Group, a newly formed ag industry leader, bringing into one group Syngenta, ADAMA and the Ag businesses of Sinochem. Cut to the present, Syngenta Group is the world’s largest agrochemical company.

"Our strong and unique culture enables us to address the highly dynamic environment with changes in demand and the patterns of the industry in a way that positions us for continued business growth"

Shalabh Jain, Director Operations, ADAMA India Pvt. Ltd, has played a vital role in making the company one of the top three agricultural solutions providers in India. Bringing close to three decades of professional experience to the table, Shalabh excels in Strategic Business Operations and possess a proven track record of leading operations to competitive financial performance. In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Shalabh takes us through his professional journey, the latest endeavors of ADAMA in India, and much more. Below is the excerpt.

Was the Agri-solutions industry a predefined destination for you? What drives you as a leader in the industry today?
After completing my management studies way back in 1989, I worked in various industries starting from Heavy Engineering to Pharma API, specialty chemicals, polymers, and obviously Agrochemicals. Agricultural sector was never in my scheme of things. However, as I have mastered end-to-end supply chain processes and became competent in procurement activities, opportunities eventually landed me in the agrochemicals sector.

Over the years, I got deeply connected with this function and sector, as it helped me to hone my entrepreneurial skills and also has given immense satisfaction. This role helps me to connect with a variety of people from different companies and helps in sharpening my skill. I feel that by working in this agriculture input industry, we are ‘serving the nation’.

Tell us about your success mantra.
I firmly believe that strategy is not restricted to the Board room alone. It continues until last mile of execution and implementation. Whenever time permits, I like to get involved in execution as well, as I believe that good leaders lead from the front. This keeps me connected
with the team and in the process facilitates learning from all quarters. Right from the beginning of my career, I had the privilege of working with leaders who had the same ethos, which eventually became part of my DNA too. I have imbibed a certain mantra: 'Freedom to Fly' from my mentor, which has been the cornerstone throughout my career so far. As leaders, we must provide the framework & allow the teams to work freely.

What are the major strategies that have helped the company strike the best relationships among its clients?
The company’s strategy was very clear from its inception. It was decided to directly reach-out to the customers through a robust network of retailers. This ensures that our products reach a very large consumer base in the shortest possible time. We honor equally all our orders, whether big or small, and believe ‘Farmer is the King’. ADAMA utilizes few thousands of agronomists who work hand in hand with the farmers to understand, educate and provide solutions to their farming requirements.

IT was decided to directly reach out to the customers through a robust network of retailers. This ensures that our products reach a very large consumer base in the shortest possible time

Define ADAMA as an organization and its position in the market.
ADAMA aims to empower the farmers by providing quick yet sustainable solutions, thereby improving their income and retaining their interest in agriculture. The company provides solutions to the farmers through an extensive yet unique portfolio of off-patent molecules with the right mixtures, which are still new to the Indian agricultural market. ADAMA has catapulted itself to become one of the top three companies in the India agrochemical industry within a very short period of time. The Group is committed to a 50 percent carbon footprint reduction by 2030 on the baseline of 2016 and reach net-zero CO emission by 2050. We have a roadmap towards achieving this goal.

Take us around the company’s portfolio of solutions and their unique features.
Our strong and unique culture enables us to address the highly dynamic environment with changes in demand and the patterns of the industry in a way that positions us for continued business growth. ADAMA has world wide reach in over 100 countries and is a leader in off patent products with a large and diverse active ingredient portfolio. We have distinctive formulations, mixtures and high quality differentiated products with extensive manufacturing and formulation capacity.

ADAMA is investing heavily in Agriculture Technology (AgriTech) and is working very closely with
several tech companies to bring the next generation technology to the farmers. It’s fascinating to see that the technology will come-up for practical usage very soon. ADAMA has made acquisitions of companies that are very strong in Biologicals. Their products are suitable for the Indian market and will shift the course of ADAMA into a higher growth orbit.

In your professional journey so far, which are the milestones that have bestowed you with utmost satisfaction both individually and professionally?
While there may be quite a few, I can cite one incident which took place in quite early stage of my career. While I was working for a US MNC at a functional leadership role, during a specific crisis event, the Managing Director entrusted me with the responsibility to manage the operations of a large & complex manufacturing operation for approximately seven months, which I carried out successfully. I believe that, ‘trust & confidence in the people and their skills’ who work with us are the crucial factors for the success of an organization and an individual.

As we advance what is your take on the changes in market behavior and opportunities? What opportunities do you foresee?
I feel that change is happening at lightning speed. The industry is committed to sustainable agriculture, not to mention a serious commitment to ESG(Environment, Sustainability & Governance).The ‘planet first and profit secondary’ has become the norm. The kind of work that is taking place towards sustainability is profound. Companies are investing heavily in finding the right balance between synthetic chemistry and Biologicals.

I believe that technology has made a profound change in all walks of our lives. I firmly believe that agriculture sector is going to see massive changes that are brought-in by adopting the technology. The companies that will invest in this opportunity will be the winners. Being part of ADAMA, I am part of the winning team.

The second green revolution brought a lot of attention & focus to this sector, and companies started investing heavily in research & development. It has become more prominent in the recent years since the government initiated ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, which has motivated the companies to start investing heavily into new and modern infrastructure and not to forget cutting-edge technologies (like IoT & Intelligent automation).

Shalabh Jain, Director - Operations, ADAMA
With close to 30 years of professional experience, Shalabh is a leader of the Agrochemicals industry with a background demonstrated by his achievements in establishing solid and capable leadership teams that deliver strategic initiatives, increasing revenue and market share.

Hobbies:Driving the Harley
Favorite Cuisine:Delhi’s Chole Bhature
Favorite Book:'Mans Search for Meaning', by Viktor E Frankl
Favorite Travel Destination:

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