Mahindra and Mahindra entered into the micro irrigation market by acquiring EPC Indutries in 2011. This step alone was identified as a major leverage for the group in its newly branched out agricultural vertical with a special eye on water resource management.
EPC has a manufacturing unit in Nashik for micro irrigation (MI) systems. Its products are supplied across India with a lion’s share of sales coming from Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.
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At the time of the buyout, EPC had reported a profit of merely 1 Crore Rupees which was on a turnover of about 80 Crores. After getting acquired by Mahindra and increase in process efficiency, its profit have soared to 9 Crore with a turnover of nearly 200 Crores.
The important task on hand was to change employee mindset and give them a greater sense of ownership in the company. For this, reportedly the primary step was to make them feel secure and at-home which was accomplished by an announcement that no employee will be fired over the next 2 years. M&M put in place a canteen, quality systems and uniforms while encouraging training in problem solving.
In addition, people were asked to work with farmers and help them with the right practices in crop cultivation. The whole aspect of customer care was clearly inspired by the company’s auto and tractor business. The other initiative at EPC was to create 200 demo plots across India with the farmer and grow crops using the micro irrigation system.
With EPC in its kitty, M&M is a close no 4 with big names like Jain and Finolex ahead in the MI systems space.
M&M has also developed a greenhouse in Haryana which is a potentially big area for EPC. Export of MI systems is the next big step and Africa has been identified as one of the big markets over the next 5-10 years.
Source: Grand View Research