Coromandel International Limited, a part of the Murugappa Group, is in the process of expanding its retail business with specific focus on agri inputs, besides exploring farm mechanisation business as part of its retail service offerings to the farmers. The company is also firming up plans to set up a green-field single-super phosphate plant in Punjab.
The company currently has around 641 outlets in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. While the retail business in Andhra Pradesh has already been consolidated, the company is planning to expand the business in Karnataka. It would also enter the Maharashtra in near future, according to the company.
“The business has shown improved performance over the previous year and the company is in the process of further expanding its retail network in Karnataka and plans to enter Maharashtra,” the company said in its annual report 2011-12. It has added around 200 agri retail centres in Andhra Pradesh, including 75 stores in Karnataka. As part of the business restructuring, the company said, it had has decided to focus more on agri inputs and exit from lifestyle products.
The retail business has so far catered to lifestyle products, fast-moving consumer goods (both non-food and food categories), apparel, footwear, consumer durables, general merchandise, home furnishings, accessories, luggage, stationary, books and toys, through its Mitra retail centres.
It currently offers the entire range of agri inputs like fertilisers, crop-protection products, secondary and micro-nutrients, seeds, sprayers, mechanised farm services and veterinary feed, along with services on soil testing for major nutrients, field visits for crop diagnosis, technical advice at the retail centres. It also offers the toll-free help line Hello Gromor, insurance, education, free expert technical training on agriculture and other subjects through its Mana Gromor retail outlets.
New strategic business areas like organic products and seeds in the retail business have also received good response from the market and the retail business turnover has grown by 11 per cent during the year, said company officials. The expanded capacity would be commissioned by the second half of 2012-13. This would enable the company to increase the production capacities to around 4 million tonne, it added.