In Conversation with ThinkAg Member NCML
How one of India's leading commodity players thinks about innovation
National Collateral Management Services Limited (NCML) is the country’s leading organization providing a bouquet of services along the entire supply chain in the commodity space. Through pan India presence, NCML provides commodity handling and risk management services to clients across the country. The Company is run by a professional board and Fairfax India has majority ownership interest and management control in NCML. Fairfax India is a group Company of the Prem Watsa led Fairfax Financial Holdings which is based in Toronto, Canada,and is listed on the Toronto Exchange.
Storage & Preservation I Collateral Management | Procurement & Supply Chain Management I Testing & Certification | Weather & Price Intelligence I Agribusiness Consultancy & Advisory
How does NCML approach new innovations in terms of the company's culture?
Fostering a culture of innovation is at the top of our corporate agenda. At NCML, we believe that our own employees are uniquely positioned to understand the intersection of business operations, product development and meeting customer requirement. Yet make several attempts to build a culture of innovation by cascading creativity workshop for active employee involvement. NCML team members working pan India are encouraged to take part and share ideas and solutions. As a result, employees are inspired and mobilised for innovation. We have talented and high performing teams in our organization and offer opportunities to our teams to learn, perform and grow!
What is your view on the adoption of new technologies in the Indian food and agri landscape? In your view can this be accelerated and how?
It is imperative that new technologies get implemented as soon as possible across various spheres in the Indian food and agri landscape, in order to reduce food wastage, keep prices in check, ensure farmers get sufficient remuneration and maintain food and crop nutrition. In the agri-sector technologies can make a difference in the pre-harvest and post-harvest sector. The pre-harvest sector has seen some technology advances in terms of weather and pest resilient seed varieties, smart farming techniques and equipment, the implementation of the same needs to be taken up on a large scale. FPO’s(Farmer Producer Organizations) and FPC’s(Farmer Producer Companies) can guide and educate the farmers in these innovations and technologies. A part of the subsidies, support schemes the government gives yearly to farmers, can perhaps be used here as a one-time implementation cost to install smart farming equipment at various farms and in sustaining FPO/FPC operations.
Post-harvest technologies can ensure the farmer gets a better price for his produce and is paid on time in full, the buyer gets verified quality and quantity every time he buys, and how massive price fluctuations and grain wastage can be reduced. Technology can be implemented at the supply chain level to ensure market participants from across the country are connected on a common platform, and can sell and buy tested, verified produce seamlessly via e-marketplaces. Innovations in food testing methodologies can ensure a fast turnaround time in testing food produce and traceability, ensuring the producer gets his due for a superior produce. Proper cold and dry storage facilities with a proper cold chain should be established, ensuring food wastage is minimal and the excess produce can be stored safely to be used when the current stock levels reduce. Due to the scientific storage of the produce, all the nutritional properties are maintained, and the stored produce can be used as collateral to get working capital loans from banks and financial institutions.
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