Global COO’s Review
For a better tomorrow.
We’re building an OpenInnovation concept which creates a network with thousands of partners, focusing on our core competencies and letting others focus on their core competencies.
UPL is one of the largest crop solutions players in the world. Today we reach millions of farmers every day providing a complete portfolio of sustainable input technologies. We are changing the game in agriculture and are excited about the future.
These are difficult times and we are privileged to be in an industry that is considered ‘essential’ in the post- COVID world, which enables us to support farmers and help feed millions of people around the world. We, at UPL, acted proactively to protect our employees, to keep our business running and to support our communities, while we are preparing for the new normal.
Employee safety: We are ensuring highest standards of safety for all our employees, abiding by the recommendations of organisations and governments in the countries where we operate. We implemented a ‘Whoever can work from home should work from home’ policy. Also, we are providing PPEs encouraging handwashing, thermal scanning and social distancing. We designed our ‘return-to-work’ protocols in accordance with geography-specific local official guidelines across all our facilities and offices.
Business continuity: We recognise that our products are essential, even more so in unprecedented times like these. Hence, all our manufacturing plants remain operational with the critical inventory in place for key raw materials. A Rapid Response Team was formed to monitor the developments, to issue guidelines and to solve problems. We also ensured fluid collaboration with customers. We rolled out virtual product launches and conducted virtual sales meetings.
Community outreach: We donated ~US$ 10 million and supplied ~US$ 3.3 million worth of PPE to various stakeholders. We produced 6,000+ litres of sanitisers and disinfectant solution for police and hospitals. Moreover, we provided spraying equipment to disinfect public areas, using 1.15 million litres of sanitising solution. I want to thank our teams for their relentless engagement to go the extra mile and help communities all around the world.
Post our integration with Arysta LifeScience, we have emerged stronger. Today, we enjoy a larger geographic presence, offer total crop solutions and have a more powerful innovation engine. You will be happy to know that we have received very encouraging response from customers after the integration of Arysta LifeScience. It was really an enormous endeavour; so many moving parts were managed meticulously that today we can really say with satisfaction that a milestone has been accomplished. It feels like we are working together for years now and the teams have come together as one. We’re better and we’re stronger together.
We reported an outstanding year at UPL. We achieved this, despite erratic weather patterns, forex volatility and COVID-19 headwinds, driven by the strength of our business model and strategy execution.
Most importantly, we were able to grow market share in many countries, especially in our herbicide portfolio. Moreover, our portfolio of new innovations and BioSolutions have gained popularity among farmers globally.
In Latin America, we reported 24% increase in revenue to ` 13,764 crore in FY2020 (` 11,074 crore in FY2019). We were able to claim the number four market position in Brazil and advanced to number one position in Mexico and Colombia. We garnered higher customer share of wallet after the integration. In North America, despite floods impacting markets, we grew revenue by 13% to ` 5,635 crore in FY2020 (` 4,967 crore in FY2019) owing to growth in major product lines.
In Europe, we reported 7% degrowth in revenue to ` 5,376 crore in FY2020 (` 5,752 crore in FY2019) as the region was hit hard by a dry and hot season; and also saw currency depreciation. Despite demand weaknesses in herbicides due to the lack of moisture, we were able to deliver stable growth in our solutions portfolio. We continue to gain market share with products like seed treatments and insecticides.
In India, we experienced a good rabi season and that partially offset the difficult kharif season. The region reported 11% increase in revenue to ` 3,828 crore in FY2019 (` 3,454 crore in FY2019). We developed new markets for our product and services, educated farmers on the use of biostimulants and brought new technologies to farmers to enhance farm productivity.
Finally, in the rest of the world, we saw strong growth in Japan and the ASEAN countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia. Our revenues from the region increased 12% to ` 7,153 crore in FY2020 (` 6,369 crore in FY2019). Recently, we announced the acquisition of Laoting Yoloo, China, adding a strong team, more than 150 products and a state-of-the-art plant. This will strengthen our presence in China, one of the world’s major crop protection chemical markets.
For us innovation starts in the field and ends in the lab, instead of the other way around. Listening to farmers and distribution partners, we are developing products and solutions that have far-reaching impact. We’re building an OpenInnovation concept, which creates a network with thousands of partners, focusing on our core competencies and letting others focus on their core competencies. We have 38 new active ingredients in early stage and 14 in late stage of development, with a potential sales value of US$ 1–1.5 billion for the next five to eight years. We also innovate to reconfigure and differentiate existing off-patent active ingredient, creating new mixtures and formulations. This pipeline is well positioned to yield US$ 2–2.5 billion in the same time frame.
We are very excited about the success of our R&D team in developing technologies that will reduce more and more the environmental impact of agricultural practices, the use of finite resources such as water and the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Our pipeline signals the dawn of a new era in sustainable agriculture.
We live in times of great uncertainty, but the need to feed the world every day, in a sustainable manner, remains unchanged. We were never prouder to be part of this industry pursuing our mission ‘to make every food product more sustainable’.
Diego Lopez Casanello
Global Chief Operating Officer
Our business strategy can be summarised in five points:
Leverage our new Tier-1 scale across the globe to reduce the cost to reach our customers and achieve preferred partner status with distribution partners
Dominate the growing post-patent market through speed, differentiation and best-in-class cost efficiency
Utilise our capital efficient OpenInnovation platform to claim significant share of the proprietary active ingredient market
Expand leadership in sustainable input technologies such as BioSolutions, digital agronomic services, and soil health solutions
Continue to evolve our go-to-market from supplying products to offering smart farming solutions