The second workshop in the CIIE-ICCO Action Research Project to Make Producer Companies Sustainable and Creditworthy, was organized from 19th March, 2015 to 21st March, 2015 at CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad. This was a Capacity Building Workshop addressing key gaps in the team capabilities of the 4 producer companies from Odisha and Jharkhand to enable them to take their businesses forward. The workshop also had representation from ICCO Cooperation, India.
Distinguished IIM-A faculty Prof. Sukhpal Singh, Prof. Vaibhav Bhamoriya and Prof. Shailesh Gandhi conducted sessions on advanced business fundamentals such as costing, pricing, segmentation and marketing channels. Industry experts from diverse fields such as online market place and e-commerce and supply chain management were explored through representation from organizations such as Infibeam, Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Private Limited, and Jubilant Bhartia Foundation. Instead of following a lecture mode, the team at CIIE ensured that each expert session was followed by team break-outs where each team had to apply the learnings to their own case and was intensively mentored by the CIIE team members and/or external mentors.
A special session was dedicated to address issues related to fund-raise – a common pain-point of producer organizations across the country. This session had representation from NABARD, SIDBI and Caspian Impact Investment Adviser Private Limited. It commenced with a panel discussion covering topics such as various funding opportunities for producer organizations by each of these entities, the eligibility and selection criteria, an insider’s view of the funding process and the challenges. This was followed by an open-house question answer round.
Another highlight of the 3-day workshop was experience sharing by a senior representative from Krushidhan Producer Company Limited. This was way to inculcate ‘learning by example’ in the producer company teams, and also an inspirational discourse on overcoming the obvious challenges plaguing the producer organizations in India today.
CIIE team also dedicated a session to orient the producer companies in delivering an investor pitch and sales pitch. It covered standard aspects of pitch creation and pitch delivery such as key components of a pitch, difference between sales and investor pitch, and the importance of striking balance between brevity and completeness in a pitch delivery.
Lastly, the workshop was designed to be a platform to connect the producer companies to potential customers for their products. Organizations such as Sardar Patel Farms, Aura Herbals, and Cambridge Healthcare Private Limited were a part of this forum.
The social team of CIIE has been working closely with the producer companies since mid of last year. This project is the first of its kind for CIIE and has provided it with an exciting opportunity to anchor itself in agri-business, which happens to be one of its primary focus areas from 2015 onwards.