Silverline Fertilisers: Where Quality Meets Sustainability

 Rabindran Swamidason,   MDThe global fertiliser market was valued at $201 billion in 2021, forecast to surpass $271 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 3.8 percent during this period. India is the 2nd largest importer and consumer of fertilisers, and the 3rd largest producer of fertilisers. Phosphatic fertilisers along with all other types of fertilisers face ever increasing demand, especially in emerging economies and developing nations due to their increasing population and the cascading effect of a proportionate increase in demand for food. Over cultivation decreases soil fertility, which is another major factor driving the demand for fertilisers. The use of phosphatic fertilisers result in deeper root growth, enhanced stalk girth and increased yields to ultimately deliver a highquality crop for the farmer. They can be applied to grow a wide variety of crops such as paddy, sugarcane, banana, groundnut, turmeric, onions, carrots, tomatoes and a host of other fruits, vegetables, oil seeds and cereals.

Silverline Fertilisers was founded in 2014, entering the highly competitive, regulated and commoditized fertiliser industry with a handful of talent holding several decades of working experience in the industry. Silverline was established with a mission to improve the livelihoods of farmers (through higher crop yields, lower input costs) as well as reducing the subsidy burden of the Government(through sale of non-subsidised fertilisers), especially at a time when India's expenditure on fertiliser subsidy for the current FY is at an unprecedented high of $32 billion, exacerbated by the ongoing Russia-
Ukraine war. Silverline operates through a strong distribution network of 900+ dealers, 400+ Cooperative societies as well as large plantations and estates. The company is now a leading supplier of phosphatic fertilisers and agro nutrients in South India.

Silverline's flagship product is Rock Phosphate, a raw naturally occurring `mother'fertiliser which undergoes no chemical processes and is sold in its natural form to the farmer, after a pulverising process at their factory in Tuticorin to meet the standards set by the Fertiliser Control Order.The company sources this fertiliser through imports from countries holding large phosphate rock reserves such as Jordan, Egypt, Senegal, and others. Rock Phosphate is not only non-acidic but is also a natural fertiliser, with assured P2O5 nutrient. The company also sells CMS (calcium magnesium sulphur), manufactured through a unique process which ensures guaranteed nutrient delivery to the crop, unlike several substandard replicas adulterating the market. Another key product in Silverline's portfolio is Phosphate-Rich-Organic Manure(PROM), a soil conditioner which has been touted by the Government as a major constituent in their promotion of the sustainable farming model.

Silverline Fertilizers was the first company in India to import agricultural grade Rock Phosphate and Ammonium Sulphate in bulk shipments, as well as the first to successfully launch its non subsidised product range in a heavily subsidised fertilizer market. Today, their salesforce is made up of a highly proficient team of domain experienced talent and through their grassroots approach, Silver line is in constant touch with the pulse of the farmer community by promoting sustainable farming and helping to fulfill the Government's directive for farmers to switch to alternate non subsidized fertilisers, thereby achieving import substitution of subsidized fertilisers.

The firm's services are greatly appreciated by a satisfied farmer base as well as their dealer network. "We look at a three pronged strategy. First, we ensure that all stake holders in the distribution network are happy. Second, we calibrate our pricing strategy to provide a higher margin for our dealers while not raising the MRP of the product so that the farmer can still procure it at a lower cost. Third, we ensure we only sell products that ultimately result in a higher crop yield as this is the ultimate deal breaker for our clients to choose us over our competitors", says Rabindran Swamidason, MD of Silverline Fertilisers.

Silverline's trajectory looks promising eight years since its inception, the firm now has an increased focus on growth doubling turnover YoY for the next three years, further beefing up the product portfolio, increasing manufacturing capacity for export to neighbouring countries and attracting more and more ambitious talent.They are set to begin operations in adjacent states in FY 2023-24 and plan to expand their presence across the country in the very near future.