In Conversation with ThinkAg Member Suresh Rayudu Chitturi, Vice-Chairman & MD, Srinivasa Farms
How a pioneer the poultry industry thinks about innovation
Srinivasa Farms was founded by Mr. Jagapati Rao Chitturi, a pioneer in the poultry industry by establishing his first poultry farm of 6000 layer parents in the year 1965.
Srinivasa Farms has earned the reputation of being one of the best poultry breeding companies in the country over the years, and a pioneer in adopting international standards of quality, hygiene and efficiency. From a modest beginning, it has grown to a stage of 4,40,000 layer parents and 3,00,000 broiler parents at present.
Today, Srinivasa Farms is a well-integrated entity in the poultry value chain with the presence in soya and feed, layer and broiler breeding, broiler integration (contract farming) and chicken processing and retail. It is a pioneer in the Indian poultry industry and is operating for more than 5 decades. It is headquartered in Hyderabad with over 3000 employees and it serves over 2000 customer/farmers in more than 20 cities in India.
How does Srinivasa Group approach new innovations in terms of the company culture?
We empower our employees with the necessary resources, structures and space to enable innovation at Srinivasa. Company’s culture motivate and inspire employees to engage in innovation alongside their day-to-day business. We are committed to nurture leadership in our people and achieve organizational excellence by being agile and innovative.
At Srinivasa, we recognize and value the diversity of our people, their perspective and experiences. We have a good share of women employees working in our team which is new in the poultry industry especially in terms of the on-ground sales staff. Also, to cater to the personal growth of our employees in addition to the organizational growth, we actively engage our people in various seminars and conferences across the industry. This helps them to stay up-to-date with the new trends and also enhance their people skills by networking with people across the industry.
What is your view on the adoption of new technologies in the Indian food and agri landscape? Do you have examples? In your view can this be accelerated and how?
Food and Agriculture sector plays a vital role in Indian economy. Indian food and agri landscape is witnessing a transition towards technology driven growth across the value chain i,e supply chain, infrastructure development for storage as well as food packaging and processing technology.
In today’s era, it is essential to upgrade the technology dynamically and at Srinivasa we have technology at the forefront. We have started using the IRBT technique (Infra-red beak treatment) in our hatcheries which provides an efficient, precise and fully automated alternative to the hot blade beak trimming being used conventionally. The welfare advantages of this technique includes reduced pecking, better feather condition, less nervous behavior and decreased mortality. Also, it comes with an automated vaccine injector system which ensures the precise dosage being given to the day old chicks for preventive measures.
Also, our upcoming farms are Environmentally Controlled (E.C.) and automated in terms of egg collection, feeding system and manure removal which respond to the real time data. As the production environment is more suitable for the birds in the shed, it has shown a significant increase in the performance parameters.
You have been interacting with young entrepreneurs wanting to add value to the existing systems and processes. What do you look for when you partner with them?
Entrepreneurs should have a focused approach for building scalable and sustainable business. They should focus on making constant improvements in their quality and should be adaptable to new technologies and efficient processes for continuous improvement.
Srinivasa is a major investor in The Egg Factory, a restaurant chain based out of Bangalore, which has a wide range of egg based products available on its menu from around the globe. We have also partnered with a German company to start a joint venture operating in the space of value added chicken and egg products. Bringing so much innovation on the table with a simple product like egg is what has made me so interested in these ventures.
What is Srinivasa Group's process and approach when it comes to engaging with emerging Ag tech innovators?
We have a business incubator called Idea Hatch, which focuses on identifying new business ideas, and then evaluate, incubate and commercialize the same into a business enterprise. Idea Hatch division focuses on the social, environmental and economical aspect of the businesses.
Under Idea hatch, we are accessing and developing technologies which would be helping our firm in the following domains:
1) Ways to be an energy efficient company by reducing energy consumption through various interventions in day-to-day operations.
2) Ways to produce and use renewable energy in our units under which we have installed solar power unit in our chicken processing plant, which has significantly saved us on power cost. Also, Biogas generation from the waste generated in the poultry farms is another intervention under the same.
What are your thoughts on a platform like ThinkAg?
It is the need of the hour to bring innovators, corporates and investors at the same platform and use the cutting edge technology to meet the demand of the rising population. Agricultural technology platform like Think-Ag can serve as a think tank for the industry to get a pool of ideas for the existing business who are looking to adopt new ways to do the business and startups who are finding out the opportunities in this space.
Suresh Rayudu Chitturi, born and brought up in Hyderabad. He is at the helm of Srinivasa Farms Pvt. Ltd as Vice-Chairman & Managing Director.Suresh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering from R.V College of Engineering, Bangalore, and a MBA from Goizueta Business School, Emory University, U.S.A. In addition, he constantly sharpens his learning curve by doing short stints in top B-Schools like Indian School of Business (ISB) and Harvard Business School (HBS). He has the distinction of successfully completing ‘The President’s Programme in Leadership’ from Harvard Business School. He holds strong analytical base and flair for innovative thinking that gives him wherewithal to pursue new opportunities.
He was the Chair of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), AP State Council for two consecutive years 2014-15 and 2015-16.
· He is presently Chairman of CII Southern Regional Startuprenuers Forum
· He is Vice Chairman of International Egg Commission (IEC) for next 2 years. Also he is the only 2nd Indian to be awarded this.
· He is Vice President of All India Poultry Breeders Association.
· He is a Co-founder and Board Member of TiE Amaravati
· In August 2016, he has been awarded as “Best CEO in Poultry Award 2016” during the event conducted by Poultry CEOs Forum India & PF Awards 2016”
· He is an avid traveler and his hobbies extend to photography and reading.