During December 2005 I got a chance to visit Coimbatore and observed that there is huge number of ‘suguna chicken’ boards are kept in small road side chicken shops. I thought it might be a local chicken brand and forgot about it. But last week when I went to my native town Erode (Which is 100 kilometers from Coimbatore) I could see the same boards (Same font, same logo similar to McDonalds or Pizza hut boards) appearing in my home town road side chicken shops as well. Apart from that, I observed couple of things in local Tamizh news papers:
- A column named ‘Today’s suguna broiler chicken rate’ and it was mentioning that day’s broiler chicken rate per kg.
- Lot of local farmers gave half page color advertisements (imagine of doing it in a small town) thanking ‘Suguna poultry’ for bringing light to their life.
I couldn’t control my excitement and started digging more into this. I found that the company ‘Suguna poultry’ (http://www.sugunapoultry.com/) is Coimbatore based, 1100 crore (which is about 11.02 billion Indian rupees) company who are into poultry products. They are the second fastest growing company in the Indian poultry industry and planning to capture 20% of the poultry market by 2010 which is about 3000 crores. They have already hired IBM and Oracle to implement ERP solution for their organization. This is truly mind-blowing!
They have an excellent R & D facility using which they have invented high quality broiler chickens breeds. In the production side they have formed tie-ups with local farmers for nurturing these chickens by giving them necessary tools and instructions. This is serving as additional revenue for farmer’s families and creating a ‘win-win’ situation between Suguna and farmers. In a way they have adopted the ‘co-operative’ method followed in Anand which is popularly known as ‘Milk-capital-of-India’. From the distribution side they have formed tie-ups with road-side chicken shops and created proper distribution mechanisms and already built a brand name for themselves.
From the macro standpoint, they have targeted an un-organized sector like poultry and slowly built a ‘brand name’ by taking advantage of rural Indian farmers. There are similar brand names (like ‘real good chicken’) existing in India but only in urban India. By taking the ‘bottom-up’ approach, Suguna poultry has once again proved ‘Management guru’ Prof.C.K. Prahlad’s famous argument ‘Future at the bottom of the pyramid’.