Bayer to continue focus on farm products with fresh capex

Bayer India, part of German chemicals and pharmaceuticals major Bayer AG, on Wednesday said it was aiming to double its Indian revenues to $1 billion in the next four years, continuing to focus on crop protection products and hybrid seeds, already its mainstay in the country.

At a conference in Mumbai, Stephan Gerlich, managing director, Bayer India, said, ''We will invest a part of our €1.8-billion Asian capital expansion budget in India over the period on a need basis.''

Bayer India is mainly present in three main sectors - crop science (pesticides and seeds), healthcare and material science (like computer CDs). Of these, the biggest revenue earner is crop science at around 60 per cent, with healthcare at 30 per cent and material science 20 per cent. Going forward, the company is not looking at any significant changes in the mix, the officials present.

Gerlich said the strength of Bayer India lay in its reach to farmers, its massive distribution network, and wide product portfolio. The company currently interacts with 10 million farmers countrywide and has about 2,700 distribution outlets, he said.

''We have a practise of introducing two or three products in crop protection and a similar number of seeds every year. We cater for all the major crops in India,'' said Joerg Rehbein, country head of Bayer CropScience for the Indian subcontinent.

However, Gerlich said that while India was the first country where Bayer ventured out with an overseas subsidiary in 1896, going ahead its focus market will be China. ''Out of the total allocation for our Asia capex, a major part will go into China,'' he said.