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Camson Bio Technologies: Killer apps

October 27, 2010
Best SME for innovation (Small) and Best green SME (Small)

Camson Bio Technologies
Person: Dhirendra Kumar
Turnover (2009-10): Rs 80 crore
PAT (2009-10): Rs 15 crore
Business: Manufacturing biocides, hybrid seeds

For nearly a decade, biotechnologist Dhirendra Kumar's Camson Bio Technologies had no product. He had chucked up a job to set up the company in 1993, but it was only in 2001 that Calphomil biocide, a pesticide with natural organisms, successfully hit the market. Today, he has a portfolio of 27 biocides, seven biofertilisers and 45 hybrid seeds including one for a watermelon that fits into middle class refrigerators.

"We are the first to develop this freezer watermelon,'' says Kumar. He is content with Camson's growth rate of 35-50 per cent, and keeps it debt-free, scarred by those early days, when he used to live on one meal a day, struggled to pay his son's tuition fee and survived on the goodwill of his landlord and staff. He is now trying out a franchisee model, selling farmers seeds of cash crops, biofertilisers and biocides - and advice - in return for a revenue share. "Not only will our seeds give them higher yields, they will also be growing a produce that is healthier.'' He has so far done this with 1,200 acres. Meanwhile, he is exploring Singapore, Egypt and Dubai for his products.

-K.R. Balasubramanyam

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