Exclusive Interview with Skylark Group

Firstly, on behalf of Think Grain Think Feed we would like to congratulate you for successful journey of three decades. Please share about the challenges and important learning from this journey. What are the expansion plans of the group?
Thanks for your wishes. Challenges are there in every business. As an industry, we are still facing many challenges, some of them are
new diseases are emerging from time to time but vaccines are not available in India so to cope with such diseases in absence of proper medication/treatment is a challenge
good quality raw material is not available in ample amount
adulteration of raw material
quality manpower is not easily available
over production (excess supply)
The learning from these challenges are endless but most important for us remains is efficiency in operations that is must in all the fields. As per market conditions, right decision should be taken at the right time and one should have far sighted vision. Of course, there is absolutely no substitution for hard work.
The expansion plan of the group is to cover the Indian market by expanding its layer business and also feed mills operations, we are working toward this goal.
Skylark feeds has recently partnered with one of the biggest feed millers from Nepal to further expand. Would you like to share the kind of scope you see in the market?
We observe that good quality feed is not easily available at reasonable prices. Quality makes its own scope in the market.
As per various sources, the feed milling machinery for the new feed mills is imported from Europe. What type of technology is used in the new feed mills specially for handling and processing, and how is it different from other commercial feed mills?
Better or developed technology offers better efficiency and returns. Like most of our feed plants, these feed plants are silo based which saves labour cost and provides better storage conditions. Auto batching ensures minimum human intervention leaving least scope for errors. The expansion of operations and increasing efficiency become easy to achieve in fully automatic system.
Feed safety-issue that hit major headlines and discussed in all leading conferences. What is your take on this issue?
Feed safety is very much related to human food safety. Steady progress is being made on feed legislation to achieve international benchmarks for feed safety. As we believe in delivering best quality to our customers hence toxin free feed is a must and we focus on following issues very closely:
minimizing microbial load
minimize the use of antibiotics in feed
using more organic acids
We hear that the group is coming up with new feed mill in West Africa. Would you please share the factors that influenced your decision of catering to African market. How do you plan to compete with non-Indian multinationals like Olam.
Quality has been the success mantra for us in the business. We can survive only if the customer survives so to provide the best product to the customer at the minimum price. Our philosophy is to minimize the cost of products and maximize the profits for our customers.
For last few months, poultry industry faced tough times. As per recent report from TOI hundreds of poultry farms get closed during this period. As an industry leader, what are your suggestions to cope-up with such bad phases?
Tough phases are there in all industries. One should have far sighted vision, we feel that one should be ready for both good and bad times. Following are some of the points to fight such hard times:
calculated investment is must
work for better efficiency and minimize the production cost
thorough market knowledge and detailed market study
Skylark group is known for innovation, then it may be for putting up storage silos or using NIR technology. Please share with our readers about any new innovations that group is adopting to keep itself equipped with updated technology.
Innovation is the fundamental engine of long-term growth. The next innovation, we are adopting is bio gas plants by using poultry waste and producing electricity by using that gas.
Would you please throw some light on importance of understanding feed pellets and its relation to better quality and energy savings.
Everything revolves around bird performance. Bird cannot give good results by consuming powder hence pellets are a better option. Pellets increase the energy availability in feed through cooking effect and gelatinization process adds on to the energy.
Considering the challenges with contracting acreage and less availability of raw material. What might the feed industry look like 10-20 years down the road?
The future seems to be more challenging which will bring new innovations to the country. Major challenge would be shortage of raw material which would lead to more imports thereby increasing the feed prices. In the long run it will be survival of the fittest and economies of large scale production can help the players to sustain in the market.