My Best Pick 2013

On nature's trail

PI Industries has a huge and hungry market for its agri inputs

Soumik Kar

It was an ironic coincidence that I enjoyed Ang Lee’s beautiful Life of Pi in the theatre just around the time I was gathering my thoughts to write about PI Industries. Ironic because while the film and the book it is based on are well known, this PI is in a relatively unknown business of manufacturing “productivity-enhancing agri-inputs”. Sounds complicated? In plain English, that’s agrochemicals, plant nutrients, speciality fertilisers and hybrid seeds. And while it’s true that PI Industries may sound obscure, it has been around for over 50 years, first as a pioneer and now as the largest seller of granular formulations and generic molecules. such as profenofos and ethion. That’s precious gibberish — in fact, millions of farmers turn to PI when they want to get rid of weeds, insects and fungi, or harvest a more abundant crop.