India is one of the largest milk producers globally, yet its dairy farmers continue to face challenges due to poor supply chain infrastructure. The right use of technology can help the Indian dairy industry structure itself better and ensure optimum milk collection, minimum spoilage, and better-quality milk with increased shelf life.
In India, most dairy farmers are small farmers; therefore, technology has an even more significant role to perform as most of them cannot afford expensive equipment and solutions. Shridhar Mehta, director, Prompt Equipments, says, "We have dozens of innovative products and offerings that span from farm management and milk collection to quality analysis and preservation. Our products ensure that the quality and purity of milk is retained at every step of its journey." Over the last 29 years, Ahmedabad-based Prompt Dairy Tech has established itself as a pioneer in the dairy industry with innovative products and offerings. It has three manufacturing units, one located in Gandhinagar and two in Rakanpur.
Mehta adds, "With a presence and network in more than 50,000 villages across 24 states in India, the company offers a wide range of products and software to help farmers and dairy operators to maintain the purity of the milk at each step. We are committed to coming up with technological innovations to benefit the lives of lakhs of dairy farmers and the dairy industry on the whole."
Mehta mentions that farmers are the driving force and the center of Prompt's innovations. More than 50 lakh farmers pour milk daily through our systems and applications. The company is connected with 18 farmers unions, 18,000 Village Dairy Cooperative Societies, and 36 lakh farmers. He says, "We would not have been successful without their support and faith in our products and offerings. Over 2 lakh farmers are using our Farmer App, MU App, and VDCS App. Through these platforms, we help them connect with technology and improve productivity and profitability."
Technology revolutionizes the dairy industry
Prompt had diversified from power tools to electronic weighing scales for the dairy sector in 1992 and introduced the automatic milk collection system in 1995. In 1999 came up Fat'omatic, a patented product, and introduced India's first indigenous milk analyzer in 2009. In 2014, Prompt launched the Bulk Milk Coolers monitoring system, and in 2015, undertook the IT integration in the dairy industry with India's largest milk federation.
Prompt has so far introduced over 20 technology-based products and collaborated with Lenovo to address the challenges in the dairy industry with technology-based innovative solutions. The company entered into the development of animal husbandry solutions for farmers in 2017. Last year, it forayed into animal wearables with the launch of the Animal Heat Detection System - BovSmart that helps in improving productivity and better animal health, leading to increased yield and enhanced quality of milk.
Mehta believes that the company's business grows when farmers benefit, "Our Farm365 Animal Husbandry App helps farmers efficiently manage their cattle. They get regular scientific advice and real-time alerts to improve cattle feeding, cattle breeding, and cattle health."
R&D and innovation
According to Mehta, the company has cultivated a deep understanding of the market challenges over the years. He adds, "Prompt is an innovation-focused company. We understand the needs and expectations of our customers and come up with products and solutions accordingly. We are making extensive use of emerging technologies such as the cloud and the IoT to usher in improved efficiency and transparency in the dairy supply chain."
Prompt is adopting cloud computing in a big way for strategic purposes, as it is not just cost-effective but also easily scalable. "All our products are cloud-enabled, which also ensures transparency and traceability in the value chain. Moreover, in line with the government's call for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, we are proud to say about our products - 'India Mein Banta Hai, India ko Samajhta Hai'."
Adding two new products and one patent every year
Mehta is happy with Prompt's growth trajectory and states, "As market leaders, we have been continuously mapping the challenges of farmers and the dairy industry and introducing new products from time to time to address the market need. We have grown at 30% y-o-y since 2015. We add at least two new products and one patent every year to our portfolio." Prompt continues to expand its presence and reach constantly. The company sells directly to customers but has started establishing a dealer network from this year to reach more farmers, offer better services, and faster deliveries.
"In the coming years, we are planning to strengthen our animal husbandry sector. Our idea is to use Big Data Analytics as a driver of innovations and product development. Moreover, we align our innovations with the government's vision of doubling farmer's income by helping them on improving milk quality, strengthening cold chain infrastructure, eliminating adulteration, and enhancing livestock productivity. These measures will go a long way in ensuring the economic uplift of dairy farmers," he concludes.