“We are first in technology, first in analysis and first in solution and we always keep Customer first in all our initiatives & efforts.”
Bharat Aswani, (Managing Director, FOSS India)
Incepted in 1956, FOSS India is a highly acclaimed company that is widely known for its analytical solutions that help to improve both food quality and safety in the global food market. Its groundbreaking innovation throughout the years in analytical technology has positioned itself at the forefront of the entire food and agriculture analytics market.
FOSS India sees stupendous opportunities in how data, artificial intelligence and digital solutions can help customers produce more nutritious, safer, and best-quality food.
In an exclusive and in-depth conversation, Bharat Aswani, the Managing Director of FOSS India, shared insights about FOSS India, the purpose behind its inception, its mission, values, and remarkable contribution to food and agriculture industry.
Explain in brief about yourself and your company? How do you correlate with your company?
I am Bharat Aswani, the Managing Director of FOSS India Pvt. Ltd. I am born and brought up in Ajmer, Rajasthan and did my Graduation in Mechanical Engineering. I have 25 years of rich work experience with top companies like Atlas Copco and Reliance Industries. I joined FOSS India in 2016 and it’s been a wonderful journey ever since.
When I look around my day-to-day life I can relate to the analysis offered by FOSS to the simplest of things that touch the day-to-day life like the edible oil we cook in, the wheat flour we eat, and the milk we drink. It is these small yet necessary products that make life and to bring out the best in them, we need the best-in-class analysis that FOSS offers. Not to forget the sustainability of the products and solutions which help the entire world in the bigger picture, this is what makes me immensely proud to be part of FOSS.
Elaborate on the innovative solutions offered by your company. What makes its services worth the investment?
FOSS India creates end-to-end solutions that secure and improve food quality. From raw material to all internal processes during production to finished product. Our analysis instruments refine measurements into information management that enables businesses to run intelligent data-driven productions with less waste and bigger yields.
Controlling cost and quality across all sectors and value chains, we help food and agricultural producers limit the number of human errors, scale their business faster and reduce manual labour as well as labour costs. We call it “Analytics Beyond Measure”. And this is what makes our services in the field of food and agricultural industries: Dairy, Raw Milk Testing Feed and Forage, Grain, Flour Milling & Oilseed Processing, Laboratories, Meat, and Wine & Beverages, worth the investment.
Elaborate how the company came into being, its journey, and where it stands today.
FOSS was incepted in 1956 by the innovative engineer Nils Foss with an ambition to offer automated and cost-efficient alternatives to time-consuming analyses in the food and agriculture industry. Though much has changed in more than 65 years, our approach to business and the development of innovative analytical solutions has stood the test of time.
Since the company’s formation, we have made it our business to define the standard of analytical solutions for the food and agricultural industry. We successfully pioneered advanced analysis for the challenging production environments in the 1960s, and we were the first to integrate chemical composition analysis in process lines. Now, our resolve and ambition have also made us the international benchmark in the field of chemometrics and real-time analytics.
How do you differentiate your company from its competitors?
Standing at a growth rate of 22% CAGR over the last 5 years and having more than 60% of the market share, FOSS India has immense potential against the competition. Globally, we invest more than 10% of our turnover in R&D to make reliable, sustainable and connected solutions. That is where we gain trust and make people & markets believe in us. We are first in technology, first in analysis and first in solution and always keep “Customer” first in all our initiatives & efforts.
What are some high growth opportunities in the food and agriculture analytics market? How is your company preparing itself to capitalize on these opportunities?
In India, the agriculture sector contributes roughly 16 % of the total GDP. Two-thirds of India’s population is dependent on income from its rural areas, with Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh being agricultural hubs.
Traditionally, farmers used to be dependent on middlemen when trading their produce, which is often sold at varying prices at the rural level. To remedy this, the government has launched regulated markets, introducing a system of competitive buying with standardised weights and measures to end the exploitation of producers. These well-thought-out agricultural reforms, eNAM (Electronic National Agriculture Market), are currently being implemented across India; this is where the biggest growth opportunity for FOSS India lies ahead.
FOSS India has been able to contribute to this reform by supplying over 250 digital grain analysers throughout India during the last 3 years providing instant and accurate analysis of food and Agri produce. This is the largest and the only connected chain of digital grain analysers in the Indian grain sector. FOSS NIR analysers ensure a high-quality analysis of various grains, oilseeds, pulses, cereals & lentils and yearly calibration updates along with standardisations ensure that operators cannot influence the results. The benefits for buyers are informed bidding with specific or desired quality of Agri produce and farmers can now realise prices proportionate to the quality of their produce. This revolution has ensured farmers to become more independent and able to sell their products online to buyers across India to obtain the best possible pricing – ensuring the development of a “self-reliant India”. To cater to this demand and offer the best solution, FOSS India has invested in its service infrastructure and conducted lots of awareness sessions to enhance its reach and increase customer satisfaction.
How important is Research & Development for your company? How helpful has it been in introducing new pioneering solutions to existing problems?
We have an R&D department of nearly 300 engineers and technical specialists. It includes hardware engineers, embedded programmers, software developers and technical specialists who develop our instruments from the very first prototypes to the final product.
We have a strong team of technical specialists with a large variety of backgrounds, from astrophysics to microbiology, and working at FOSS India means working with a large variety of technologies. We have developed flow cytometers that can evaluate the number of bacteria and somatic cells in raw milk, X-ray instruments that can monitor and control the fat content in meat production lines, and we have several instruments that use Near-Infrared and Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy to evaluate nutritional values of different food products. Moreover, strategic and strong collaborations with some of the best universities in Denmark and abroad ensure access to the newest discoveries, findings and the latest technologies.
Our top-notch solutions provide a wealth of data and therefore contain sophisticated data analysis algorithms. Hence, large teams of skilled data scientists/chemometricians and software developers work to implement these methods. Our ultimate goal is to keep the solutions simple, convenient, and easy to use for our customers, without letting them worry about complicated mathematics.
Explain FOSS’s holistic approach to sustainability. How is it improving its sustainability performance?
Acting responsibly and with integrity has been our approach to doing business since the inception of the company. We have a holistic approach to sustainability that transcends company operations and procedures. We use our extensive knowledge to develop solutions to support sustainability in a world with significant population growth, scarce resources, food safety threats and climate change. As the leading provider of analytical technology for the food and agricultural industry, FOSS India plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges.
FOSS India helps optimise the use of food and agricultural resources across a number of industries worldwide. We do so by enabling customers to run intelligent data-driven production, based on fast, easy-to-use, and dedicated analytics. For instance, in today’s global market there is a growing focus on ensuring safe milk products. At FOSS India, we offer a wide range of dairy analysers that screen for milk adulteration during regular quality testing for fat, protein, and other parameters, without requiring any extra equipment and infrastructure.
FOSS India is also committed to supporting and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We work to uphold and make a difference within these four goals:
#2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
#3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
#8: Decent work and economic growth
#12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Elucidate how digitalization is playing a major role in allowing better analytics for FOSS India? How is it keeping the company a step ahead in the competition?
The fastest-growing food and agricultural producers have already implemented data-driven production lines. Not just to strengthen daily operations, but to change – if not disrupt – the game. Automation will be automation, however, action will always depend on the quality of data generated by the line as well as how intelligently it is put to use. That is why FOSS India delivers accurate real-time measurements that are vital for efficient programming. The move from analysis to analytics makes it possible to direct and oversee key processes from central hubs. We strive to ensure new standards within regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction, without ever compromising on quality.
As we follow our ambition of adding value to our customers’ business, our Danish headquarters has become the chemometrics capital of the world. From here, we build and maintain the algorithms that help businesses all over the world turn data into information and information into action. Establishing our new Digital Services division, we walk the talk and are now ready to assist big and small food and agricultural producers optimise production in a time of digital transition.
Shed light on the company’s vision and values. What is its long-term vision for this decade?
FOSS’s Mission: We contribute to the sustainable use of our planet’s agricultural resources and thus to the nutrition and health of the people across the world. We provide analytics beyond measure to add value to our customers by improving quality and optimising food and agricultural production.
- First because being first is motivating and rewarding.
- Customer because the customer is the focus of all activity in the company.
- People and Knowledge because we are a company based on knowledge and employees working in collaboration.
Mention the Awards and Milestones achieved by your company so far.
As FOSS India, we have added many feathers to our cap by winning innumerable awards globally and locally. The two that we hold very dear are:
- The Industrial Excellence Award for the Best Company Of The Year in 2019
- The Brand Vision Award for the Game Changer Company Of The Year 2020- 2021