Final agenda for VCCircle Agri & Food Investment Summit 2014; a few seats are left; register now

The agenda for the 6th edition of VCCircle Agri & Food Investment Summit 2014 largely covers the emerging opportunities, technology led plays, innovations & review of private investments going into the upcoming and traditional investment heavy sub-segments of the Indian agri & food industry.

The event scheduled for October 28 at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai is just three days away. Register now

Here is the updated agenda with names of speakers:

8:30am - 9:30am

Tea, Networking & Registration

9:30am - 09:45am

Introductory Note

09:45am - 10:30am

Pane l: Boosting the farm input sector - Seeds, fertilisers, irrigation, farm equipment & animal feed

With the government claiming to be focusing on agri-led businesses, how will policy initiatives, including the states relooking at the APMC Act, India’s GM crops policy and Food Safety Act affect the farm input sector? Are enough measures taken by regulatory bodies to improve soil health condition, stimulate scientific usage of seeds & pesticides, promote modern irrigation practices and disseminate high yield-disease resistant seeds? What the necessary measures are taken by financial institutions in improving access to flow of credit to farmers and farmer-producer organisations? What can be done to encourage private participation in the farm inputs & animal feed space? Considering the interest in professionally managed cattle farms, how can we meet the growing demand of high quality fodder? What are the innovations seen & challenges faced in catalysing modern technology in the field of inputs? How can the R&D infrastructure be strengthened? How can technology be brought from around the world to boost farm inputs? Can concepts like drift irrigation and precision agriculture help achieve the desired results?

Vikram Puri - CEO, Mahindra ShubhLabh Services Ltd

Mark Kahn - Founding Partner, Omnivore Partners

Peter Frykman - Founder and CEO, Driptech

Arvind Agrawal - Director, VNR Seeds Pvt Ltd

Shamender Sharma - Head Business Strategy, Khedut Agro Engineering Pvt Ltd

Girish Nadkarni - Partner, IDFC Private Equity (Moderator)

10:30am - 11:20am

Panel II: Scaling up warehousing, cold storages & agri-business supply chain logistics

Amid depressed margins and industry dominated by family-run businesses, how are entrepreneurs backed by private investors turning around the sector? Are there enough proven business models and margins to draw capital for scaling up businesses? Inhibitions, including inadequate supply chain, cold storage, warehousing, transportation, distribution and last mile connectivity, are chocking the farm-to-fork network. How do we see solutions to these bottlenecks? What are different innovative tools empowering supply chain management and controlled atmosphere systems? What are the challenges in attracting investments into cold-storage, refrigerated trucks and other modern logistics?

Sunoor Kaul - Director, Origo Commodities

Pankaj Joshi - CEO, Kelvin Cold Chain Logistics Pvt Ltd

Amith Agarwal - Executive Director, Star Agriwarehousing and Collateral Management Limited

Ananthan NS - Senior Investment Officer, IFC

Dev Lall - CMD, Bakers Circle (India) Pvt Ltd

Sanjay Kaul - Managing Director & CEO, NCMSL (Moderator)

11:20am - 11:45am

Tea & Networking Break

11:45am – 12:15pm

Presentation by Religare: Announcing a strategic initiative for the agri and food ecosystem

12:15pm - 1:00pm

Panel III: Evolving niche opportunities in organic foods, cattle farms, breweries & food ingredients market

Changing lifestyle and inclination towards healthy food are driving niche opportunities including organic food wherein the businesses are majorly driven by exports demand; professionally managed cattle farms producing organic/high quality milk; and craft breweries and functional food ingredients with therapeutic value. While demand is seen driving entrepreneurs & investment, how does one scale these niche businesses and make them profitable? What are the challenges in bringing quality, adoption, distribution & supply chain efficiencies to make business grow?

Dr. G.N.S. Reddy - Managing Director, Akshayakalpa Farms and Foods Pvt. Ltd

Leonard Menezes - CEO, Ace Alcobev Pvt Ltd

Srikumar Misra - Founder, MD & CEO, Milk Mantra

Manish Gupta - Associate Vice President, Investments, TVS Capital

Rajesh Srivastava - CMD, Rabo PE (Moderator)

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lunch & Networking

2:00pm - 2:50pm

Panel IV: Innovations in primary & secondary processing: Food commodities, dairy & poultry and ready-to-eat packaged food

What product/process innovations are seen in primary & secondary processing amid increasing demand for good quality food commodities and processed and packaged foods? What is the extent of integration taking place in the value chain to improve efficiencies and deliver better products? How can the production, processing & distribution infrastructure be improved? What will be the key drivers of investments in the food processing value chain? What more can be done to meet the demand of value added products categories such as: grains, dairy products, meat, poultry, supplements, bakery ingredients, cocoa products, yogurts, desserts, etc? What innovations are seen across branding, packaging, marketing of the product in stiff competitive markets? How can product innovation help entrepreneurs tap opportunities at the food retail end including opportunities in smaller towns/rural areas?

Sonal Shah - Director, SMC Capitals Ltd

Viraj Bahl - Founder & Managing Director, Veeba Foods Services Pvt Ltd

Akshay Bector - MD, Mrs. Bector's Food Specialties Ltd

Rajheev Agrawal - Director & CEO, Nilon's Enterprises Pvt Ltd

Sarangdhar R Nirmal - CMD, Prabhat Dairy Pvt. Ltd.

Sanjay Sacheti - India Country Manager, Olam Agro India Ltd.

Deepak Shahdadpuri - Founder & MD DSG Partners Asia Pte Ltd (Moderator)

2:50pm - 3:20pm

VCCircle Showcase:

To showcase innovations happening in the food & agri industry, VCCircle will present select companies in agri infrastructure, warehousing & supply chain logistics, dairy & poultry, primary processing, processed food, food services & retail.

3:20pm - 3:50pm

Tea & Networking

3:50pm - 4:35pm

Panel V: Opportunities in farm fresh retail: fruits, vegetables & high value commodities

With retail finding its way in all our daily needs, farm fresh retail is driven by huge & regular demand from the market. While models are still to be proven in terms of reach, scalability & profitability, the business is getting traction from some major players which are opening up specialised retail outlets for fresh fruits & vegetables. How big is the opportunity and where does the profits lie? How are players managing the whole supply chain aggregation? What storage models are being tested? How does the tracking of the produce from farm to store happens and how efficient are the systems? Are the innovations seen in sorting, grading and storing driving the retail end?

Pankaj Khandelwal - CMD, InI Farms Pvt. Ltd

Sanjeev Asthana - Founder & Managing Partner, I-Farms Venture Advisors Pvt Ltd

P. Vijayraghavan - Director & C.E.O, Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Pvt. Ltd

Arvind Gangoly - CEO, Schedulers Logistics India Pvt Ltd

Karthik Srivatsa - Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Aspada Investment Advisors (Moderator)

4:35pm onwards

VCCircle Unwind

The session will provide more networking time to top entrepreneurs and leading investors over cocktails.

The event will bring together more than 150 CEOs representing top & emerging food & agri firms, management consultants, advisors, private equity fund managers and venture capitalists who are looking to do business in agri and food space.

Register now or write to Sandeep/ Ipshita at or call 0120-4171111.

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